There was a time where I was excited about New Thor.
Despite all the vitriol and flack that Marvel got for it, I welcomed it because I understood that change is inevitable and that, yes, sometimes you gotta shake shit up to prevent it from getting stale. And seeing as Marvel and DC had been around for over 75 years, I expected some “shaking up” to happen every now and then. I haven’t approved of all the shakeups (re: New 52) but still.
As the debut of New Thor drew closer and closer, however, I found that one question was particularly resting on my mind: WHO exactly was New Thor? The question gradually took over my thoughts, since I go back and forth between whether I actually like surprises or not.
I searched for every clue on her identity that I could find. According to her sample panels, I found out that she knew Thor and that she had a fair amount of knowledge about Asgard (prior to picking up the hammer). These clues led me to wager that New Thor had to be from Asgard and had to be a friend/acquaintance of Thor. I eventually guessed that New Thor had to be either Valkyrie, Sif, or maybe even Frigga and I was pretty confident in those guesses.
Until the reveal happened, that is.
And who turned out to be New Thor, Lovers of the Zoo?
Yup. Jane Elizabeth (that’s not really her middle name, I just typed that because I’m really annoyed about it still) Foster turned out to be New Thor and the explanation behind it didn’t help any, either. Apparently, Jane had cancer in this iteration and the only way in existence to fix it/cope with it was to pick up Mjölnir.
I’ve got two problems with that. First of all, what in the f*ck did Thor do to become unworthy and how is there no cure for cancer (or some type of better treatment) in a world where Tony Stark, Susan Storm, Reed Richards, Hank Pym and the whole host of other über scientists exist? You’re telling me that *magic* was the only way???
In any case, I was very, very disappointed and I instantly started thinking of people who should have inherited this role before Jane did.
So, without further ado, I present to you six people who should have been New Thor:
While Valkyrie as New Thor would have been exceedingly obvious, Valkyrie has damn sure earned the honor. A quick read-through of the Warrior Goddess’s wiki page will tell us that while she has lived quite an honorable life, it has been quite a rough one too.
On top of being lead Valkyrior of the Valkyries, constantly fighting off the nefarious plans of Amora as she attempts to steal her body on several occasions, and—like Thor—maintaining a deep affinity for the planet Earth (I’m not sure why; we’re awful), Valkyrie is all about honor and doing the right thing. Often times, this causes her to be in direct opposition with Odin—which has lead to her death more than once.
Let’s be real, y’all: if you’re 100% up for going toe-to-toe with the All-Father in the name of all that is right, no matter what the consequences, you deserve to wield that hammer.
Another reason that Valkyrie would have been a great choice is her power set, or rather, a particular sub-set of her power set. On top of every perk that comes with being an Asgardian, Valkyrie’s position as Valkyrior has granted her various abilities in relation to death, but the most notable one is “deathglow”. The best way to explain “deathglow” is likening it onto Peter Parker’s Spidey Sense in that Valkyrie can literally sense an impending death. This sense of hers takes the form of a glow around the person that is about to die. This ability would come in handy were she to assume the role of New Thor and have to protect us fragile Midgardians.
In addition to “deathglow”, Valkyrie also has the ability to transport herself and a dead body to/from the land of the dead which in itself is an invaluable ability and makes sense due to her relationship to magic in particular.
And what is her relationship to magic, you ask? Well, I’ll list a couple of them:
- Valkyrie’s go-to weapon, her sword Dragonfang, was created by a wizard named Kahji-Da who carved it from the tooth of a dragon (or, so says the legend)
- Valkyrie is best buds with Black Knight (wielder of the all-powerful and cursed Ebony Blade) and Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme)
- Valkyrie was given her flying horse, Aragorn, by Black Knight
- Doctor Strange has brought Valkyrie back to life on numerous occasions (no wonder she’s not scared of Odin. She has the Sorcerer Supreme on her side).
- Outside of Black Knight’s bloodline, Valkyrie is one of only two people who have been able to successfully wield the Ebony Blade.
And if alladat is not enough to convince you that Valkyrie is qualified (hell, I’d say overqualified) for the position of New Thor, there’s also the fact that she is damn near the best fighter in all of Asgard. The only other person that matches her physical prowess is Sif.
Speaking of Sif, she was another obvious choice. Unlike Valkyrie, she is better known for her fighting skills and is the premier warrior of Asgard (if we’re not counting Thor). But her fighting skills aren’t the only reason I would have wanted Sif to become New Thor. My main reason for wanting her to become New Thor is simple:
Sif doesn’t really get to do much…besides literally being in love with Thor.
When your Wiki-page refers to you as an “Asgardian Warrior and lover of Thor” (not even love interest of Thor), there might be a problem.
Granted, I am not opposed to love itself or love stories. I am opposed to that being the only aspect of any character because, of course, if you take that away, they’d be reduced to nothing. As if that wasn’t enough, Sif’s unrequited love for Thor eventually extends to almost all other wielders of the hammer (most notably Eric Mastersson and Beta Ray Bill).
Which begs the question: would she fall in love with ANYONE who picked up the hammer…including me or like, a rock?
And THAT is what is inherently bugs me about Sif’s role over the years. She’s either fighting, pining after Thor or some faux Thor, or side-eyeing the sh*t out of Jane and the movie’s didn’t exactly do much to improve on that.
Letting Sif wield the hammer WOULD have improved on that. Sif is already a good warrior and self-sacrificial person (she has put her life on the line for Thor AND Jane on several occasions). Still, wielding the hammer would have given her character some much-needed depth and even improved on the friendship aspect of her and Thor’s relationship.
Think about it. Who else would Thor trust to wield the hammer? He and Sif have been friends so long that I’m still confused that she wasn’t the first choice.
Other than that, the only other reason I could offer up for her becoming Thor would be to continue the running joke of Sif formerly being blonde, but having had it turn Black due to Loki’s shenanigans. Because, you know, Loki.
Frigga wasn’t as obvious a choice, but by far remained one the front-runners in my mind for several reasons. Frigga being Thor’s mother would have brought an interesting and dynamic depth to her role as New Thor. Granted, she does become “All-Mother” eventually (during the events of Original Sin) but her role is as All-Mother is more or less the same as Odin. She’s just better at it.
However, Frigga being New Thor would have been better in my opinion because it might have provided some commentary on ageism/aging superheroes in comics and the role that parents get to (or don’t get to) play when it comes to “superhero-ing” around.
To put it bluntly, parents usually have only three options:
- Be dead.
- Be absent.
- Be awful (which is not much different from being absent, but you get me).
Being dead, as is required during most superhero origin stories, usually comes with the minuscule honor of having been a good parent/guardian prior to your death, but that’s about it. This is why I am always interested in comic book stories that seek to tweak that trope. My favorite examples of this include recent issues of Kamala Khan and the fact that her parents are present, good, and aware of her superhero responsibilities. Other examples include Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and DC’s Red Arrow and Cheshire being active superheroes AND kick-ass parents.
The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
As for the aging thing, comic books are notorious for freezing their characters at certain ages—usually peak 30s—which is why when they suddenly deviate from that—like with Old Man Logan—it is a big f*cking deal.
By that same logic, it would have also been a big deal to have Frigga, (who is probably chronologically and biologically 9237925723087527038 years old, but physically maybe in her 50s or 60s), assume the role of champion of Asgard. Because, just like everyone else, she has a stake in the safety of Asgard, her age be damned.
Sigyn is the first of my “random but could work” choices. While she’s not as popular as the other three that I mentioned before her, her assuming the mantle of New Thor would have been interesting for a myriad reasons.
For starters, Sigyn is princess of Asgard and Loki’s wife. She is also, quite literally, the Goddess of Fidelity, meaning that she is extremely loyal…most times to a fault. In fact, she is so loyal that she refused to divorce Loki even though he went full-on diabolical, old Testament David and had her true betrothed killed.
That messed up back-story aside, I’m mostly interested in Sigyn as New Thor for the racial/cultural implications it would have had on Asgard (and also because characters should ALWAYS be more than their significant others, especially in the name of being three dimensional characters).
To expound: there are two main tribes/clans in Asgard and they are the Æsir(includes folks like Thor, Odin, Sif, and etc) and the Vanir (includes folks like Frigga). And while it seems like they get along great and everything, that wasn’t always the case. Way back when, a war– the Æsir–Vanir War—broke out between the two over their differences, as the Æsir were the more war-like people, while the Vanir focused on more education and mystical pursuits.
To put things in perspective, think of the Peloponnesian War that broke out between Sparta and Athens in 431 BC.
Just like that war, the more war-like people (the Spartans and the Æsir) bested the more book-smart people (the Athenians and the Vanir) and ended up absorbing them into the systems that they built back up. Most of the Æsir and Vanir leaders thought that simply marrying each other and trading gifts and peace offerings was going to be enough to squash tensions throughout both groups–but little did they know that it would never be that simple.
The animosity has remained even to this day and part of it comes from the fact that as the group in power, the Æsir are seen as better, stronger, and superior to their sister race, the Vanir. This animosity is reminiscent of the very real tensions between DC’s Themyscira Amazons and Bana-Mighdall Amazons, as the former was held up as the purer and superior race versus the latter who was held down as the tainted and weaker race for their connections to man.
Sigyn factors into this whole conflict by pure virtue of being a member of the Vanir—the “weaker” race. Because of Sigyn’s strong fidelity, I have no doubt in my mind that she would have served as a worthy wielder of Mjölnir and by picking up Mjölnir, she might have given the people of Asgard—the Vanir and the Æsir—a reason to revisit their racial prejudices and address them head-on.
In short: she might have united Asgard by her own damned self.
Amora was definitely a “left field” choice of mine, and I’ll explain.
I love good villains. I think that they serve as natural foils to their “good guy” counterparts and that without them, there is no story. Different kinds of villains exist but my favorites are usually villains who are simply out for themselves, simply tragic, or simply evil for the sake of being evil.
Upon first glance, it would appear that Amora is evil for the sake of being evil, but if you look closer, you discover that that’s not the case. In fact, she’s actually evil for the sake of getting the guy (Thor) which his aggravating. Why is Sorceress Supreme of Asgard reduced to (nefariously) pining over Earth’s mightiest, flying refrigerator? You’re telling me she doesn’t have baes lined up already? That she HAS to join the already crowded list of people lusting after Thor? Despite how powerful and unbothered she should be?
Moving on, Amora is most definitely not worthy to wield the hammer as of now. But I got to thinking: what if she was the wielder of the hammer in another time-line?
Of course, alternate time-lines always have the potential to go left, but I think a Good Guy Amora™ would have worked. I mean, Amora’s back-story is super thin already. Besides not knowing anything about her parentage, all that is really known about her is that she has a sister that she doesn’t like—Lorelei—and that she came from pretty humble beginnings to become the Sorceress Supreme of Asgard.
Because of that thin back-story, I thought, what if Amora had been the original wielder of Mjolnir in her timeline and eventually became the Amora in this timeline due to life-changing mistake (re: Original Sin) that involved Thor in her own universe? Not only might it have been a great way to explore who exactly Amora is away from Thor but it would have given Amora a more legit reason to be obsessed with Thor (revenge) and would have made for a wicked origin story.
And everybody deserves a good origin story.
I’m gonna be completely 100 with this one:
This choice was purely for sh*ts and giggles.
Magik has had a rough life. More so than even Valkyrie or Sigyn. This includes losing her soul on several occasions, being estranged from her beloved brother (Pietro/Colossus), being TRAPPED in limbo, and literally turning into a demon’s play-thing.
Despite all that, however, Magik has managed to come out on top (not without the appropriate mental/emotional scars, of course) and has gone on to become THE RULER OF LIMBO.
I mean, why not make her the champion of Asgard at that point, with all that power she has backing her up?
In addition to that, Magik assuming the position of New Thor might have also brought some much needed changes to the way that the Asgardian pantheon deals with death and the after-life. Like, how exactly does one go about incorporating Limbo into an Asgardian judgment system that only includes Hel or Valhalla? I don’t know the answer to that, but it might have been interesting to find out.
So, what say you, Lovers of the Zoo? Were you happy with my nominations? Did you have some nominations of your own? Let me know in the comments below!
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