Thanks to The View, we now know that the mantle of Thor is being handed to a woman. But, this being comics, it’s far from the first time a superhero has flipped genders. Far, far from the first time, as this list will show you.
The Silver Age loved doing this, and it was handled with all the delicacy and grace you’d expect from the early 1960s. Basically, Superboy is a douche to a female alien, who detects his chauvinistic thoughts and flips his groin over to teach him a lesson. If this sounds remarkably progressive and intelligent for the era, it is, and is almost immediately undone when Superboy turns out to be having a fever dream about being a woman.
You’d think if Supes wanted to change his gender, he’d just play with some red Kryptonite. It worked for Krypto, when it turned him into a character that was certainly in no way Lassie.
Hey, remember the insane telepathic scientist with the ruby in his forehead? That guy? Through a cloning mishap, he was Miss Sinister for a while and in fact, this version is still running around. Why, precisely, Mister Sinister’s first reaction upon discovering he was female was to buy a lot of stripperific outfits is a question Marvel has yet to discuss in any detail.
For about fifteen years, DC was somehow convinced that Guy Gardner, whose defining personality characteristic was being a grating douchebag, was going to be the next big thing in comics. As a result, Guy had, among other things, one of the single most ’90s books to ever feature warped shirtless anatomy.
The gender flip issue was perhaps inevitable, but if you can find the issue, one thing that stands out is that it’s not terribly clear why, precisely, the villain did this. Or made “Gal Gardner” put on a fashion show. Or why the cover features her not wearing any pants. This is because, believe it or not, it’s a send-up of one of the stupidest crossovers ever conceived in comics history.
Every Dude Image Comics Was Publishing In 1995
Back in 1995, one of Glory’s nemeses decided to turn every guy she interacted with into a woman because boobs. Even by the standards of comics in the ’90s, which can basically be summed up as “This book has foil, buy eight copies,” this was reviled as a shameless, stupid cash-in. Not that it didn’t work, it just was embarrassing. But to be fair, DC beat Image to this by decades.
DC’s Gender-Flipped Alternate Reality
Superman went to a reality where everybody was gender-flipped, male and female heroes both, and in fact DC later officially made this part of the multiverse. On the one hand, it’s every bit as cheesy and silly as it looks. On the other, at least when they made Black Canary Black Condor, he was still stuck in the booty shorts:
Take that, Hawkeye Initiative.
And Finally, Matter-Eater Lad Gets ‘Gender Reversal Disease’
I actually have nothing to say about this issue, since it’s utterly unremarkable in just about every other respect, but it does have one of the most delightfully Freudian pieces of artwork DC has ever produced. That’s “toothpaste,” DC? Riiiiiiight. Also, not sure which Legionnaire is in the right-hand corner there, but that’s probably the best artistic rendition of creepy perv ever produced.
So, really, the new Thor is in good company. Heck, all she needs to do is put out two issues, and she’ll actually be doing better than most of these.