In superhero gender bend, Marvel unveils Thor as a woman

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In superhero gender bend, Marvel unveils Thor as a woman
MARVEL'S AVENGERS ASSEMBLE - 'All-Father's Day' - Odin comes to the Avengers Tower demanding his son cease his 'fun' on Earth and return to Asgard. Thor promises that if he can't prove the good he does on Earth he'll return home forever. This episode of 'Marvel's Avengers Assemble' premieres Sunday, March 23 (8:00-8:30am, ET/PT) on Marvel Universe on Disney XD. (Marvel via Getty Images)
THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES! - 'The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!,' an all-new animated series featuring the best of the best in the Marvel Universe, premieres Wednesday, OCTOBER 20 (8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD. Produced by Marvel Animation, the series stars the world's greatest heroes -- Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Ant-Man/Giant Man and Wasp -- who form the Avengers, a team assembled when the powers of a single hero are not enough to save the world. Photo by Disney XD via Getty Images IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE HULK, THOR

(Reuters) - Comic book superhero character Thor, who first appeared in 1962 and is based on the Norse hammer-wielding god, will now be a woman, publisher Marvel Comics said on Tuesday.

The publisher said the female Thor is an effort to bring new readers and to appeal to women and girls, whom Marvel said have long been ignored in comics.

It will be the biggest change to its three largest comic characters, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, according to Marvel.

"This is not She-Thor," Jason Aaron, the writer of the new "Thor" series, said in a statement. "This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is Thor."

The new series will debut in October and be illustrated by Russell Dauterman.

"Thor," which was created by comic book writer Stan Lee, has also been the subject of two blockbuster films. The movies, which have grossed $1.1 billion at the global box office, star Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

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