The inscription on the Marvel superhero Thor’s hammer famously reads, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Previous writers have used that hook to shake things up before by having the hammer used by other “worthy” heroes, first by the alien Beta Ray Bill, then later by familiar faces like Captain America and Storm. But for the first time, the beefy blonde Asgardian we know and love has proven himself so unworthy that he’s being not just punished but actually replaced, and the new wielder of not only the hammer Mjolnir but the very name of Thor will be a woman!

In Marvel’s official announcement of the upcoming change, series writer Jason Aaron explained, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

Coming in October, the relaunched Thor series promises “a brand new female hero”. Taken at face value, this means this character is not one of the previous Thor-related women such as Valkyrie, Sif, or recent Marvel Universe inductee (there’s a long story) Angela. This is a completely new character with a new story to explore. Is she Asgardian, human, or something else?

And what of the old beefcake Thor? Promotional art for the new series shows him with his old axe Jarnbjorn, a weapon that’s Dwarven-forged like Mjolnir but not nearly as powerful. His left arm has also been replaced by a metal prosthetic. Is this the result of a defeat that left him “unworthy”?

One of the most interesting things about this announcement, though, is where it was first made: On ABC’s woman-focused daytime show The View. It makes sense to use ABC as an outlet for Marvel news — the network and the comic publisher are both owned by Disney, and ABC is home to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD TV series — but specifically choosing The View shows that Marvel is giving more than lip service to the idea that women should be embraced as an audience for comic books. Comic sales have been dropping dramatically since the 90s, and maintaining an image as something that only embraces a single demographic — men, mostly young, mostly white, mostly straight — will never reverse that. The comic book industry needs to welcome and embrace a diverse audience if it’s going to survive. DC Comics has had a lot of trouble with that in the last few years, but, with a few recent steps including a hip, friendly redesign for Batgirl, they seem to be catching on. This move by Marvel is bold, but it’s also necessary.

The next move is to hire more women as creators. While this change is a good start, it’s still a book written and drawn by men like the majority of others. IDW did something wonderful and uniquely brave when they brought in women to write and draw their Transformers: Windblade 4-issue series about a new female character, and it’s paid off enough that the series will get a sequel next year. We need everyone to be so progressive.