From the Thor press release yesterday:

"THOR is the latest in the ever-growing and long list of female-centric titles that continues to invite new readers into the Marvel Universe. This female THOR is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls."

Axel Alonso, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief, when asked about if they are trying to engage more female readership, says:

Yes, we absolutely are. We see fans of all shapes and sizes and genders in comic stores and at conventions. And we perceived there to be a real thirst for characters that reflect what we see in the mirror. From Miles Morales, the African-American Spider-Man, to the new female Thor, our goal is to make our characters reflect the outside world.

Marvel is currently publishing some amazing female solo comics right now, including Ms.Marvel, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Electra, & She-Hulk. With a new Storm solo on it's way, and a rumoured Spiderwoman solo as well. Those are the seven super heroine titles, and as they said, Thor would be their 8th.

They are not only recognizing its existing audience of female comic book readers (47%) publicly, but saying they want more female readers.

This explains a lot of the reactions to the new Thor.

Dudes are angry that comics aren't only being marketed exclusively to them anymore.

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One sec, gotta get a drink.

Via Time and The Mary Sue