Thor, the Norse superhero from the Marvel Comics universe, is to become a woman to attract more female fans to the franchise. The new incarnation , which sees Thor with long blonde hair, metal armour and a red cape, will be unveiled in a comic series this October.

ThorNatalie Portman [L] and Chris Hemsworth [R] in Thor 2

Jason Aaron, Marvel series writer, made it very clear that this would be a permanent change.

"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," he said.

Wil Moss, Marvel editor, added "This inscription on Thor's hammer reads 'Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.' Well it's time to update that inscription.

"The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute- she's not the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!"

A statement on Marvel's website said the studio hopes its new female protagonist will "speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for superhero comic books in America: women and girls".

Meanwhile in Marvel land, president Kevin Feige has confirmed that, for the minute, Captain America 3 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would remain scheduled for release on the same name, May 6, 2016.

"...we are doing what we've always done, which is sticking to our plan and sticking to our vision for the movies going forward and we have a very large vision that we're working on for Cap 3," said Feige.