Thor: Ragna-Wracking My Head

Yes it has been a while and no I haven’t lost interest, passion or opinion when it comes to Marvel, comics, superheroes and the way that they have adapted, steered and yet again been “re-booted”. I guess you could say that I just didn’t care to give it my energy (sure, that and having to reexplain a point that I’ve made repeatedly as clear as Invisible Woman on cellophane was getting a little tiring, and sure maybe life got in the way, but I digress… I have my POV and can enjoy about the genera well keeping a distance to the things that don’t quite sit right with me. I can go on my merry way and they can go theirs…

However — yes I know there‘’s always a catch.

The promotional articles, previews, TV spots etc for Thor Ragnarok has slowly been chipping away at my self proclaimed exile. I mean with headlines reading “Is Thor Ragnarok the funniest Marvel movie yet?” and “Thor Rangnarok introduces us to a goofier side of the Marvel Universe” and Thor himself’s total character switch to a Malibu barbie dopess since becoming an “Avenger” I just stop and think wow, how far we’ve come; how little substance.

It doesn’t help that I made it my business in high-school to study Nordic Mythology -I have always been a huge Mytho’s fan, blame it on Hercules and Xena -So the idea of Ragnarok and funny been in the same ballpark always kind of hits me as off. Don’t even get me started on character translation (Oy!).

I mean I don’t want to be a wet blanket. I love funny! I love superheros and funny! what I don’t and have never liked was the disproportionate goofiness that Marvel has always seemed to push to better please a broad audience of spectators.

To me this divorce of story, character and context is disrespectful to an already built-in fan base. But it seems that franchises tend to rely and take advantage of their fans eager dispositions to like what they give them despite critical errors. I’ve heard it multiple times from my fellow geek tribe that it’s better then nothing or worse at least it’s entertaining. Yeah, the very least.

I guess I just don’t vibe with these pseudo-deep superhero films that are all fluff and no substance.

Sure they try their best to have thought provoking subtext and genuine “moments” that only ever just seem to stick out more because the focus is ever with the circumstances surrounding their “lifestyle”. What does any of it really have to do with the characters and genera that they are representing? We don’t understand the character for the surroundings we just see them in outstanding places, with spectacular powers and equipment going to whatever it is that is their mission this time that sets up for yet another galactic arch of an adventure under the guise of sequential.

Sounds fun, in fact it sounds like a comic. However — yes one of these again-it sounds like a “Tales of” adventure and not the kind of formula which Marvel comics was based on. What makes these multi-billion dollar franchise the over-bloated success’ that they are.

Stan Lee broke the trend of comics just being a couple quarters worth of a good time by making the characters more then just superheros. He made them people. He gave them lives that had to co-exist with the cape. He made set it up so that despite all the fantastical circumstances they were still set in reality.

Part of the genius of this approach is that even when in spectacular settings things were treated like normal, serious when it needed to be, tense, comfortable, jovial and yes fun when it needed to be. Just like in life.

I thought that the first Thor movie captured that balance (if nothing else) rather well. Asgard, The Rainbow Bridge, Giants and Gods, it was all treated normal for it was their normal and when integrated with our “normal” didn’t seem too ridiculous.

And I think that is really the heart of the problem with most “superhero” films; they don’t allow the superheroes, their cannons and accoutrements to just be, and go from there with the story. Instead they almost put too much emphasis on their circumstances causing it to stand out and almost slap you in the face with the ridiculousness of it all.

It almost comes across then like a bad joke that no one wanted to tell but since people are laughing they just go with it. I mean at least it’s entertaining, right?

But then again so is any other blockbuster, isn’t the whole point of adaptation that it’s a little something more?


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