singular most annoying thing about the Thor comics has to be the
pseudo-Shakespearian English spoken by Thor and most of his Asgardian
cohorts . . .
It is a sort of Elizabethan English crossed with the
King James Bible.
Here are some random samplings of dialogue:
“Go thou, Hermod – on the back of eight-hoofed Sleipnir
– and learn what must be done to spare the life of the fatally-wounded
“No man or immortal lays hands with impunity upon the
Reading this sort of stuff is a chore, so one can
imagine what a task writing it all must be like, which is why I always feel so
sorry for the Thor writers. The very first Thor comic strip
may have been simplistic, but when Lee stopped writing the title, the
storylines became quite convoluted and elaborate in the best Marvel
tradition as more and more figures from Norse mythology and even new fictional ones got
thrown into the mix such as Loki, the Lady Sif and the three loyal
sidekicks often called in for comic relief, namely Frigga, Hogun and
"It can be even more corny than the 1980 Flash Gordon movie!"
Add to the above the sort of colorful and garish
costume designs that looks cool when Jack Kirby draws them on paper, but
patently ridiculous when a costume designer actually has to bring those designs
to life in a movie, and you’ll understand our misgivings about a Thor live
action movie. It can be even more camp than the 1980
Flash Gordon movie – and we all knew how
well that went down! After all we’re talking about a muscle-bound surfer
dude with long girly blonde hair in a Viking outfit spouting a lot of
“verilys” and “forsooths” here! (Strangely enough, Thor’s human alter ego
speaks normal English.)
Marvel however seems intent on dumping all of these
elements that make Thor so unique / memorable / camp / corny (take your
pick) in the first place. According to Marvel’s Karl Feige: “The thing we’re most excited
about with Thor is having a canvas that we haven’t played on before in an
arena of fantasy, mythic realms and the Norse gods. That’s a wholly unique
aspect of the Marvel Universe that hasn’t even begun to be explored on
“What interests us most is the idea of Asgard (the home
of the Norse gods) and the relationship between the gods. Midgard, which
is Earth, will be in a portion of the film, but we’re not interested, in
this first movie, in the idea that Dr. Donald Blake bangs a stick and
becomes Thor in modern day . . .”
Mark Protosevich has confirmed this particular creative route: “There used
to be a segment in the Thor comics called Tales of Asgard - and it’s much
more akin to that. It really is set in that world. It does deal with
Earth. The primary focus we're taking on it is really all about the Norse
myths.” So it’ll be more Lord
of the Rings than Spider-man then?
But will it still be The Mighty Thor then?
Walking the line between pleasing long-time fans of the
comic and modern audiences averse to silly high camp might be the
trickiest bit for any Thor movie, one which one suspects not even
Thor’s trickster nemesis Loki might be able to pull off. . .
One can see that Marvel is getting desperate as all the
well-known comic heroes (Spider-man,
etc.) have already been made into movies. Whatever you might want to do
with the material at hand, we’re not entirely convinced that Thor
can be turned into a viable summer blockbuster. After all, there is just
something about dudes in steel helmets with wings on them that makes us
Heck, we think it will probably be easier to bring
Howard the Duck comics back to Cineplexes – in spite of that George
Lucas flop back in the ‘Eighties! After all, those original Steve Gerber comics were pretty cool
and they had no cod Shakespearian dialogue . . .
Note: Chris Hemsworth who played
Kirk's dad in the 2009 Star Trek
has been cast as Thor. Natalie Portman is also onboard as Jane Foster.
Release date is now 20 May 2011.