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From Connecticut to Asgard

Connecticon this year was a blast as always, full of merriment, good friends, phenomenal fans, and delicious beers! I can hardly wait for next year, but I must first focus on the upcoming behemoth that is Otakon. There is a legit segue in here, btw. One of our traditions at CTcon is the great gathering together and taking over of one of the local breweries every night and consuming vast quantities of delicious beer. It’s much like Valhalla I think, long tables full of good company and all you can drink for all eternity. Good times.

Which leads me to the latest image releases from the upcoming Thor film:

Now I’m not going to bother discussing the news that Thor and the First Avenger movies will be in 3D, I’m sure I’ve made my feeling clear on how little I like 3D movies. Rather, I’m going to talk a bit about the costume designs here.

One should bear in mind that I’ve never read Thor. I have never had any real interest in him as a superhero. He always struck me as basically Superman with an even funnier costume: i.e. the boyscout who doesn’t really have much of a personality to speak of and is just there to kick ass, chew bubblegum and be a good guy to thwart the villains. And that’s just not the Thor I know and love. See, I’m a huge fan of the Norse Mythos, and being predominantly norse in descent this is not terribly surprising. I’ve always loved the fact that of all the various religions that have sprouted up over the centuries, the Norse Gods are the only ones that I can think of that are pre-destined to loose the great battle at the end of all things. There no happy ending for anyone. The best you get is to die in combat, chill in Valhalla for a time (there’s my segue again) and then fight alongside the gods in a battle they are are destined to lose and the world all ends in entropy and darkness. And then starts over. This really says something to me about the Norse culture, and about humans in general. I like that struggle against odds you can’t beat, know you can’t, and in the end don’t, but you do it anyway because trying and losing is a hell of a lot better than never trying at all.

Anyway, I never read Thor because he and the rest of the Marvel AEsir just weren’t interesting. They were all flash and no substance. I mean, look at Loki’s horns and tell me that man’s wallet says “bad ass mother fucker” on it.
look at my hat!  it means I'm eeeeeeeevil!
“But Garth,” you might say, “the original Norse stories weren’t all that… you know… deep to begin with.” To which I would counter with, they are perhaps basic in their delivery, but they have a gravitas to them that I just never saw from Marvel’s Thor. Anywho, so the point is that I’m quite vested in anything that deals with the Norse myths, and here we have yet another adaptation this time on the big screen!

So what do we think of the still? Well, it’s hard to say. I REALLY like the concept of Anthony Hopkins playing Odin (a man so bad ass he hung himself from a tree for three days just for kicks). My first thought is “it’s too bright.” Which is strange as most of the colors in this shot are dark grey. I kinda like the armor designs, very Too Human in their design, which I kinda dug. I wish they weren’t so plastic-y. However, Ironman managed to make the plastic suit look like metal so maybe in post-production these’ll look good too. I’m glad they ditched Loki’s ridiculous horns. And I’m not sure what’s up with Odin’s eyepatch. It doesn’t appear to be the same gold color as the accents in his armor, and so it really stands out, obnoxiously so. I do like that there is a slight raven shape in it, but I could be imagining awesome where there isn’t any. I’d also have liked to see some runes carved into that shit. Seriously, there is nothing that says “viking” more than runes everywhere. Well, runes, and horned fur-lined helmets.

Asgard (i.e. the background) looks cool, but a little too clean cut. All around it says to me “ancient alien tech” more than it does “viking hall.” And perhaps they’re running with that. Maybe the AEsir really are crazy powerful super alien beings who came to earth to wage great wars and fight off terrible monstrosities to protect the hapless primitive native life. Stargate did it, why not Marvel?

So, in summary? Is it awesome? Hell yes. Sure, I’d like to see the AEsir be less polished and grittier. I’d like to see more drinking contests that end in the consumption of the local ocean. But! As long as Thor throws Mjolinir with such force that he is physically hauled off his feet, sent flying through the air after the less-than-perfectly forged thunderbolt, I will be one very happy citizen of Midgard.

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