THIS WEEK IN CONFESSIONS: I’m not exactly the biggest Thor fan out there. Might as well get that out of the way early. It’s been established a number of times that I’m a Clint Barton guy, so I wasn’t exactly super hyped going into Thor the Dark World this past weekend, aside from the fact that we were promise TWO whole post credit scenes. I enjoyed the first Thor movie well enough ( which had a Hawkeye cameo!), but I’ve been riding that Captain America The Winter Soldier hype-train since that trailer dropped a few weeks back.
That TL:DR review of Thor: 2 is that it’s fun and a nice step up from the original movie. All the pesky origin stuff is done with, so we get a lot more Thor being Thor and hitting stuff with Mew-Mew this time around, all while Loki gets that Tumblr crowd money filling seats for repeated viewings. And most of this movie take place in Asgard/the non-Earth realms so there’s a very cool Star Wars/Lord of the Rings vibe to the whole thing that comes across as a giant love letter to Jack Kirby. All of the key players deliver, as Hemsworth’s more mature Thor is easier to root for, Kat Dennings remains a blessing and Tom Hiddleston is still perfect as the trickster god. This movie isn’t exactly the deepest thing playing in theaters, but it doesn’t pretend to be. Marvel has a winning formal for these movies, and The Dark World follows it to a T.
I do have 2 problems with the flick though. The first is the pacing. It starts off slow, but after the first 30 minutes, it takes off at breakneck speed and doesn’t slow down until the ending. And while could have been much worst, it could have been a tad better if certain scenes got a chance to breathe more. My other issue is Christopher Eccleston, and actor I adore from Doctor Who, isn’t utilized properly as the film’s big bad Malekith. I don’t understand why you would cast an awesome actor like Eccleston and not take advantage of his talents, or flesh out his character more? Any schlub could have played him the version of Malekith portrayed in the film for a fraction of what Marvel paid Eccleston, who’s an ultimately forgettable villains once the credits start rolling/
Despite my issues with the film, it was a fun popcorn film overall, and the mid-credits scene was AWESOME and sets the stage for another Marvel film dropping in 2014 (2 guesses). So go check it out, it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Now what if you’re fresh from the theater and want to pick up some Thor comics? “Where to start” you may ask, especially with a character as rich as Thor with great runs by a variety of talents creators like Kirby, Lee, Simonson, Fraction, Gillen, Jurgens and Romita and Copiel (also JMS). Assuming you can read, you’ve probably figured out that I’m going to suggest Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder, one of the BEST books to emerge from the plenty-strong MARVEL NOW relaunch over the last year.
You may remember me tossing some shade at these creators 2 weeks ago when I was discussing the ending of Battle of the Atom. While I still think critique was justified, Aaron and Ribic are operating on a different level here on Thor:GoT. Volume 1, The God Butcher. It is a very different monster from said event, and quite frankly, the results are much better for it. The elevator pitch for this 1st collection is simple, it’s Thor vs. a serial killer of gods. The hook is that this isn’t the first time Thor’s thrown down with this dude, and this book gets into some Doctor Who level timey-whimey stuff, only a lot more violence. A. LOT. MORE. VIOLENT.
This is the usual level of insanity for a Jason Aaron book, complete with a title that’s a KISS reference, but it’s Esad Ribic who really shines in this book. This title FEELS like a epic fantasy story, with the sort of beautiful brutality you get from Game of Thrones. You many cringe once or twice reading this book, because it does not pull back the punches when the fists and hammers are thrown, and Ribic does a fantastic job of drawing violence. The beautiful imagery is only strengthened by Aaron’s awesome heavy metal scripts, that give Esada a ton of awesome stuff to work with. With little knowledge needed to get into this run, I can’t recommend this series enough. There’s currently 2 volumes of Thor:GoT out now in hardcover, each priced at $24.99 each.