Thursday, 5 May 2011

Thor (Movie)/Ultimate Comics: Thor

Painting Perun - a Slavic analogue to Thor in some ways - in recent days amid seeing the Thor movie and re-reading Ultimate Comics: Thor prompted me to put down a few thoughts.

Thor (movie)

I really enjoyed the movie; I am a comics fan and so I am occasionally wary of the (necessary) liberties taken with film adaptations, but this felt faithful enough to the source material to be recognisable and respectful in my view. I thought it was a well-structured film that managed to incorporate a lot of the Thor/Asgardian comics-mythos without being overwhelmed in doing so. I enjoyed that they got the explanation of what the Asgardians were/are done and out of the way so quickly that the movie could get on with being what it was.

I really liked the designs - echoing the source material sufficiently in so many instances. I thought Chris Hemsworth played Thor as a good translation of the early comic book persona, and I loved the Clint Barton (Hawkeye) cameo, as well as the end credits scene. The three central male Asgardians - Thor, Odin and Loki - were all well-cast, and I thought Tom Hiddleston's performance was great and subtle where it needed to be. Thoroughly recommended, and after the end-credits scene, roll on Captain America and next year the Avengers. I wonder if we have seen a plot point for the team movie?

Ultimate Comics: Thor

Following on the heels of New Ultimates, this series concluded just before the movie launched. The art is great as I love Carlos Pacheco's work on stuff like Avengers Forever and Ultimate Avengers, and the writing was great on a book which essentially sets out to define an origin for Ultimate Thor, a character from the first Ultimates series. What we see is a story not weighed down by decades of regular Marvel continuity, but that at once sets out to reconcile the Mark Millar vision of Thor (Ultimates; Ultimates 2) alongside the version seen in New Ultimates (which, under the oversight of Jeph Loeb, alas resorted to the old-Marvel cod-Shakespearean Asgardian dialect - a big mis-step in my view), while explaining both Thor's ablities and his relative lack of power compared to the reality shaping power possessed by Loki in the earlier Ultimates stories. The story takes place across 3 eras, and features Ultimate Asgard, Frost Giants in the German WWII army, a small side-mystery, and a neat explanation that posits Thor into the Ultimate Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed it at first, second and third sitting so wholly recommend it to anyone interested.

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