We have always felt kinda sorry for any writers who had write for Marvel’s Mighty Thor comic books – and we feel especially sorry for I Am Legend scribe Mark Protosevich who is tasked with writing a screenplay for the Thor movie to be directed by Kenneth Branagh (of all people!) planned for 2011 . . .

Superheroes have done particularly well at the box office in 2008 with the release of Dark Knight and Iron Man.

Of course Marvel Comics is in the movie-making business itself now and no longer depends on outside studios to produce adaptations of their characters, cut out the middle man as it were.

One can see it in the way Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark / Iron Man character “crossed over” to Incredible Hulk. Expect this sort of thing to happen more in future as Marvel has already announced an Iron Man 2 as well as an Avengers franchise in the guise of The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers for the summers of 2011 and 2012.

Thor is of course the Norse God of Thunder – the dude they named Thursdays after. In 1962 Stan Lee thought the mythical character might make for an interesting superhero and along with scripter Larry Lieber and penciller Jack Kirby “updated” the character for the comics page. They even gave him a secret identity as is the tradition with superheroes. In this case he was Dr. Donald Blake, Thor’s crippled alter ego who needs a walking stick to be able to walk.

One day, strolling in a wood while on holiday in Norway, Dr. Blake discovers some alien invaders (from Saturn!) landing in their flying saucers. Hiding from them in a cave he accidentally strikes his wooden cane against the ground . . . and changes to the Mighty Thor, a big muscled dude replete with red cape, Viking helmet with wings and huge hammer!

"What is really disturbing is that the fact Thor has given his hammer a name . . ."

Yup. Seems that Thor’s daddy – Odin, the Norse leader of all the gods – wanted to teach his hot-heated son some humility and thus put a spell on him that changed him into weakling mortal Dr. Blake. Poor Blake didn’t suspect a thing until that day in the cave!

Anyway, it was all a good idea on Odin’s part as Thor is a bit, well, arrogant. No, let’s rephrase that: Thor is a ranting egomaniac. Seems as if the whole being a minor deity thing has really gone to his head. Only problem is that Thor’s stint as a Misgardian (what the Norse gods would call an Earthling) didn’t particularly help and for the rest of all the Thor comics our Thunder God still comes across as an asshole that is full of himself. In later comics Thor would so often wind up battling his daddy Odin that one would be mistaken for thinking that it was Oedipus Rex instead of Thor!

Anyway, despite the Viking helmet and red cape (he would be the first Marvel comic book hero with a cape to make it to the big screen) Thor has always come off as one of the more ridiculous superheroes along with Green Lantern and his power ring that can’t do diddlysquat against anything that is yellow and Aquaman who is useless outside of water.

Despite the camp outfit, Thor “flies” by swinging his huge concrete hammer really fast and then letting the hammer launch him into the air. Yup, you read that right. Looney Tunes physics in action. Also, if Thor is separated from his hammer for longer than sixty seconds he reverts back to being weakling Dr. Blake.

What is really disturbing though is the fact that Thor has given his hammer a name. It is called Mjolnir (pronounced mi-yol-lo-neer). I guess “Daisy” was already taken . . .


Next: "The singular most annoying thing about the Thor comics has to be the pseudo-Shakespearian English spoken by Thor and his Asgardian cohorts . . ."




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