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Yon issue doth stir mine icy soul! – The Mighty Thor #151

May 3, 2010

It should come as no surprise that a character whose first title I borrowed/pilfered for this blog is near and dear to my heart.  I love Thor.  I love him for the odd amalgam of goofiness and grandeur that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby threw together in his adventures.  You could go from the sci-fi mysticism of Asgard to Thor taking a ride in a New York City taxicab in the span of a page, and it all worked.

So here I am, finally getting around to featuring an issue of ol’ Goldilocks.  Why The Mighty Thor #151?  There’s no special reason, but last week we were all treated to the first look at Thor from the upcoming film adaptation, and there was also a leaked photo of the Destroyer as he’ll appear in the film.  I liked what I saw, and I’m still battling disbelief that next year I’ll actually be plopping my rear end in a theater seat to see Mjonir up on the big screen.  Crazy.  The resultant anticipation is, I suppose, reason enough for me to pluck this one out of the box.

The Thor installment in this issue is actually the midpoint of a larger story.  Poor Sif has had her soul or consciousness or katra or whatever placed inside the Destroyer (by the Queen of the Norns and Loki), though Thor doesn’t know that she’s in there.  She’s trapped inside the machine’s body, and Thor has – once again – been deprived of his godly powers by Odin (no Father of the Year nominations for Odin, I guess).  So both Sif and Thor are up the proverbial creek.

I’m hesitant to delve too deeply into the story since, like I said, this issue is right in the middle of a broader plot.  So instead, just let me tell you why I love the Thor books so much.  There’s really one thing that sets them apart from other contemporaneous titles, and that’s the dialogue.  Here are some examples from just this ish, spoken by our favorite blond:

“I knew thy pose was but a ruse!  But, ’twill avail thee naught!”

“O indescribable ignominy!  He hurls me aside as a child doth hurl a plaything!”

“Get thee back, thou evil abomination!”

“If die I must, let it be ever thus…With hammer in hand…and the cry of battle on my lips!  FOR ASGAAARD!”

I mean, come on.  How can you not love that?  It’s so wonderfully stilted, it has a “so bad it’s good” quality to it.  It makes me smile just typing it.

Which brings me back to my anticipation for the movie – I’m a bit ambivalent as that kind of wordplay finding its way to the actors’ lips.  As much joy as I get from Lee’s antiquarian vocabulary, seeing real flesh and blood people talking that way might make me squirm in my seat.  But then again, the director, Kenneth Branagh, has made film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays that are very much accessible to modern audiences (especially Much Ado About Nothing), so if anybody can pull such a thing off, I suppose it’s him.  That may even be why they hired him.  We’ll see.

I have my fingers crossed.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Mine fingers are crossed!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 7:19 pm

    In sweeping terms, I’m with you 100%. “The Mighty Thor” #182 was my first Marvel comic purchase.

    My socks were totally blown off. I was always a fan of Norse Mythology and here it had been made into superhero stuff. COOL. The series and character has soared to the heights and dipped into the sewer in the decades since then, but Thor has remained a personal favourite.

    Where we part ways is the “so bad it’s good” phraseology. One only has to get into a Shakespeare Rhythm and it works right well. I’d still take tortured pseudo-Shakespearean than some of the modern lingo various modern hack writers have coming out of Thor’s mouth.

    • May 4, 2010 8:14 pm

      Your point is well taken. I didn’t really mean to say Thor’s verbiage was “bad,” just that it works in spite of being so clunky. And that it works quite well at that, especially when, as you say, you get into it. Also, I couldn’t agree more with your “modern lingo” criticism – it’s like in the 70’s comics when a writer would have a hero say to some wayward youths “Hey you hepcats, let me rap with you for a sec.” Cringe-worthy.

  2. m lewis redford permalink
    March 12, 2012 9:50 pm

    forsooth

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