Today, Jack and Patrick are discussing Thor: God of Thunder 4, originally released January 9, 2013.
Jack: I’d like to start by saying that I knew a guy named Thor once. He was (and probably continues to be) a gentle, mild-mannered Army logistician of short stature, broad shoulders, and profoundly Scandinavian heritage. Most of his behaviors were marked by a kind of good-natured exhaustion and an uncomplicated gratitude for peace and merry-making. It was from him that I first learned the Ben Franklinism, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” I mention this not because it has any particular relevance to this issue of Thor, but because I am a creature of anthropocentric narratives; I require a certain amount of character development before I can engage a story, and it has become clear to me that in this case I will only get that character development if I bring it to the table myself, because Jason Aaron isn’t going to do it for me. I don’t really have a good grasp on who or what any of these characters are, both literally (I was never good on Norse mythology) and philosophically (what is a god?). I don’t much understand why any of them do the things they do, or what that has to do with the nature of the consciousnesses that I’m likely to encounter. That’s a particular and personal fixation of mine on storytelling, and I recognize it’s not everybody’s. In other regards, the craftsmanship is more than adequate. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Thor: God of Thunder 1-3, originally released November 14th, November 28th, and December 19th, 2012.
Shelby: We often praise Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman for its creative inclusion of the Greek pantheon in the cast of characters. In that universe, the gods are real, tangible beings who walk among the people, but we don’t see them doing much of anything. As far as I can remember, the only god in Wonder Woman we see actually invoked to do his job is Eros; most of the time, the rest of the gods scheme and plot to get what they want. Thor is different; he fights at the side of the Vikings and answers the prayers of those who need his aid. Writer Jason Aaron takes it one step further; for every weird and wacky universe Marvel has got, Aaron gives us a new set of real, tangible gods for it. He then asks the question, “If the gods are real, why can’t they be killed? What would happen to these civilizations if all their gods were dead?” It’s a heady question to be sure, and one that Thor has to face as he confronts the God Butcher at three distinct points in his life.