Lovin’ Loki: When A Villain Evolves

As early news for 2012’s The Avengers began to spread, we learned (much like in the comics) the villain who would unite these heroes for the first time was a familiar face.  Loki Laufeyson had survived his self-imposed fall from the Bifrost at the end of 2011’s Thor and would be leading a Chitauri invasion force to take Earth as his own.  This had two major implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  First, most obviously, it gave the Avengers a reason to form.  Second, it showed the MCU was finally ready to depart from the default/cliché ending to almost every superhero movie ever.  A villain had lived!  This would be a game changer.  In allowing Loki’s character to evolve (over the course of five films by the time Avengers: Infinity War hits), fans have been able to embrace him as Tom Hiddleston has built an engaging, complicated, and evolving character. Continue reading

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The Great Chris Debate: In Defense of Chris Hemsworth

Guest Post by Kalie Zamierowski of Just Dread-full

I will be the first to admit: there are a lot of great Chrises in Hollywood right now – a lot of talented, attractive, funny men who warrant our attention. If you’ve been following the series so far, you’ve read two arguments: one explaining why Chris Pratt is the best Chris in the business, and one explaining why Chris Evans is. Well, I have no particular vendetta against Chris Pratt or Chris Evans or (the yet-to-come) Chris Pine – all of whom are brilliant, funny, incredibly good-looking men. Indeed, I might even assert that Chris Pratt or Evans or Pine were the best Chris in Hollywood, if….if….if Chris Hemsworth didn’t exist! But let’s face it, Chris Hemsworth does exist. Oh, he exists, and his wit, charm, and brazen sex appeal make him, undoubtedly, the best Chris. Let’s delve into, with a little more specificity, why Chris Hemsworth is the best Chris there is. Continue reading

Thor Odinson vs. Roxxon: You Can’t Serve Two Masters

In preparation for my paper on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture at the end of the month, I’ve finished reading his entire Thor: God Of Thunder series.  Following Gorr the God Butcher, Aaron introduces another villain who is equally rich in menace and theological significance.  Dario Agger, CEO of Roxxon Energy Corporation, will challenge first the Odinson and then Jane Foster when she becomes Thor.  In continuing his exploration of what makes a worthy god Aaron uses Agger as the personification of two of our most sinful and dangerous traits – the idolatrous worship of wealth and wanton environmental destruction.  These then are the forces a worthy god opposes.  Continue reading

Thor’s Battle with Gorr the God Butcher: A Question of Divine Implications

Jason Aaron began his run writing Thor: God Of Thunder by introducing the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.  For millennia Gorr travelled the cosmos, killing all immortal beings he encountered in the most macabre fashions he could imagine.  The story is obviously rich with theological implications, considering both the nature and purpose of our ideas of the divine as well as introducing the question that will form the core of Aaron’s run to date – what is a worthy god?  In preparation for a paper I’ll be presenting on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture next month, I’ve been reading all of Aaron’s work with Thor (both Odinson and Jane Foster).  My research also led me to many articles interpreting Aaron’s work as a sort of atheistic manifesto, something I felt warranted further discussion. Continue reading

Thor’s Day Salutes: “Whosoever Holds This Hammer…”

Legacy Characters have become a central (and vitally important) part of modern comic storytelling but Thor was doing it long before it was a trend.  Many sets of hands have held Mjölnir over the years and this Thor’s Day (that’s right Thursday…we’re going back to your original purpose and honoring the Thunder God!) I thought it would be fun to look at some of my favorites and consider why they’ve resonated with me.  (I also wanted to explore Mjölnir’s power set a bit, just for funzzies.)  I returned to reading Thor comics when Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder but my original run with the title was from 1991 to 1997.  Obviously there are more Thors than I’ll examine here, but these are my favorites :). Continue reading

Thor’s Day Salutes: The Thor Comics I Fell In Love With

I’m back with another installment in this (clearly random in occurrence (but c’mon…the school year is back (and that means grading and lesson planning (so blogging itself becomes more random (to make room for other obligations))))) series saluting my love of Thor as I continue to get excited for Thor: Ragnarök.  As makes total sense to yours truly, there’s really no better day of the week to celebrate Thor than on the day named in his honor.  So let’s celebrate Thursday by remembering it literally means Thor’s Day and looking at why Thor comics captivated me as a kid! Continue reading

The BIG Question: Which Superpowers Would You Choose?

I think this has to be a question as old as human imagination.  Right?  Once we began thinking of mythic beings, demigods, and superheroes – beings imbued with fantastic abilities – the next logical step after imagining their daring exploits would be to wonder what it would be like if we had those powers ourselves.  And that ties to the question this little post will consider – If you could choose, what superhero’s power set would you pick for yourself??  Continue reading