Which Thor Will We Get?

Wall of Thor!


As we sit here the summer comic book movie season is about to kick off (in North America, at least) with the first and possibly the most ambitious film, Thor, I can't help but look back at the previous Marvel movies we've seen and wonder, "Which Thor will we get?"

After watching the two Iron Man movies and the most recent Hulk movie, it became pretty apparent that the Marvel Movie Universe that Marvel Studios is producing seems to be the Marvel Ultimate Universe of characters brought to life on the big screen.  Sure there were classic elements of the characters we've known and loved since their creation in the 1960s, but that's present in Ultimate comics as well.  It's clear than when Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel Studios folk were drawing from the present day re-imagining of the classic Marvel characters.  If you disagree with this, look at the most blatant example: Nick Fury as played by Samuel Jackson, who Bryan Hitch originally used as a model for Nick Fury in The Ultimates.

So when I look at the footage of Thor that's been released already, I'm left scratching my head.  It seems as if the Chris Hemsworth brought to life as Thor is a bit more, in a visual sense, a merge of the classic Marvel Universe Thor (as currently portrayed) and the Ultimates Thor, with a bit of a advantage towards Classic Marvel.  Clearly we've seen the costume of the movie Thor which seems to be based on the Olivier Coipel designed costume from the J. Michael Straczynski run on Thor.  And yet, like the Ultimate Thor, he sports a light beard, which has made an appearance in the classic Marvel Universe. But over the years, Thor has been beardless for longer than he's been bearded, and he doesn't seem to be wearing the helm all that much.

Now that may be the visual inspiration of Thor, but what about Thor and the Asgardian origins in the Marvel Movie Universe?  In the Ultimate Universe, when he first appeared, it was suggested that Thor was not of Norse god origin, but then it was later stated that he was.  The dancing back and forth between the Norse issue seems to be the defining trait (Admittedly, I have not read the latest Ultimate Thor mini-series by Jonathan Hickman, so I may not be keen to the latest in the world of Ultimate Thor.).  Back over in the classic Marvel Universe, it's clear and indisputable that Thor is the Asgardian God of Thunder, with a long and rich history of Asgard and the Norse Gods. So where will the movie land? Will they actually work Gods into the Marvel Movie Universe?

We've heard rumblings of how they'll handle the challenge of explaining the Norse Gods in the Marvel Movie Universe and all signs seem to point to an answer that could be deduced via a prop they displayed at the San Diego Comic-Con last summer: the Infinity Gauntlet.  Seen (with much joy by on-lookers) for mere minutes at San Diego, they unveiled the movie prop of the Infinity Gauntlet and it's been assumed that the gauntlet somehow works into the Thor movie.  And yet, the Infinity Gauntlet has been a longtime staple of the Marvel Cosmic stories.  So if a cosmic artifact like the Infinity Gauntlet is in the Thor movie, could be it be deduced that they are positioning the Norse Gods as cosmic entities of some sort? Factor in the comments made by Kevin Feige recently, such as:

"And, we've got a lot of other characters we're prepping and getting ready for film debuts: …these great cosmic space fantasies…"

Could the Norse Gods of Thor be the entry point to the Marvel Cosmic Universe? It would definitely be a departure from the comics source material, but the balancing act between die-hard fan service and concepts that can be enjoyed by a mass audience is a delicate one, and ultimately despite our celebration of, or whining about, decisions made in these movies, they're always going to go for the option they think will appease a wide audience, and ultimately make the most money.

So what Thor will show up in the movie this Friday? I don't know and I'm anxious to find out.  I think Thor will differ from Iron Man in that the subtle line between classic Marvel Comics and the Ultimate Comics will be super blurry, and that's just fine by me.

Regardless of which persona of Thor we see on the big screen, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say I know what Thor we won't be getting and thank Odin for that:
 

  

Comments

  1. I’m proud of you for not using the term “616 Universe.”

  2. SPOILERS…

    No post-coital Thor 🙁 

  3. I want to see Beta-Ray Bill on screen.  Excelsior!!

  4. I’d say that, in the same way Christian Bale made Batman his own, Chris Hemsworth does the same for Thor. In both cases, elements from multiple comic book interpretations are present, but they are both very much unique.

  5. I already saw it, you’ll get a watered down “Ultimates” type of deal, in my humble opinion, the weakest of Marvel Studios independent efforts. Still entertaining though.

  6. @mithandur  It took alot of restraint – but whatever, I’m pro using 616 as a desginate – just didn’t want to scare off newbies

  7. The good Thor, my friends.

    Verily.

    http://matthewsmylie.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/thor/

  8. As long as it’s not Emo Thor.

  9. Didn’t Deodato design that HORRENDOUS mid-90’s Thor costume at the bottom of the article?

  10. The douche Thor that talks like Hulk…it probably wont be, but it’s a movie I’ll definitely see.

  11. Don’t know much about the comic character myself but I’ll be making the trip to the cinema to see this, unlike X-Men First Class, this looks very watch-able.

  12. I like that you can see a reflection of Ron leaning over the crowd of people to snap a pic of the gauntlet with his iphone 😀

  13. That picture of Thor on the 90s is insane. Glad I wasn’t around for that period.

  14. @spikevalentine  I’ve seen it too, but I don’t know what you mean by watered down Ultimates type.  The movie spent far too much time in Asgard for it to really feel like Ultimate Thor.  If anything, it reminds me of the X-Men film; a reimagining with a bunch of little nods to the source material (references to Donald Blake are like refernces to blue spandex in X-Men).

  15. Really based on the look of the movie I would think that its a combo of Walt Simpson’s Thor, Ultimate Thor, & a dash of JMS’ Thor might be in the mix as well. Either way this should be a very awesome movie.

  16. I think you’ll all be happy with what Thor you get on screen. Very much what you’d want from Marvel, and what you’ve come to expect.

  17. It’s like sliding into a train wreck. You know it’s going to hurt and the outcome is going to suck but you can’t do anything to stop it.

    It’s no way to get ‘new fans’ to check out the comics when the movies are a jumbled mixture of the good stuff and the ‘ultimate’ stuff.

    …then there’s the complete mess they made of Ghost Rider…

  18. This article was really excellent, (no surprise what site am I on) but I was wondering.  I don’t consider myself a Thor scholar but I understand Jane foster has wained as Thor’s long term love interest in favor of Sif.  I understand that changed as well, and she may not be his main squeeze any more.  Do you have any ideas about where the movie producers are planning for his love life. 

  19. Opened here a week ago.  Thor is pitched somewhere between Ultimate and Marvel Universe (which kind of describes the approach on all four Marvel Studios films, I think). The trailers and shorts had me worried, but I thought the final product was excellent.  After the weak Iron Man 2, Thor has renewed my confidence in the series.