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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday supervillainy - A review of Thor plus a special bonus or two.

This review of Thor is making me salivate (kind of) - it sounds like a heap of fun. I guess I'll go along and see it in a couple of weeks when it's released here.

While “Thor” is not a perfect film, it is the best from Marvel Studios yet. The lessons learned from their previous attempts are evident here, with a strong storyline that doesn’t have any major weaknesses. The film deftly expands the Marvel Universe in film, taking bold steps to set itself apart from the pack, with a great set-up for what may be the ultimate super hero cross over.
Which leads me to this piece of nostalgia from my childhood - an old (1966) Thor cartoon available on YouTube. As usual, our hero is engaged in conflict with the cunning god of mischief, Loki. Gotta love the voices, especially Loki's. 

For those who are wondering - and I assume that most of my readers are too young to have seen this when it first appeared - the animation style was clunky even for the time, in fact deliberately so. There was plenty of slick animation on television in the mid-1960s. The idea was not only to save money, though it certainly must have done that, but also to present something much more like the experience of a comic book than an ordinary cartoon.

Enjoy!

Or for metal fans, try this Thor-oriented rock video, which guest stars Thunderstrike and Beta Ray Bill.

6 comments:

Terry Frost said...

I'm just waiting for them to make a movie about Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner and the whole cadre from the 1966 cartoons will be translated to film.

Russell Blackford said...

I love Namor, but his popularity seems to have waned for some reason.

Terry Frost said...

Me too. In the cartoon he was voiced by John Vernon who was in "Point Blank" with Lee Marvin and played the Dean of the College in "Animal House". I think he could work as a movie hero. CG water effects have improved enough to carry it.

godsbelow said...

Namor's been getting quite a bit of exposure through the X-Men comic franchise lately, plus there's a new limited Namor series. Perhaps some people at Marvel are trying to build interest in a Namor movie? A narcissitic, ultra-powerful character who chief desire isn't to protect mankind, but his own people, is great material for a very different kind of superhero.

Incidentally, I remember watching the '60s Thor, Captain America and Namor cartoons when I was a kid, too...in the '90s! That was in Zimbabwe, however; it's a good example of how up to date our TV programming was.

Spencer Troxell said...

I like Thor, but for some reason stills from this movie keep reminding me of the live action version of He-Man that came out when I was a kid. It makes it hard to get excited.

Russell Blackford said...

Unfortunately, the Namor series - which was intended as an ongoing - hasn't sold well and its cancellation was announced the other day. It won't go beyond # 11. But yeah, Marvel has been giving him quite a push and hopefully that will continue in UXM and related books.

And yeah, Namor is a great character for those reasons. He's arrogant, narcissistic, and all the rest, does show some compassion for people generally, but is primarily and obsessively devoted to his own people. Often over the decades he's been portrayed as a villain.

All of which means he'd be insufferable in real life but is a really fun character.