I don't like Thor
I kind of tried to like Thor - there was so much hype and Coipel's art is so lovely that I figured I'd give it a try. I've been reading mainstream comics again for a relatively short time, so I thought it couldn't hurt to try something outside of my comfort zone, see how (if at all) my preferences have changed since I was a Marvel Zombie. If you're not familiar with the series, please do check it out because the pencils and colouring are beautiful. But--
Yeah, um. No Thor for me thanks - please keep your god-germs off my vigilantes, ninjas, mutants and mecha. And now for some reasons:
< RANT >
1. He parked his Aryan castle in the sky over the Midwest.
This is a dick move no matter how you try to spin it. And it's dickish on a number of different levels.
Thor acquired a tract of land in the Midwest by parking his flying castle over a farmer's field and then tossing the guy a truckload of gold. His negotiating position was basically: "FU mere mortals, I do what I want. But here's some shiny stuff for your troubles - mortals like shiny stuff, right?" The entire sequence is massively condescending and legally wonky. Not only does the transaction pose some problems for the farmer and the county in terms of taxation and property law, but it poses a huge, huge world shaking problem for the US and the international community. The world's superpower has essentially been invaded and conquered by an angry god who is likely to make his flying castle available to American fugitives as a safe haven.
Unless the story ends with the human race rising up and engineering a solution to their little god problem, this is not a story I personally want to read.
Forget his past heroic acts and former membership in the Avengers. A being who is completely outside the ability of humans to govern or restrain, has parked his house in American airspace - in the American heartland! - and intends to fill that castle with other 'gods' of nearly equal power, who are certainly equally, practically outside human jurisdiction. And he more than likely intends to help human citizens
break the laws of their respective countries, whenever he finds them impractical or unjust.
So what does it mean for the balance of power in the MU when the world's superpower has to bend over and take it from a 'god'? What does it mean for the species
when the world's economic/military/super-powerhouse can't govern it's own sovereign territory, or have jurisdiction over it's citizens?
2. He's a capital 'g' God.
Unlike Phoenix, Dr. Manhatten or even Superman (who's more human than Kryptonian), Thor is an Asgardian God and always has been. The question of why a god would want to spend time avenging wronged mortals and battling bank robbers and Nazis was answered by pairing the character with a human alter-ego. Thor had pissed off his dad and got stuck in a time-share with a disabled human doctor, and so learned to value humans as allies. However. New Thor does not seem to have such restrictions - if anything he's become more powerful than before and recently spent some time as an omniscient being. He's no longer a god who's forced to play with mortals, forced to hold back, as he says in issue 3, now Thor can show his true godly power.
Basically, what's on offer in this series seems to be "Blond God Pwns All".
There is no arc to his power, no story to it. It simply is. He has a very comfortable, untroubled relationship to his power and godly status - his power doesn't force him to reexamine his conception of humanity and humanity's place in the universe, because he's always had it. It doesn't lend itself to stories about the transformative possibilities of power because he's always had that power
And unlike Ares or Hercules (two other Marvel 'gods') Thor isn't part of an old, egomaniacal race of powered jerkwads who can comfortably play in the human world; he is posited as a true God. So much more powerful than the other Marvel heroes that he's a kind of story ender. Yeah, Thor showed up. Done. Especially now, when the character isn't constrained by the necessities of a team book, and he can just be totally, awesomely inhumanly better than us.
There are, I'm sure, many many interesting stories that can be told about a 'god' on earth but I'm certainly not part of the target demographic.
3. Asgard in America?
I've never followed Thor, but I'm told that they tried this before, over New York city. The story hinged on a Thor cult cropping up in the US. And then he went crazy. (I don't know - I didn't read it.)
Regardless - blond Norse God alive in America. Whether they go the cult route again, or opt for something completely different, I am so completely - beyond the telling of it, beyond the possibility
of the telling of it - uncomfortable with the idea of a big, blond Norse God alive in the US. Especially
when he is the only God alive in the US, when there is no sign of Hindu, Judeo-Christian or First Nations gods. Especially
when he is being presented as the true hero of humanity, he who is above the petty politicking of Civil War, Registration and all that jazz. He is the carrier of the true flame of heroism.
I mean, maybe I'm overthinking this but who the fuck says to themselves: "You know what America needs in these troubled times? A big, Aryan, hammer-wielding God-protector who will show us the true meaning of justice, heroism, moonbeams, kittens and the good life!"
The character could not possibly
be less representative of American ideals and yet - it's totally ok for him to spit on those ideals, on the political processes developed to protect those ideals, because he's a God!
He's above those things. He's above Americans.
He's above us - he's above the human race.
</ RANT >
Ok, yeah. I'm all wanked out.