The other day, I happened to see Entertainment Weekly doing a piece on the new Thor Ragnarok movie that’s…going to come out at some point.
Not, I have generally enjoyed the Marvel movies and I actually liked the two Thor movies that have come out. While I will admit they were by no means perfect (what is?), I went with the first one being acceptably good for what they were having to do (not the way I’d have done it, but they did a decent enough job), and the second being absolutely fun when I saw it in theaters (for all its weaknesses). All in all, 8/10 would watch them again. And I actually bought them, which is kind of rare for me and movies.
After all, I loved the Warcraft movie and I still haven’t bought it.
So, needless to say, when I heard there was going to be a 3rd Thor movie, I was pretty happy. When I heard Hel was going to be in it, well…
I mean, seriously. Hel is my patron goddess, Queen of the realm I serve, and my wife (and waifu, lol). So anything with Hel automatically gets my interest. There was no way I was not going to get hyped about Hel showing up in the Thor movies. And when they announced she was being played by Cate Blanchett, while again not my first choice, it was still an excellent choice which I could fully go for. I mean, look at dis:
So I see this entertainment weekly about Thor on the cover, and I did initially think that was Sif beside him (and she’d decided to go Goth or something, because I hadn’t seen any shots of Hel yet), and I notice the black girl next to him. And I’m like: “Who dis?” Because…honestly she doesn’t look like any of the characters I’m familiar with from the Thor comics, but Marvel movies have been crossing over a bit so who knows.
So then I discover that was Hel on the cover (hot) and I’m all cool with it. I don’t even mind that Thor is dual wielding swords, because I’d heard the movie was starting off with him in a gladiator thing vs Hulk (sweet!), and good luck to anyone keeping Thor imprisoned when he has Mjolnir. Then I start reading the article and…
That’s where I run into problems.
See, the Thor movies have generally stayed pretty close to the Comics. Sure, the Dark Elves went from being what they were in the comics to discount Dr. Who villains (still cool) and Malekith went from being half blue and half blue (looking remarkably like Hel does in the lore) to being just all pale, but these were tolerable changes that fit the way the movies were working. And sure, Heimdall went from being white to being black (still…not sure how I feel about that), but Idris did a spectacular job of making him a bad ass guardian regardless, so all was (mostly) forgiven.
Well, turns out the black girl on the cover is Valkyrie. Which, don’t get me wrong, I was looking forwards to her possibly showing up in one of the movies (Hel, I’d have liked it if she got her own movie). So…why am I not happy about Valkyrie showing up in the movie? Well…this is what she looks like in the comics:
Now, do not get me wrong. The present actress is certainly beautiful, but…let’s be honest. There’s as much similarity between the actress and the character as there would be if you had cast Robert Downey Jr. to play Afro Samurai. I’m sure he could give a spectacular performance, but come on. There’s suspension of disbelief, and then there’s just fucking asking me to disregard reality completely. And I’m sorry, but they didn’t even try to get the costume anywhere close to the comics as a minimum.
So, needless to say I’m not exactly happy about it. And given how much everyone lately likes to scream about “racism” and “White-washing” and all this other stuff…well I’m sorry but if it’s not okay to cast “white” actors as characters of “color” then why the fuck is it still okay to cast “colored” actors as white characters? I’m sorry, but I am not cool with double standards to start with, and double standards based on race fucking piss me off. Because doubles standards based on race is racism.
But, I haven’t seen the movie yet. Who knows, maybe she’ll pull an Idris and knock the fricken role out of the park. I don’t know. And honestly, this isn’t the first time that Marvel has done this in the Thor movies and maybe they’re not intentionally trying to fuck over people in a racist manor by doing something with these movies that they do not do to the stories of people of other races (well, as a rule I don’t think they do). Maybe I’m just projecting my rage at all the racism on them and they’re innocent. I don’t know how likely that is, but maybe. Maybe.
Of course the comic book nerd in me is screaming at them shitting all over the continuity of my comics, but then again Disney did that to the Star Wars universe too, so really I don’t know why I expected better of them.
But fine, changing the race, and look, of a character to the point where visually it is unrecognizable? I suppose I can deal with that. Maybe, if the movie turned out good. But then Disney/Marvel decided to take an even bigger shit on continuity that frankly has left me with RAEGE.
Hela, apparently, is not the Goddess of Death in this movie.
Yeah, no. Apparently Hela in the movie is…an escaped prisoner and her goal is to destroy Asgard because they locked her up (because let’s rip off the mythological story of Loki, I guess), and instead of having all her death and sickness related powers, and ruling over the dead, apparently her powers are…growing weapons out of her body or something.
I’m not even fucking joking.
Now, do not get me wrong, that sounds like a fucking awesome story and potentially an awesome set of powers for a villain. But it’s not Hela. That’s not anything close to what her character was in the Comics (much less mythology). In the Comics, Hela rules over Helheim, and she takes possession of the Dead. Sure, she’s often a foe to Thor (and Asgard), but that’s because she wants their souls. And with them pretty much being immortal, she typically doesn’t get them naturally. And she’s a “Glass cannon.” Extremely powerful, but she’s not a melee fighter in the slightest. Thor takes her down in close combat pretty easily (though her powers do tend to make getting there a Hel of a challenge).
So…I’m pretty fucking miffed.
Cause not only are they disrespecting the Goddess I worship (not that I ever really expect much respect from Hollywood, but still), they’re disrespecting the comics I enjoy. And sure, they have no need to capitulate to my tastes (nor would I ask them too, unlike certain groups of people), it would be nice if they just…respected their own material and made stuff true to it. I like certain things because of the way they are, and all I really ask is that they stay true to what they are. But in the case of Valkyrie, it feels like they’re less interested in staying true to themselves, and more like completely changing everything to cater to a bunch of people who hate the medium, hate the stories as they are/were, and scream and cry about how they want it their way rather than the way it is.
Which…I suppose is a problem I keep running into over, and over, and over again.
See, I remember when the nerdier things in life were stuff most people didn’t like. It wasn’t cool, and you were lame for liking them. And I liked that. It drew a certain type of person together in groups, and it gave us all a place to just chill out and relax, to enjoy the things we thought were awesome without everyone else trying to make it suit their tastes.
Hel, my pretty much favorite era of comics is ones from the 90’s. The 90’s and that period of comics are often called the “Dark Age” of comics. Some do it because they’re being insulting, but it also is descriptive of the types of comics from that period. The 90’s were when a lot of the restrictions that had been on comics got lifted and suddenly everyone could tell all the stories they wanted to. No rules. And there was an explosion of dark, gritty, violent, and sexy comics. The sky was the limit, and it was absolute freedom of creation. Or as close to absolute freedom of creation as had existed since people tried to kill the comics industry back around the 50s.
The men were MEN, the women were WOMEN, the guns were YUGE!, the violence was over the top, the sexiness was absolute, and Gods help everyone it was awesome (or as they said in the 90’s RADICAAAALLLLL!!!!!)
So, basically everything fun and all the stuff that SJWs and the like absolutely hate and try to shut down (just like the moral guardians of the 90’s tried to do, which is why a lot of comics went so over the top, as a giant middle finger to the prudes). You know, what most people like to call “the good old days.”
Sadly, those days are long gone. Instead, “comics” are “popular” and that means you have a ton of people saying they’re fans, even as they try to remove all the things that made comics unique and force them to cater to their tastes. “Why are all the women sex objects, why can’t they be realistic, why is there all this violence, why aren’t you calling out all the people I hate and using your medium to spread my political agenda, etc, etc, etc.”
Of course, for all their popularity, most comics aren’t really selling that well. Because, funnily enough, it’s still that same core group who are the only ones who buy comics, and they’re also the group that comics seem to be largely shitting on with their political speeches. Which means the core group just doesn’t buy those comics. But the poison remains, turning once cool charters into political parodies of themselves…or just going on and removing the characters while handing over their names modified versions of their costumes to newer, more “politically correct and racially/sexually diverse” characters. Which, really, just further ostracizes the fans of the original characters.
Yet another one of those grand ironies that a group of people known for screaming about the “Evils of Imperialism and cultural appropriation” go around being Imperialists who culturally appropriate from other people and then try to terraform their new locations to meet their tastes at the cost of the natives.
Which ultimately leaves me feeling like a native wanting the gods damned invaders to get the fuck out of my country.