Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OK, I'm dropping Thor.

Before I explain why...

I remember waaaaay back when when Daredevil was written by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. One issue had a backup story of what a planning session between the two is like. Gene asked Stan to come up with the plot this time. Stan talks about what a genius he is for a few panels (to stall for time) then starts his plot idea.

Stan: OK, DD is stranded on top of the tallest mountain in Tibet.

Gene: How did he get up there?

Stan: You can figure that one out. Anyway, he gets in a fight with Baron Zemo...

Gene: But Zemo's dead! How do we bring him back to life?

Stan: Don't worry, you can figure that one out.

The rest of the story goes on like this, until the last panel when the men with white coats and butterfly nets came up behind them to take them away. After reading Thor lately, I'm convinced that story was true and not a parody.

How else to explain the way they rush disconnected ideas together, amass logical paradoxes, and spoo themselves out of continuity?

Thor sacrifices himself. He goes to the afterlife (not Valhalla) which is actually a kind of limbo where forgotten gods go to waste away for eternity. He becomes a kid and forgets who he is. The other gods tell him they can't leave because a big monster won't let them. Thor gets so emotional over this, he gets his memory back, and convinces the others to help him fight the big monster. They defeat the big monster and come back to life.


Somehow, when Thor died, everybody in Asgard forgot who he was. Everybody except for Karnilla and Ulik the troll. Ulik dresses up like Thor and takes his place. Even though everybody forgot who Thor was, there's supposed to be a Thunder god, so apparently any goob can dress up like a Thunder god and claim he's him.

While this diarrhea is spraying everywhere, Karnilla masquerades as one of the Fates. You know, the three Norns who CAN TELL THE FUTURE. Somehow, she could fake being one of them even though THEY CAN TELL THE FUTURE and would see her coming before she thought of doing it. Through this, she formulated plans to have Ulik take Thor's place, then does the villain laugh and kills the young maiden Fate. You know, the Fates who CAN TELL THE FUTURE and somehow didn't see this coming.

Why did she do this? So the trolls could sneak into Asgard and take it over while the Asgardians were too confused to figure out what was going on. Thor comes back just in time to save everybody. Karnilla then reveals she's one of the 3 Mothers who now rule Asgard. And, just so we the readers won't think the 3 Mothers are completely useless, one of them draws out her sword and defeats Karnilla in a couple of panels. Just like that.

Which of the three mothers did this? I forgot. It wasn't the one who always holds the baby, unless she handed the tyke off beforehand. It doesn't matter to Marvel anyway.

They cram all this into a four-issue story arc. MAYBE they could have pulled this off if they had stretched it out over a year and paced things slower. For instance, after Thor's gone, have a scene where Asgardians are defending the realm against some invading army that's pouring over their walls. There's several pages of battle, the invaders are winning, and the Asgardians are losing hope.

Right in the nick of time however, a familiar heroic silhouette with a winged helmet and a big hammer appears and saves the day. The Asgardians rejoice that the Thunder god saved them and he comes forth to claim his accolades, and the last panel of the story reveals that it's Ulik! Wait, the reader wonders, how did this happen? It's a great hook for the next issue, which the reader eagerly anticipates, right?

To quote John Belushi, "But NOOOOOO!" Instead of doing this, they cram it all together on one page, by saying the Asgardians now know the Thundergod as Tanarus instead of Thor. They show Tanarus striking a heroic pose, then continue on with life as usual. Absolutely no sense of mystery, intrigue or buildup. It's just a laundry list of events mashed together and printed in glorious color.

Seems like they're counting on the popularity of the movies to keep sales going and doing fuck-all for story development. Didn't they go bankrupt when they did something similar in the nineties? They thought everybody would just buy their crap because it was supposed to be popular. Doesn't always work. At least not with me any more.

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