How to Be a Hero, as Told by “Thor: the Dark World” (and other sources)
Last night, the Fangirls and Friends went to go see Thor: the Dark World. We loved it, universally. There was some dissention in the ranks with respect to the romance (Kizer and I are on Team Jane-Foster-Is-Boring-And-Useless-And-Thor-Could-Do-Better-And-By-The-Way-I’m-Watiting), plus you can pretty much tell the scenes which were tweaked by Joss Whedon when they flew him in to fix things, but the movie’s final fight scene was arguably the BEST fight scene I’ve ever seen in a live-action movie. There was also a cameo even greater than a certain surly Canadian in X-Men First Class. Also, Chris Hemsworth is a sexy lion.
Anywho, the film itself is a good time, but it’s opened up a topic which has always been a concern of mine.
Earlier that afternoon, Kizer and I had stopped by our local comic shop to pick-up our dwindling numbers of monthly comics (my feelings towards the New 52 are a topic for another day), and among my usual picks is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Miles Morales is an interesting character, and I wholly appreciate the lingering presence of Peter Parker’s supporting characters in the new Spider-Man’s life and exploits. Confused, Kizer asked why I still read the book.
You see, months ago, Miles’ mother was killed in crossfire between Venom and the NYPD. She died in her son’s (costumed) arms. Understandably, Miles didn’t take it well.
I took it worse.
Whatever your favourite hero’s origin, there is one common theme in all of their lives. They may come from privilege or they may have had to fight their way up from the bottom. They might have unparalleled moral fortitude or they could be straddling the line between light and dark. Their powers may stem from their genes, from another world, from margicks of the old world, or from the heights of modern technology. No matter these differences, they will almost always be the product of this one simple truth.
APPARENTLY… You can’t be a superhero if you have both of your parents.
Batman. Superman. BOTH Spider-Men. And now, because in this movie, where his mom is a bad bitch but ends up biting it pretty early, Thor.
An intruder is in the palace, Thor’s mother fights him off. She is AMAZING. This is after a scene where you see her visiting Loki (via hologram) in his prison cell, which she has had swankified in an effort to comfort him. She still loves Loki, but is honest with him in a blunt-yet-gentle kind of way. He, in turn, is a dick to her. Then she dies in a fight… WHILE NATALIE PORTMAN IS AROUND THE CORNER BEING USELESS.
But I digress (as you’ll find I often do).
She is tremendously talented, but ultimately outmatched because her foe is nigh unstoppable. Thor, of course, comes in just a moment too late. Just in time for a little extra traumatization. This leads Thor to release his brother and the two embark on a mission to save Jane (long story short, she’s bad at EVERYTHING) and stop a villain from gaining a terrible power (which they pretty much fail at).
I don’t know if you, dear reader, have also seen “Man of Steel,” a movie whose only saving grace was Henry Cavill’s glorious build, but you might recall the scene wherein Jonathan Kent dies. You know the one. The one where there is no reason for him to die? Yeah, that one.
Thor’s mom didn’t need to die. Jon Kent didn’t need to die. Xavier didn’t need to die in X-Men: the Last Stand (that FUCKING movie). These… These are plot devices. Cliches. That’s just bad writing. But this doesn’t upset me too terribly; my standards have forcibly been lowered by years of crap movies and comics…
No. The issue I take with this pattern is… How am I going to be Batman now?!
Since I was a child, and to this day, I have held on to the goal of, some day, being Batman. Minus the “Man” part, yes, but that’s hardly the point. I want to be a bajillionaire who spends her evenings beating the snot out of assholes. Doesn’t that sound like the life?
I save my money. I’ve studied hard. I workout. I’m a great shot and my throwing knives fly true. I make nifty gadgets in my spare time. I do it all! I’m so close. But I can’t get that brass batarang.
Because I don’t come from a broken home.
Now, I love my parents. I do. I don’t have any plans that involve shoving them off of cliffs or dropping anvils on them or anything… But… According to DC and Marvel, if I want to suit up, they’ve gotta go.
In the real world, we know that this isn’t a necessity– Oh, wait. Jon Stewart had Malcolm Gladwell on the Daily Show and they talked about his new book and how many of the most successful world leaders were once kids who had lost a parent at a young age…
So, my Bat-Boat may have sailed. Or, because I am a CHILD, this might just be my great sense of loss that launches me into a life in the shadows, verbally abusing people who argue over expired coupons and shooting jay-walkers with paintballs guns and such.
Mmmmmyyyeeeeeesssss… That’ll do. For now.
Meanwhile, as I retreat into the darkness to struggle my way into a latex catsuit and recall the original point of this post, I and the rest of my Fangirls HIGHLY recommend going to see Thor. See it 3D. See it in 2D. See it in Imax. I don’t care. Just go and make sure that they make the bank to keep on rolling out these movies. If nothing else, think of all of the people on the set of this movie who need your support. Writers, directors, gaffers, actors, editors, craft services, stuntmen, set designers…
Until next time, I’m off to the Bat-Cave/my Mom’s basement!