Friday May 06, 2011
Forsooth, Today Verily is the Day!
The 2011 Vintage Marvel Comics calendar that Patricia gave me for Xmas features, for the month of May, an old Thor cover—to be precise, Journey Into Mystery #123, with the Mighty Thor—which, given the movie being released today, feels entirely appropriate. For a time, in fact, I wondered if the calendar makers had done this intentionally but it seems merely serendipitous. Avengers #4, with that great, energetic Jack Kirby cover, “Captain America Lives Again!,” was featured in January, while the movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” is slated for a July release.
The Thor cover is also a Jack Kirby cover, and also features the hero moving toward the viewer, but there's less movement in it. He feels musclebound and turgid. As did Thor, to me, as a kid. I was never a fan and rarely bought the comic. That corny Shakespearean dialogue. Asgaard. Odin and Loki. Lame med student Don Blake goes for a walk, sees aliens, flees into a cave, gets trapped, uses a stick to try to free himself but accidentally taps the stick on the ground in such a way that he turns into THOR and the stick turns into THE HAMMER OF THOR and he defeats the aliens and becomes this new superhero in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Later we learn, and he learns, that Don Blake is the fiction and Thor the reality. Still didn't appeal. Despite the fact that all Lundegaards get weekends free in Asgaard. It's a double-a thing.
Which means, to me, today's movie doesn't have much to live up to.
But dig that Journey Into Mystery cover caption: “While a Universe Trembles!” So over-the-top it couldn't be anything but Silver Age Marvel.