Thursday, January 27, 2011

Idris Elba Getting Hammered

First off, am not card-carrying Heathen or Asatru, which am told by very PO'ed people means I have no opinion and should STFU before someone loads me into a large, conveniently handy piece of random siege equipment. Heh - like I wouldn't just steal the thing while they're busy indulging in Villain Plot Exposition Cliche 1.0.

That said, I offer a thought anyway that some of same PO'ed people have not included in various ranty-type things about Idris Elba being cast as Heimdall in the upcoming Marvel Comics movie Thor:


It's a MARVEL COMICS movie. Based on the Marvel universe. Where the Norse gods (or any other characters influenced by classic literature) have never adhered to what historical accuracy is possible in the real world, to the point of having been revealed as an alien race, and not gods at all.

Stan Lee was a guest at HeroesCon back in the 80's when all the Satanic Panic crap was in full swing. A question got asked about whether Marvel was "encouraging devil worship" by having characters like Dr. Strange, etc. Stan's answer (paraphrased by 20+ years of time lapse) was no, because the Marvel universe is a fantasy universe, and the books are about telling stories, not about religion.

He said that when he started out, he looked at DC comics' "Metropolis" and "Gotham City", and one thing he wanted for Marvel was to be more like the world outside his readers' doors. Nobody lived in Metropolis, but anyone who lived in New York could look out the window and imagine seeing Spiderman swinging by.

Does that mean they drew NYC accurately in the background? No, but they didn't need to because it's still a fictional New York. As far as Marvel is concerned, all it's characters are fictional beings, and I think that's actually not only smart but practical. If they tried to claim all the figures from myth, folklore, legend, and classic literature they borrow were 100% authentic, then they'd have the arguments between this or that interpretation by various faith communities. By not representing anyone accurately, they aren't trying to be a source of education, religious or totherwise. They're trying to tell stories.

Many of the people I see getting cheesed off about this are my age; I grew up with Marvel comics. If all the other inaccuracies over the decades haven't been enough to make them raise this much dust, this one shouldn't either. I said as much to one, and the response was "I've never read the books and didn't know about them till now". If the reasoning goes both ways, I may not have a right to an opinion about Heathen gods, but I have more rights than that goober to have an opinion on comics. So sayeth my mint condition, bought on the original release date, X-Men issue #137.

6 comments:

  1. Great post, Snoozepossum. I grew up with Marvel Comics as well, always preferred them to DC, not only in their characters but in artwork and storylines. People have to separate fiction from nonfiction when they go to movies. Movies are not primarily about reality but fantasy, and this is especially true about comic book characters.

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  2. Heh. I will confess a totally shallow interest in Thor, mostly having to do with the movie poster and the trailer. I wasn't a Marvel girl (Vertigo! DC!), no familiarity with the comics, nothing to compare them to. The spouse, however, looked into Norse mythology as a kid because of Thor.

    But seriously, you'd think people could separate (comic) reality from film adaptation of said comic. Different medium, different rules. (Does anyone ever kvetch because comic book bodies are anatomically unlikely? I. Thought. Not.)

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  3. Hrafnkell - Thanx muchly! Some person whose name I don't know commented that "bards are supposed to be faithful to the truth, not necessarily faithful to facts". Even the lore we do have about various heroes of antiquity doesn't always dovetail neat & pretty with everything else.

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  4. Cinnabari - thanx for the writeup you posted on A Heathen's Day - you do your homework!

    I've also met people who looked into the classical Norse pantheon because of the Thor comics; interestingly enough I recall a couple of them saying it was largely because the Marvel characters differed from the public school coverage of mythology and they were curious to make more comparisons. If a junior high age proto-heathen can make the distinction, adults should be able to handle it, neh?

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  5. I get kind of annoy when people fail to realize that fiction isn't FREAKING real. I went to reading by Michael Scott (author of the Alchemyst Serie) and after everything was finished there were a few Pagans there (my friends *sigh*) who started to lose all sense of perspective and began to say that Scott was mixing up his pantheons. I wanted to point out the Scott doesn't have any pantheons, but why waste my time?

    And talking about people being pissed off and superheroes issues... have your seen the Spider-Man musical? Oh.My.FREAKING.Gods!

    Check my last post. I'm sure you are dying to know my opinion lol

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  6. Magaly - LOL! Did; left snerk!

    So far, from everything I've heard from peeps I trust, I don't think I'd go unless it was free and I was about half toasted! Spidey wasn't ever a fave of mine; I actually like him best as Toyfare's Twisted Mego Theater did him.

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