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Subj: Ironically, what many of you have in common with Aaron is you're using Thor as a platform for your politics.
Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 at 12:53:35 pm EST (Viewed 188 times)
Reply Subj: Re: So, the $64,000 dollar question is...
Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 at 05:02:29 am EST (Viewed 223 times)
LGDB: I think many of you are blowing this way out of proportion. At the same time however, I think Aaron has been pretty outspoken about his political feelings, and Marvel's editorial staff has also been clear about their vision for Marvel's future and its characters. I understand it must be pretty frustrating to have a political view you so seriously disagree with represented in a Thor comic, a character you would otherwise be very invested in. That being said, I think you're really exaggerating the danger, the permanence, and the out of ordinariness with respect to Aaron's run.
"You assume a lot here. Maybe he doesn't like the tokenistic and laughable casting of Afro-Carribean actors in roles that should be depicted by Caucasian actors, what with it being the Norse gods and that. OR, maybe he expects to see parity with the new Panther movie instead of it being cast like a modern day blacksploitation movie?"
LGDB: I don't think it's tokenistic to hire a black actor or that there's anything laughable about it. Idris Elba is fantastic actor. And I don't actually think the Asgardian (especially in the comics) should need to be depicted as white. According to the logic of most of the interpretations of the characters, the Asgardians are a group of otherworldly magical beings who were worshiped by early Vikings. We never get the sense that the Asgardians were supposed to have been created in the image of Scandinavian people, but the reverse. Whatever similarities that exist between the Norse Gods and the Vikings was due to the former's influence on the latter. So, I can't think of a reason why Heimdal or any other Asgardian god couldn't be depicted as a black person. If Heimdal being depicted as black bothers you, Jesus depicted as white must drive you hog wild, huh?
"Aaron has destroyed the character of Thor for no *narrative* reason whatsoever. His raison detre on this book has been to demonise the male whilst idolising the female, whist making these conceits mutually exclusive. Though not perhaps so eloquently put, Olivia's assertions are quite correct here."
LGDB: I don't think the character is or is being destroyed whatsoever. I think there's definitely been a deconstruction of the character (in the comics and on the big screen), and that there's nothing wrong with a characters being deconstructed every once in a while. I think ultimately Thor as a character will be better for it when he gets put back together. I have faith that the character is strong enough to endure through these superficial changes.
And when you say there's not a narrative reason, I'm not sure what you mean or what your standard is. The story is exactly about Thor becoming unworthy of Mjolnir, being replaced by Jane Foster, his journey to redemption, and her (it would seem) fighting for a hero's death. The very thing you take to be destroying Thor, IS the narrative.
And a lot of us don't see this as any kind of demonizing of men or maleness. I do think however, that you're at least partially right that Thor's has been weakened in a few key ways. In the service of Aaron's story about Jane, a story about a strong female hero, Thor has suffered some loses and experience crisis, I'd concede. But they're mostly shallow, recoverable, or in all likelihood temporary changes, and again, I think you're blowing them out of proportion. I think Aaron has a non-radical feminist undercurrent to the story he's writing. I think he's writing his female lead to be decisive, action-oriented, tough, assertive, brash, even to her detriment: character traits you don't often get to see women displaying in comics. And on the other end we're seeing the male lead being introspective, plagued with self-doubt, and struggling with his identity and his place in the world. I understand that those might not be the depictions you were looking for, but they're hardly demonizing or idolizing for that matter. Yes I think there are feminist undertones and some sort of feminist intention to want to write a story like this in the first place, but the idea that a writer can't be a feminist or express that through comics is silly. From my perspective Aaron has a run a decent balance of expressing these political themes without sacrificing or overpowering the story.
I think you're mistaking the fact that Thor is often an antagonist in the series with him being vilified. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that Thor Odinson isn't the protagonist of the series currently, but he plainly isn't. Jane is, and so much of the story is written from her perspective, from a female perspective, which means a lot of Thor's activities are going to frustrate her and that he's often going to be an obstacle to her aims and ends.
Furthermore, there have also been plenty of great moments where Thor is characterized terrifically and that show him to be complex and multi-dimensional and noble and you're missing out on these lionizing instances, or ironically understating them because you disagree with what you take to be the broader theme. In this series Thor's been depicted as heroic plenty of times (e.g. standing with Karnilla at her final moments); powerful (e.g. using his lightning to back up Jane and fend off the Phoenix, not to mention his thumping of Thanos's stooges off old Asgard); as well as a repository of wisdom (e.g. recently confronting Jane that she's brave enough to fight cosmic threats and villains, but she's succumbing to fear and running from her cancer.) It hasn't just been a wall-to-wall smear job against the classic Thor.
"I think it's the denial of Aaron's primitive agenda that infuriates many here. Anyone seeking to defend the pretty egregious dismantling of Thor (for what's clearly not narratively motivated) is pushing their own personal politics into a specific character forum. It's not the people don't like opposing views. It's when certain factors knowingly collaborate and expect others to drink it down."
LGDB: I think this is you knocking on an open door. Using the word "agenda" makes it sound illicit or insidious, when in fact it's par-for-the-course. Aaron like all writers has a political world view and some kind of moral vision. I mean, we're talking about a fictional world where good guys and heroes fight bad guys and villains to protect the world and uphold justice. Comicbooks have always been a moralistic sand box. I think you and others just find it more conspicuous now because you disagree with this politics and this morality that's on display. Obviously you're entitled to those feelings, but I think it isn't the case that this stuff is more political or that the writer here has more of an agenda. And I don't think anyone's expecting you to drink it down. I think whether or not you think that the people at Marvel really are progressives or cynically trying to make a buck, I'm sure people like you were a calculated risk. I'm sure that they were certain they were going to lose some fraction of the old readership just by making Jane Foster the resident Thor. But I think they also expect to pick up new readers, associate their brand with progressive values, and maybe express their own values. That is to say no one's asking or expecting you to buy anything. I'm sure they assumed you wouldn't.
"It's been going on a long time now. Alonso was fired and Marvel's silence has spoken volumes. When I posted Marvel's disastrous sales all sorts of idiots actively tried to discredit the SJW correlation and the terrible effect this was having on Marvel's books. Marvel is a big fat corporation that doesn't need shill fans crying foul when genuine supporters don't like what's going down."
LGDB: This misunderstands where your opposition is coming from. Very few if anyone defending Marvel's seemingly progressive decisions are doing that because they're shilling for Marvel or think it requires their protection. If they're defending it, it's way more likely it's just because they're liberal, leftist, progressive, etc. and they authentically share those values. For my part, your not liking what's going down isn't foul. There's plenty of editorial decisions Marvel's made in the name of progress or equality that I don't like, that I think have been ham handed and cynical. But I do think that you have a tendency to greatly exaggerate the harm here to the character or the level of insult inflicted by Marvel. And ironically, much like Aaron, I think some of you are using this comic as a platform to air unrelated political grievances.
---the late great Donald Blake
P.S. I think Aaron's run has been fantastic and that it's one of the best since Simonson's.
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