Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

The Thor Message Board >> View Post
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Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
In Reply To
Late Great Donald Blake

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,965
Subj: Re: The Politics of Marvel Comics, and Common Ground for the Thor board.  [a short essay]
Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 at 11:41:47 am EST (Viewed 350 times)
Reply Subj: Re: The Politics of Marvel Comics, and Common Ground for the Thor board.  [a short essay]
Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 at 02:36:54 pm EST (Viewed 352 times)

    LGDB: I really don't want to be a contrarian, but I don't agree. I don't think either have been unlikable. I think the real Thor needs to sort of get his ass in gear, that is, get out of the self-doubt funk, but I imagine he will. I think Aaron is writing Thor as a kind of dynamic character. That he's going through something that we can imagine he'll overcome. I think people are mistaking the nadir of Aaron's Thor Odinson story arc with a new status quo he's trying to create.

Aaron's Thor is emo-Thor and has been for 3-4 years...how did you put it...'sulky lush'.

    As far as Jane-Thor I agree a bit more that she's being written as somewhat unlikable. But I think this depends somewhat on your perspective and how sensitive you are to attitude.

On top of the politics its just too much.

If Jane had been likeable, fun, respectful towards Thor and Odin, humble in her having the power of Thor then I maybe could have stomached some of Aaron's political preaching because I would have grown to like Jane.

    Aaron seems to be writing Jane as headstrong, unapologetic, decisive, and so on. Basically I think he's writing Jane with the same character traits and behavior we might associate with Thor. I think there's some portion of fans that are a bit misogynistic and find it off-putting or even offensive to see "strong women", which is to say women exhibiting characteristics we associate with dominant men. I think it's true that there's probably an underlying unconscious bias most of us have with men and women; that we perceive the same behaviors and reactions differently depending on whether the subject is a man or woman. (I know, I know, you've heard this all before.)

Being a 'strong woman' doesn't mean taking on the traits of a man...let alone the name of a man. Those last two are facets forced upon modern female characters by SJWs (the 3rd facet being their Mary Sue status).

Strong (non-masculine) female characters: Princess Leia, Ripley,

Masculine SJW Mary Sue's: Rey (Star Wars); Michael (Star Trek)

    But, I do think Aaron takes this too far. Sometimes Jane's assertiveness moves into a down right rudeness or even abusiveness. Her decisiveness sometimes slips into recklessness or even a propensity towards being prone to violence. In otherwords, in trying to write Jane as a strong woman, sometimes she reads more like a bad man.


    Somes Jane-Thor reads more like overcompensation for equality. Moreover, it's not clear to me whether this is intentional on Aaron's part. If it is, his writing is more sophisticated than I would have originally given it credit. If he's not self aware about it, I'd say it's understandable given how difficult the territory is to navigate. That Jane, in the context of trying to save the world can be kind of a bitch sometimes just isn't a capital crime.

It seems to be the way Leftists write 'strong women'...as men.

    And to put it in relative gender context, it's not as if comics are untouched by ornery heroes. Namor, Quicksilver, the Hulk, Wolverine, etc. are all characters that can be unapologetic jerks, but it's the reason we love them. Or at very least we love them more in spite of these character flaws.

Characters who 'earned it' over the years although notably Namor and Quicksilver started as Villains and Jane's recent behaviour towards Thor is something more akin to what I would expect from a villain and not a former lover. Hulk generally has the brain of a neanderthal.

I don't know much of Wolverine (from the comics) - does he disrespect a lot of women? I'd doubt it.

If anything Jane-Thor probably reminds me of the barbaric 'younger' Thor of Aaron's Three Thors storyline...and let's remember THAT version of Thor was unworthy.

    LGDB: Well I think you're conflating a theme in his story for a point he's trying to make or a position he's holding. I think doubt in the gods is something that gets bandied back in forth by characters in the story, and the issue is thematic, but I don't think it's clear this is a point Aaron is trying to make. Afterall, he's certainly writing god characters that are noble and heroic even while he's calling into question the legitimacy of the gods. While in this point in our story, Thor's decided gods aren't worthy, the larger story has been more complicated. As a matter of fact I think his God Butcher sort of conflicts with your speculation about his position on gods. What is a Gorr but a character whose overly anti-god zeal lead him to become a genocidal monster who became a dark and deformed version of the very thing he hated. Aaron's angle for that portion of the story certainly wasn't Gorr was right. I don't think that's how you depict a character whose meant to extol your values. So, I wouldn't mistake this doubt that's snuck into Thor's head in the context of the story with a value that the larger story means to communicate. I think Aaron's position as articulated by the story is that the gods aren't above judgment or the gods aren't above ethical reproach. That a gods moral status is dictated by their actions and not by their station.

Aaron's angle WAS that Gorr was right...otherwise Thor wouldn't have questioned his worthiness.

    And Aaron might be an atheist, but there are a lot of different kinds of atheism and different reason for being one. I'm personally an atheist, but that's only because I doubt the existence of god or gods. I think evidence and argument (from what I've come to) don't lead to that conclusion. But I don't have disdain for the concept of gods. If gods exist I wouldn't be repulsed by pure dint of their divinity. I mean my favorite character of all time is a god. lol So, I can't go along with the idea that because Aaron is an atheist his story that's critical of the idea of gods is an automatic expression of that atheism.

I'm a deist (basically an optimistic atheist), but the problem here is that the gods knowingly exist in the Marvel Universe; therefore with mere disbelief off the table as an option Aaron has chosen to discredit and devalue instead.

    LGDB: Well yeah, this is a great moment, but it's just a single line. It's not the sort of expansive Thor story that Aaron is weaving. I take your point that you don't NEED to write a story to make this point. But you don't NEED to write a story for any reason. What I was getting at is that Aaron had created a Thor story where Thor is struggling with his identity and that that was one way he was creating a multidimensional depiction of Thor who was dealing with an inner tension, and those are elements to good story telling. I don't mean to say that him writing this kind of story was the only way we were going to get at an answer.

Aaron's Thor story is so 'expansive' Thor is barely in it, lol.

    LGDB: This is the part I guess I can't understand. I mean Thor's definitely doing heroic things in Aaron's run. He's still fighting the good fight and risking his life to do what's right. He's undoubtedly being a warrior; he's kicking ass all over the place. I alluded to a few examples in my previous post. I could name more, but Thor not being a warrior for me is a hard sell. Him not being a role model/icon I think is a bit harder to argue. I mean currently, self doubting drinking Thor probably isn't a good one, and without the hammer, cape, and helmet all the markers of icon have been kind of stripped away, so I'd reservedly concede that last one. We'll just have to see what happens.

We can agree to disagree and I'll defer to your opinion on this one since you are certainly reading more of Aaron's run than I am amigo.

    LGDB: Yeah this part just kind of sucks. Like I said, I'd prefer it were a 50/50 split if Aaron was going to do this story. Rather than the kind of 85/15 ratio we've been getting. I think this was a tactical error on Aaron's part in that it alienated a lot of older fans, and it doesn't serve the story that all that much. That is to say that if this story was as much Thor's story as it was Jane's, even with her having Mjolnir and him struggling with doubt, I think fans would have accepted it as a story of Thor suffering or being temporarily laid low or dealing with being replaced. This is a theme I think fans classically are patient with or even appreciate it. I think replacing him in this semi-permanent, open ended way was the real error that drove fans away in droves. And didn't really attract more new fans than I think a 50/50 split would have.

I can sort of see Aaron's reasoning here - he had to commit to his vision of a female Thor and while the 50/50 split would have been more palatable, I just don't think it reinforces his stance that Jane IS Thor. So while I 'hate it' in a sense, I understand his reasoning.

That said my problem is with the political reasoning for the whole storyline in the first place and the emasculation of Thor to reinforce how much better Jane-Thor is. I think that's mainly what drove the fans away.

    LGDB: Well he's getting a hammer back. Still pretty mysterious as to where it comes from or how it comes into being.

Could be interesting. I'll give it a chance as long as Aaron isn't writing and Jane is killed off/not involved.

    ***my theory is that it's going to be forged out of what's left of Mangog's body after he's defeated. Which is why it's gold.

So he'll have a hammer made from a being of pure 'hate'...what could go wrong. \:p

    But I'm sure eventually Thor's going to be reunited with Mjolnir. If not by Aaron himself, then by the next writer. I could be wrong, but I think that's where the good money's at.

Then all they have to do is resolve all this God Storm silliness...

    LGDB: Yeah I don't really get this either. I don't think it's meant to emasculate Thor in that if that was the goal you'd do something that would affect Thor's abilities or performance. In this case Thor with his real arm and Thor with his uru arm appear to operate at virtually the same different. I think technically it does disfigure him,

Exactly...how often would you envision kids saying "when I grow up I want to be a hero with only one arm"...?

    but he actually looks pretty cool with it. Part of me thinks that the decision purely aesthetic. But there could be other reasons. Like, maybe Aaron just wanted to put him mark on the character in a more permanent way and he's hoping that further creative teams will keep it going.

'Luckily' this sort of thing only happens to white alpha male characters.

    Or maybe it's just meant to symbolize everything that Thor has lost. Or further, maybe he's emphasizing how important the hammer is to Thor in that Thor loses his arm and his hammer (lol arm & hammer) but that he's way more upset about losing the hammer.

    Agreed that if it had been me, I definitely would have made it a bigger scene.

It was very badly orchestrated.

You address Omnipotence...tread carefully.
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