I couldn’t help but think about what attracts us to superhero figures, and especially that traditionally boys were the ones who read the comic books. I realize that fantasy and violence are two things boys enjoy more than most things; however, why is the idea of a superhero something men have clung to, and now women are attracted to more than ever? Superman was published in 1938 which was the beginning of the “Golden Age” when comic books came to the forefront. What was happening in the world? The persecution of Jews was steadily increasing, Hitler occupied Czechoslovakia, a hurricane killed 700 on Long Island and a crippling recession caused unemployment to rise back to 19%. It seems America was in desperate need of a break from suffering, and it’s no surprise that the film industry was in its heyday with films like “Boys Town” “The Citadel” and “Pygmalion” which are still well known today as a way of escaping into a world that is better than the one people were living in. The Roaring 20’s were still fresh in many people’s minds and now that memory turned to bitter envy of a life they once lived or a dream they no longer could attain.
Superman was an idea that boys could grasp hold of; rescuing a damsel in distress and being the most popular guy in town. It seems as the generations went by, people like Stan Lee became more creative and as adults suffered more atrocities, the idea of a hero took hold of all generations. Even in my generation in the 80’s for the first time millions of kids from 5 and up were latch key kids home alone for several hours. Many parents (including mine) bought their kids comic books to keep them out of trouble and to give them a moral center of how good triumphs over evil. Now that message reaches many through the form of film which holds the same premise as the comic books they are modeled after and is one of the highest grossing genres in film history. In the top 100 all time box office sales, Science Fiction/Fantasy (excluding animation) dominates the genre with 62 titles, 11 of which are actual comic book figures, and many others the same concept which includes Star Wars, Harry Potter, Men In Black, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Hancock. Many of the other titles are fantasy cartoons that were enjoyed by adults as much as their children and provide a kind of escape. Thor is that very kind of movie and is part of an onslaught of DC and Marvel characters trying to get their piece of the movie audience pie; or should I say “wallet.”
I have to admit, I didn’t care for Thor the firs time I saw the movie. I went to the theater and saw it in 3D, (who wouldn’t) and found it to be lacking depth in the development of the romance and depth of Thor’s character. Later, I saw it again in the theater and had a different perception. I recommend anyone to see a movie more than once if your opinion differs from the majority because a person’s mood can greatly affect the lens from which you view the movie (pun intended.) Although I still maintain that the character development of the romance between Thor and Jane to make it believable that he would risk so much to get back to her, the depth of Loki, Thor and Odin’s character left me with much more sentimentality the second time. First of all, Thor made a tremendous change in his behavior and attitude when he was led to believe he was forsaken. Although it was quick, I do like that it left more time for action and the awesome special effects. The overall message of humility being “great power with great restraint” means that a good leader has the ability to inspire and strategize to make others great rather than ones self. This is what Odin inspired to do with his two sons with poor results. His desire for greatness was not matched with the same understanding by either. Many parents can relate to the idea that one can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Although conflict can bring great pain it can also bring the desire to change through suffering, and this is what Odin tried to do with Thor.
I think many of us take certain things for granted and only appreciate them when they are gone, like loved ones on our lives. Unfortunately it is too late in these cases, and we all must make an effort to take our second chance earlier in life. This movie made me think of the areas in my life where I am stubborn and unwilling to change, such as my finances and eating habits. Perhaps if I appreciated my health more I would make better food choices, or if I was satisfied with what I have I would save more. This movie is inspiring for anyone that sees it that I have talked to on some level and I hope that it inspires you too.