Gladiator Hulk and The Illuminati: Thor Ragnarok Has It All

thor
Courtesy of Marvel Studios and Entertainment Weekly

I’ll be honest: Thor was never one of my favorite superheroes. His stories just seemed to always be generic fantasy-fodder, his solo movies never stood out, and he just felt like one of those characters who is overpowered to the point of being boring (I’m looking at you, Vision). Add to that a costume that looks more like a homemade Live-Action-Role-Playing suit than attire for an actual GOD, and we’re talking a hero that was rarely in my comic collection.

But news has been revealed on March 8th about Thor: Ragnarok in the magazine Entertainment Weekly, and this new information is beginning to change my mind about Marvel’s god of thunder. According to Entertainment Weekly, the film will center around Thor attempting to defeat the Norse god of Death, Hela (played by Cate Blanchett!). Entertainment Weekly also confirmed that Thor will visit the Gladiator-esque planet Sakaar, albeit not on purpose, where he will meet up with the Incredible Hulk.  

So why am I excited for this film? First, the inclusion of Sakaar hints at the film adopting plot elements from the comic Planet Hulk, where Hulk is sent into space by the Illuminati (long story) and crash-lands on the planet Sakaar. He becomes a gladiator there and challenges the authority of the Red King, tyrant of Sakaar. The story examined Hulk in a different light: a story where Hulk was allowed to run rampant and at the same time show the compassionate side of the Hulk we rarely get to see, shown when he finds love with an alien named Caiera. This, plus some kickass action set-pieces, made the comic one of my favorite in the Hulk series, and my hands are trembling with excitement to at least get a partial adaptation on the big screen.

The mysterious disappearance of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in the promotional pictures is also a huge draw for me. As you may or may not know, the hammer grants Thor his power: if he is deemed unworthy, he loses the hammer and thus its power. This hints at the possibility of the film covering the concept of Thor becoming unworthy to possess Mjolnir, and potentially passing the torch onto a new Thor (be it Jane Foster, the current Thor in the comics, or another potentially “worthy” candidate, like Beta Ray Bill). This theory does seem somewhat doubtful considering we still have Avengers: Infinity War coming up, but it’s a possibility.

bete
Beta Ray Bill. Courtesy of Marvel

Finally, I’m psyched for Thor: Ragnarok because IMDB.com has confirmed that both Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning in the film as Loki and Doctor Strange, respectively. Both actors have put their all into these performances, and I’m incredibly excited, like an average human being after their first sip of coffee, to see them reprise their roles along with the excellent Chris Hemsworth as Thor and the relative dark horse Mark Ruffalo (for this role anyways) as Bruce Banner/Hulk.

So, if you’re a fan of Marvel Studios, hammers and fists smashing into people’s faces, or just good action-comedies, make sure to go see Thor: Ragnarok in theaters November 3rd.

If you’re skeptical like I was, I feel like this movie will still most likely deliver.  Even non-Thor fans will still get the joy of seeing the Planet Hulk storyline realized and the advancement towards Avengers: Infinity War with yet another potential Infinity Stone-revealer of a movie.  So strap on your capes and ridiculous hats: it’s time to yell “FOR ASGARD!” one last time.

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