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Redefining "False Gods"

After years of soft-pedaling Thor to make it acceptable to a wide audience (the Norse viking trapped in the hammer during the Hulk TV movie), Marvel went balls out and made a Thor movie in line with the comic book, pissing off Christians with pagan gods be damned.  Some people were objecting to Heimdall being black.  Well, there's another group complaining now, saying that Thor misrepresents their gods and is offensive:

The truth is, I looked at the toys in my hands and I saw the result of millions of dollars of development and thousands of hours of manpower, put into something bearing the name of a god, my god, and it had nothing to do with me. Their Thor was a god forgotten by all except the few quiet geeks who read his adventures in Journey into Mystery and The Mighty Thor for forty years. It wasn't that they meant to upset or unsettle me; they simply realized that people like me were too few to matter. It's impossible to think of a story about Jesus like this, not written to pander to or irritate Christians, but simply not considering them at all.

All I know is, for once, we Christians aren't to blame for the pagans getting pissed off.  It's a nice change of pace.

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sinetimore
May. 8th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
Question 1 -- When Marvel started trying to expand its media presence, one of the things they did was start a series of Incredible Hulk movies with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. One of the ideas was to feature other Marvel heroes appearing in the films to act as back door pilots to launch other series. The first movie featured Rex Smith (Street Hawk) as Daredevil. The second one featured Thor. However, the script was rewritten because of concerns about how heavily Christian areas like the Midwest would view a movie featuring a pagan god and presenting him not just positively, but in a heroic light. So the character of Thor was changed from the pagan god comic book fans know to a Viking warrior spirit imprisoned in a hammer that would emerge when the hammer's bearer held it out and called, "Odin!" (Thor in that movie was played by the guy who played Little John in Robin Hood - Men In Tights.) It was a complete change done just to avoid protests.

Second question -- No, that's not what I was saying. During the recent holidays, I hear a fair amount of complaining about how Christians moved their holidays around in order to co-opt pagan celebrations (Christmas moved to the Winter Solstice, Easter moved to the spring celebrations). I'm not denying that things like this happened, and I'm not saying pagans don't have a right to complain, just that this is one time the pagans are angry and Christians aren't to blame, money-making is.
mornblade
May. 8th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
The funny thing is, the Norse are correct about Marvel's lack of consideration, but once again, Marvel hasn't been considering them for nearly 50 years, why would they start now?

"they simply realized that people like me were too few to matter." - While this may be true, Thor's Hammer jewelry is readily available, even here. I've seen it in regular jewelry shops, not just the ones at ren faires. So there are people who appreciate the Norse culture, even if they don't necessarily worship in it.

Heimdall could be black because he is a god, but traditionally is not, as there are no native black people in the areas that worshipped Norse gods. Therefore he should be white. While we are at it, Jesus should not look like Ted Nugent either.

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