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Old December 14 2008, 06:02 PM   #1
Norrin Radd
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Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology?

After reading the Branagh interview on Thor below, I was wondering if you think Norse myths would be as popular today if not for Marvel.

EXCLUSIVE: Kenneth Branagh Breaks Silence On ‘Thor,’ Says Casting Talk Is Premature

Published by Josh Horowitz on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm.

"I am directing “Thor” or “The Mighty Thor’ as you might like to call it,” he said with a smile before clarifying what the title of the film will be. “I think it will be ‘Thor’.”

MTV has spoken to other writers about why Branagh would be such a good fit for the hero. But here was finally an opportunity to hear from Branagh about what appealed to him about the project. So what’s the appeal of “Thor,” Kenneth? “To work on a story about one of the immortals, Gods, extraordinary beings, inter-dimensional creatures,” he enthused.

He continued excitedly, “There’s science fiction and science fact and fantasy all woven into one. It’s based on Norse legends which Marvel sort of raided in a brilliant way.

So who will play Branagh’s hero? Asked about the rumors of Kevin McKidd being up for the role, the director waved it off as premature speculation.

“There’s been lots of talk [about casting] — I sound like a politician — but we are too early at this stage. We’re getting the story and the visual effects together and all of that is very exciting. Someone sensational is going to play the part but it is early days.”

Just because Branagh hasn’t worked on a project of this scale since “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” fear not. This “Thor” promises to be as large as the character would seem to call out for. “It’s a chance to tell a big story on a big scale,” said Branagh. “It’s a human story right in the center of a big epic scenario.”
http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/12/13...-is-premature/
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Old December 14 2008, 09:08 PM   #2
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

I wasn't aware Norse myths were particularly popular.
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Old December 14 2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

Marvel certainly greatly increased awareness of Thor in pop culture, I believe.

Branagh confirmed to direct Thor will be totally awesome.
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Old December 14 2008, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
I wasn't aware Norse myths were particularly popular.
That's because they're not myths, unbeliever.
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Old December 14 2008, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

It's long been fashionable to knock Branagh, but I've always been an admirer. Even if a lot of his movies don't appeal to me personally, I think he's a genuinely interesting character, an auteur and visionary doing his own thing. Hugely talented as an actor, writer and director.

The one concern I would have is that his commercial or American efforts have rarely gone that well. Frankenstein, Dead Again (admittedly under-rated) and The Gingerbread Man (in which he only acted) come to mind. I hope Thor is as good as it ought to be but I have a suspicion that it could be another Ang Lee's The Hulk. A noble failure, full of good ideas but not quite sure what genre it is. Having said that, the (admittedly very succinct) summary of the movie he gave in that interview definitely sounds like they're going on the right track. Time will tell.
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Old December 14 2008, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

I don't think that mythology is ever really unpopular but Marvel tapping Norse mythology for stories does help keep these kinds of stories in the current culture.
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Old December 14 2008, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

Silver Bells Surfer wrote: View Post
After reading the Branagh interview on Thor below, I was wondering if you think Norse myths would be as popular today if not for Marvel.
I think so. The reason is fairly simple -- Tolkien. He drew upon Norse mythology for names and ideas in Middle-Earth, from the Eddas to the Volsung Saga. There's more to Tolkien than that, of course, yet there are people who would read Tolkien and then want to explore the world that Tolkien drew from.
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Old December 14 2008, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

As a kid, my first exposure to Norse mythology definitely came from THOR comics.
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Old December 15 2008, 12:47 AM   #9
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
As a kid, my first exposure to Norse mythology definitely came from THOR comics.
Me too. As a child, I read some books on Norse Mythology and I'm pretty sure it was because of seeing the Thor comics first. So I would agree that they must have raised interest in the Norse mythology.
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Old December 15 2008, 01:11 AM   #10
Chaos Descending
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
I wasn't aware Norse myths were particularly popular.
I guess you'd have to read a Sci-Fi BBS once in awhile to pick up that fact.
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Old December 15 2008, 01:12 AM   #11
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

As a kid in the 60's, I hit the school library shelves for mythology books before I got into comics. I got into Superman, Batman, Spiderman before any of the mythology related heroes, but I was always reading mythology. I think actually that reading mythology and about the Greek heroes got me more turned on to comics than the other way around.

I may be the exception, but I think if our personalities go that direction, we seek out the genre we like.

I think for the casual reader who doesn't care for mythology, Thor comics exposed them to a few more names. The stories in Stan and Jack's era had little to do with actual mythology. I have friends now in their 30's and 40's who read all the comics but don't really care for the myths or traditional stories, so in my experience it didn't make the myths themselves any more popular.
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Old January 24 2009, 10:30 PM   #12
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

I think that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee did increase the popularity of Norse Mythology. In fact, it guided me to becoming a philosophy student. As an adolescent i struggled through the poetic edda because of Thor comic books. Although it has been quite some time since i have picked up a Thor issue i have recently decided to write my research paper on the question what is myth. I found myself rereading my old comics and realizing that Thor is my myth. The myth of the hero found in Nietzsche and Hegel is: he or she whom lives their life in respect to a value i.e. a symbol. This symbol as joseph campbell stated are forms of myth. "Myth is a manifestation in symbolic images, metaphorical images of the energies within us." Perhaps others find their symbol in terms of ideology, or hero worship of political leaders, or organized religion but mine is the construct of Thor. Thor is the cosmic force of the Apollinian good. Perhaps thor is a stylized simplification to the original idea yet why would there be a major motion picture being created of the comic book if it didn't matter, didn't have it's own importance in the pantheon of myth?
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Old January 25 2009, 06:49 AM   #13
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Re: Did Stan Lee/Jack Kirby increase the popularity of Norse mythology

I think it did. as a kid after reading Thor I would look up info about norse mythology at school when we were stuck in the library. I wouldn't have cared if not for the comic and knowledge never hurts
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