How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dusty Ayres, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And this is a good opportunity to revise that. I'd hope his Asgard would look more Norse in architecture, style, etc.

    He's already said he's getting rid of the old Thor's idiotic habit of talking like a Renaissance-fair reject (thank goodness).

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  2. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    Who said anything about a shortage ? I'm talking about the subject at hand - taking classically white characters and making them black for no reason other than being "progressive". Nobody's going to stop with casting. Spider-Man's parents will have been killed in a drive by, all his friends will be black too, Flash Thompson will be a gang member and all sorts of other stereotyped changes. Very quickly, what the kid sees on screen isn't the hero this boy looked up to, he's someone else's hero instead and then the "raped my childhood" threads start.
     
  3. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    You just said white kids need heroes who look like them too... which is fair enough. But even if every single superhero suggested in this thread had a movie come out where they're black, there would still be a glut of films with white heroes. So I do not see the problem, really.

    Then why bother with the middle-man? What is it about the comic book Thor as opposed to the kickass Thor of myth I grew up with (honestly having first learned of the American version through threads here about the movie I was a little miffed) which merits this filmic adaptation, in your eyes?

    Also, why an exception for Queztalcoatl, now that I think of?
     
  4. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did they also have spaceships and high technology during the 1960s - I'm pretty sure at one stage, Thor is flying around the Galaxy with an asgardian spaceship. Casting a black actor in this film doesn't raise an eyebrow from me - who gives a shit except for neo-nazis and rednecks?
     
  5. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Marvel will not pay for that film?
     
  6. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not the question. I'm wondering what Trent Roman sees in a Thor comic book movie, not what Marvel of course sees.
     
  7. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    It's not about quantity. Kids don't just shrug their shoulders and move on to the next guy.

    As I've said, it's a far better move to push existing black characters and make them iconic too.

    We should also not forget that it was a movie about a black superhero that started the modern comic book movie boom by showing it could still work while remaining relatively faithful to the source material.
     
  8. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    He doesn't do that in the comics anymore either (for the most part).

    The architecture of Asgard has always been a cross between medieval and sci-fi, because the Asgardians have had 2000+ years of development subsequent to the original myths, and the point was they weren't totally in stasis (though, depending on the writer, they're sometimes written as purely Medieval still, as with the recent Straczynski run; Matt Fraction has expressed more interest in the higher-tech aspects for his upcoming tenure).
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, but all movie versions are "adaptations" by definition. And we're talking about casting new movie versions.

    Action Comics #1 also took place in the 1930s. Does that mean all movie and tv version need to be period pieces, because that's how it was written and drawn then?

    Again, times change. What worked seventy years ago is not the only way to do things now.

    And as for the shortage of white superheroes on film, let me add Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America, and the Green Hornet to the litany. All of whom currently have movies in the works.

    Then again, I was a white kid who read BLACK PANTHER religiously . . . .
     
  10. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

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    ^I repeat - I never said there was any kind of shortage of white heroes, only that they are not interchangeable. If a little girl looks up to Wonder Wonder and some writer kills her off, she's going to be devastated. She's not going to just shrug her shoulders and move on to some other superheroine.

    I would much rather see black heroes, old and new, promoted as well as white ones instead of playing patronising casting games but the main reason they are held back is the same reason everyone here is saying you couldn't cast white actors to play them.

    If all a black hero does is drone on about white men then white readers will be put off. If all a superheroine does is drone on about men then male readers will be put off. If a black hero is just a hero then nobody is put off and everyone can enjoy the character.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    To attempt to answer your question, there's nothing wrong with the original Norse myths. Personally, I'd love to see a kick-ass adaptation of the classic Thor. But that's not this movie.

    THE MIGHTY THOR is its own thing, a long-running comic with its own mythology, fandom, and forty years of history. It has less to do with classical mythology and more to do with the far-out, comic book notion of an ancient Norse thunder god fighting super-villains, aliens, and robots as well as evil gods. Done right, the movie could be a ball, mixing modern-day superhero action and high fantasy.

    The new movie was never supposed to be about the mythical Thor. It's a comic book movie, like GREEN LANTERN or BATMAN. And, as a comic, THE MIGHTY THOR is just as worthy of a film version as any other comic book hero.

    Comparing THE MIGHTY THOR to the myths is like comparing XENA to the original Greek myths. They're not the same thing at all, but that doesn't mean XENA wasn't a lot of fun.
     
  12. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because Marvel's version has a unique set-up, overall plot and cast of supporting characters (both Asgardian and on Earth) that makes it a story unto itself. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't mean it shouldn't try to correct obvious, non-essential inaccuracies in the adaptation, like Thor's speech or non-native decor and costuming. Volstagg, for instance, is original to the Marvel mythos, and the Warriors Three more generally part of what makes the Marvel version unique--but I would dearly welcome an effort to make Volstagg's costume less garish, more Norse-ish.

    EDIT: Late again.

    Quetzalcoatl is a deity who specifically doesn't look like his worshippers. While the whole thing about the Aztecs confusing Cort├ęs for Quetzalcoatl is largely a myth, it's one case where one would probably go outside the nominal ethnicity for an actor to portray him, since his physical difference is part of his mythos. Heimdall is an authentic Norse deity whose characteristics clearly make him part of the ethnic culture the myths sprang from.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  13. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She will move on though. And as far as quantity versus quality goes; of the movies I mentioned, Star Trek, Transformers 2, Harry Potter and Avatar were quite popular at the box office, and some also were considered quality films by some. And we're just talking about a single year here.

    I can't think of any comparable movie from the United States to star a nonwhite protagonist.

    Well, it's really Trent Roman I was curious about since he wants a less comic booky look for the Norse gods (because if so, what is it about the comic book he wants?), but that's as good a defense as any, I'll be sure.

    I'm not inherently anti-comic book Thor, just... welll, you know. Anyone's a trifle protective of the stories they grew up with, and I loved Norse mythology. Much as the comic book fans seem antsy about changes to their version, I look at the comic book and think, 'THOR IS ODIN'S SON? WHAT THE HELL?' There goes all their bitter reactions out the window; Odin and Thor can't insult each other with fag jokes if they're father and son... can they?
     
  14. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, see, the solution is to simply make black heroes and female heroes deny anything about authentic black or female experience and fit into the dominant white male cultural norm for what a hero is and all the white males who have no ability to understand or appreciate the unique experience of people different from them won't be put off and everything will be great. Don't you get it? It's so simple!
     
  15. Rincewiend

    Rincewiend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always considered the Norse and Greek Gods in the Marvel universe similair to the Eternals...
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    But you may be proceeding from a false assumption. Who is to say that little white girls will stop looking up to Wonder Woman if she's played by Zoe Saldana or Lucy Liu? The fact that Zorro is Spanish didnt stop generations of white kids from worshipping him.

    Like I said before, when I was kid, I didn't prefer Ghost Rider to Blade because Ghost Rider was white. They were both just cool horror-comic characters as far as I was concerned.

    And when I'm writing, say, Ben Sisko or Renee Montoya, I don't have any trouble identifying with them. (Hell, the heroine in my last novel was a sexy Inuit forest ranger!)

    Eartha Kitt played Catwoman to great effect way back in the sixties. So why are we still worrying about this forty years later?
     
  17. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    See, I could get behind that, because race is so irrelevant to Wonder Woman--largely because she comes from a made-up magicky place where race isn't a factor, whereas a black Superman or Batman would have to ignore or downplay their race, because the experiences of whitebread and silver spoon would have almost definitely been profoundly different, changing the characters, if only slightly.
     
  18. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because a white couple in Kansas couldn't adopt a black child? I mean, Superman's childhood has got to have been retconned to at least the 1970s by now - there's not much strange about a black kid in Kansas in the 70s. Because there are no black families who have passed significant wealth down? Sarah Breedlove, the first female millionaire in America, and a child of former slaves, made her millions in the early 20th century.

    My point is that, truly, making either of those characters work as a person of color really isn't that difficult, if you wanted to do it. It's only the continued assumption of white people that we are the norm, the standard, the default, neutral definition of an American that causes any problems with imagining it.
     
  19. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It could work. But it would be more difficult.

    And iirc the Kents passed Clark off as their own. Of course, they could be black too.

    Also, I'll point out that Kansas is not exactly not full of racism.

    Batman would probably work better, because a rich snot is a rich snot.
     
  20. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a tricky subject to be sure!

    In LOTR, they could have easily cast actors of color, but they didn't. In fact, the white people are essentially the good guys and everybody else are the bad guys. Nobody questioned the filmmakers' motivations. Nobody thought it was a big deal. They were just following the book.

    It isn't really that big of deal for Thor that they're going a different route. I'm not against it. It's just a movie.

    But if somebody thinks that the movie should follow the book as closely as possible in terms of the characters' appearances, then that's not a big deal, either. It's an equally valid viewpoint to take.
     
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