Illustration: Adeline Pericart
Bam! Pow! Thwack! From masked avengers to caped crusaders, what would we do without spandex-wearing superheroes fighting crime and righting wrongs? While we mere mortals go about our daily business and sleep soundly in our beds at night, an army of superheroes are working tirelessly around the globe – but mostly in America – fighting to bring peace, justice and outside-underpants to the world.
And so, in honour of their efforts, our own band of Film Ireland superheroes assemble to dish out their own critical form of justice and wreak havok on those villians who long for a world without heroes.
Eat dust evil! Superheroes are here to stay.
‘… Lightning strikes, hammer blows, super-strength and flying through the air by whizzing Mjölnir about are all fantastically cinematic to watch in action…’
The majority of problems with the majority of superheroes are them hung up on their own issues; Bruce Wayne has his dead family psychological scaring, Clark Kent has his hidden alien alter ego, Peter Parker feels the need to remain a secret Spiderman to protect the one’s he loves, Tony Stark has his excessive ego and either bits of shrapnel or alcohol abuse trying to kill him… the list goes on and on and on. But one superhero stands out from the crowd in this regard, neither hiding who he is nor being overcome by his own power or what is expecting from him.
Thor, like Superman, is an alien gifted with superpowers to the point that they could be mistaken for a god. But Thor, unlike Superman, isn’t infallible, and isn’t almost indestructible. Unless you come packed with a kryptonite bazooka, nothing is going to cause a dent in ol’ Supes, and that’s kinda what makes him boring as a superhero, he’s just SO overpowered that there’s no real sense of danger. However, that is not the case with Thor, as one well-aimed bullet, or one dangerous fall without his trusty hammer, and Thor – even with all of his powers – is done for.
Speaking of those powers, they are A LOT of fun to watch when he decides to toss them around. Lightning strikes, hammer blows, super-strength and flying through the air by whizzing Mjölnir about are all fantastically cinematic to watch in action. Then there’s his entire look, personality and mannerisms; that olde school English accent, his gentleman-ly way around women, plus there’s not many people who can pull of a red cloak, 80’s rock star hair, chain-mail onesies and a lumberjack beard, but Thor does it with aplomb. It helps that he’s played by the stupidly handsome Chris Hemsworth, but the same goes for the comic book versions of the character.
Then, last but not least, there are the villains. You can’t judge how good a hero is until you see what he’s up against, and again, Thor comes out on top. Nothing comes close to matching the power of Superman, Iron Man faces just vague variations of Another Man In A Suit Of Iron, Batman gets drowned in a sea of far more interesting bad guys than he is a good guy, but Thor gets it spot on. Which other superhero movie lately managed to get the villain as spot on as Loki was in Thor and The Avengers? None, and Loki is one of the best big screen bad guys we’ve had in YEARS. The Frost Giants were visually unique when they popped up on screen in the first movie, and The Dark World has The Dark Elves as their lead villain, with Thor and Loki needing to team up to defeat them. Oh yes, that’s gonna be great.
So there you have it; out-and-proud character with a great look, great foes and a very real sense of danger about him. What more could you want??
Stay tuned. Next time on ‘We Love… Superheroes’ – Tony McKiver on Wolverine