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Argument: Thor Is the New Superman

Thor and its sequel Thor: The Dark World have done well in movie theaters. Fans have likewise found that titular character appealing in the Avengers movies.

The Man of Steel, the most recent Superman movie, however, has not done as well. Nor have many other DC movies. In the National Post, Steve Murray argues that this is because Superman and Batman, the two biggest DC movie characters, have lost a common connection with humanity:

Thor smiles; naturally, even. The new Superman smiles with sad eyes, like it’s a bone thrown to the audience to let them know that this isn’t just a flying Batman. Thor battles the bad guys with a sense of fun, even though, and here’s the interesting part, he’s a warrior who surely kills people. So, do I have a double standard here? Why is it OK for fictional alien do-gooder No. 1 to kill people and not the other guy? Well, it’s all in the execution, so to speak. Superman unleashed holy hell in a dark, painfully contrived, no-win scenario, culminating in a disturbing snapping of a person’s neck. Thor threw his super-hammer at a rock monster in a daylight battle, smashing it to pieces, and then delivering a fun quip. Did that rock monster have a rock family? A little rock monster at home, wondering where rock daddy is? I don’t know. Who cares? It was gleeful and ludicrous and unreal, like a comic book. Bloodless and bright.

Thor is fun, the way Superman should be; his cape is a bright, hopeful red and you want to hang out with him. The Superman in Man of Steel is a guy you want to keep your distance from, more coldly alien than the Asgardian who just arrived here. They’re both  immigrants to Earth, but even though the Man of Steel Superman was raised here, Thor feels more connected to humans in his movies, more their champion. More their Superman.

Do you agree with this analysis?

-via Jeremy Barker

(Image: Steve Murray)


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If nothing else, it's nice to see MARVEL's superheroes reigning supreme over DC's in the cultural landscape while Stan Lee is still alive... wish it could have also been true for Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and anyone else capable of keeping Stan the Man from taking ALL the credit, but it's still good.

And Thor's not the only MARVEL "fish out of water"... just wait for the upcoming Captain America movie; now THAT might challenge him for pop culture dominance...
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All that plus Superman has been made too perfect over time. Batman has his psychological problems, but they're not pleasant. And then Thor contrasts them by being a good-looking goofball because he's a fish out of water in the modern world.
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