Are you ready to get weird?
Marvel hopes you are. Thor Ragnarok’s teaser trailer dropped today.
The marvel universe has two real components in the comics. You’ve got earth, and all the heroes and villains fighting over it. Sometimes aliens invade. Sometimes humans attack out.
On the other side of the coin, you’ve got Cosmic Marvel. Cosmic marvel is Jack Kirby at his finest. Lurid colours, space oddities, psychedelic designs. Guardians of the Galaxy 1 was a step towards this, but didn’t get there fully. (The sequel looks more weird) Thor 1 was basically confined to a desert on earth for half the run, Thor 2 had drab wastelands for their climactic fighting. Plus London. Cosmic Marvel should be bright and bold and fun to watch.
But Thor Ragnarok.
Thor Ragnarok looks otherworldly.
Let’s break it down.
Opening moments show Thor (Chris Hemsworth) literally dangling from some Chains in what seems like a pretty decent depiction of Hell.
What’s going on?
We see Thor throw his hammer at the incredibly pointy Hela (Cate Blanchett). As Thor does.
Then she stops it and smashes it.
Oh look, this is clearly the most powerful villain in the MCU. She just ruined Mjolnir.
Next, Hela appears in Asgard, appearing to wipe out many of the soldiers guarding the place, plus then that massive explosion. Some great composition and use of contrast in these shots.
Oh, and don’t think I didn’t see you Loki (Tom Hiddleston). If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were going to defend all those huddled civilians behind you.
Anyway, Asgard falls. Quite literally. I think that’s it all over that planet Thor’s standing on. Which would be Sakaar. (Also look at those warp portals in the sky. People have been landing here for a long time.)
Well, he gets zapped and then captured.
Hello Valkyrie. (Tessa Thompson) Valkyrie is working for Someone, and seems to be capturing warriors for some reason. Also, Composition shout outs again, whoever is doing the digital design work on these shots is doing a great job. Plus fun spaceship designs.
Who does she work for? Well that would be the ruler of this world. The Celestial Being known as The Grandmaster. (Jeff Goldblum)
But why does the Grandmaster want warriors? Well, he’s the ruler of a whole planet. He can do what he wants.
What he wants is gladiatorial combat between the greatest warriors in the galaxy. Hmmm.
We get some shots of Thor in his customised armour to make him feel at home, even without Mjolnir.
What’s behind Door Number one then?
Huh. So Clearly there’s some more going on here. That would be the Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) Wearing some snazzy Armour and looking right out of the pages of Planet Hulk.
But Why is Hulk here?
Well we don’t know. But I’d say this last shot has something to do with it. Frost Giants do hold a grudge.
This shot. This goddamn shot. Look at all of the designs on those Background characters. They’re fantastic. Even the guards on either side have a sense of whimsical fantasy design about them. The use of contrasting colours between Loki and The Grandmaster, and even the teal angular sofa against the orange door frames in the rear of the shot. You can really feel the care that has gone into the design here.
Oh and I have to give Credit to Chris Hemsworth for that reaction when he sees his friend. He has a lot of clunky dialogue to deal with in the other films, so it’s nice to just let him emote here.
This film teaser ran the gamut from pegasi to spacecraft, alien scavengers to ritual combat, while also including a scene that seems incredibly like a nuclear blast wiping out Asgard. There’s a whole lot going on here. But what stands out most of all is just how strange and colourful everything is. Some of this, the crowd and spaceship scenes especially feel like the ink has been lifted right off the page of a comic. This feels like it’s going to be experimental and weird. I can’t wait.