Let’s get into the top five takeaways!
1. Mighty Thor
Jane Foster is back and she’s bringing a reforged Mjolnir with her! If you aren’t a plugged-in super nerd, this is probably a huge surprise. Taika Waititi brought Natalie Portman out on stage when this film was first announced and when she lifted Mjolnir high for all the crowd to see, the message was clear: Mighty Thor was on the horizon.
That horizon is here now, and it looks damn good. Early skeptics thought Portman did not have the “physical presence” to do Mighty Thor justice. Her physical trainer clearly earned their paycheck in the last few months. Portman looks both jacked and “worthy”.
2. Thor’s Arch
The MCU has not been kind to Thor Odinson. Parents? Dead. Surprise sister? Broke his favorite toy, killed his best friends, and had to be killed by the devil. Brother? Stuck in s a cycle of betrayal, redemption, and death. This is without mentioning that his homeland was destroyed, he got depressed and got love handles, and clearly has not moved on from Jane.
With Thor: Love and Thunder, we are getting the first internal franchise in the MCU to get a fourth installment. With many of the original Avengers either dead, or retired, what happens to Thor? Is Mighty Thor meant to take his place, or will we see a happily ever after for the charter seemingly put through the most trauma? I honestly think Thor cannot “hang it up” until he is reunited with Loki one final time. Loki’s first season did not exactly leave Loki in a good place for a brotherly catch up, so hopefully Thor has more story ahead.
3. Gorr the God Butcher
When Thor: Love and Thunder first announced that Christian Bale would be playing Gorr, the excitement was palpable. He has the range and gravitas to make the character jump off the page. His initial reveal in the trailer is a bit of a letdown. Make no mistake, the design they went with has a unique menacing presence, but it feels that a sacrifice was made so that we can still see that it is Christian Bale under the makeup. I wanted a Hulk/Ruffalo level motion capture, but instead we get “really pissed off Engineer from Prometheus”.
4. All Black?
There is a brief clip of Gorr reaching for a sword. Assuming they are staying completely in line with the comics, this could be All Black, the Necrosword. Again, it depends on how close they want to stick to the course material, but this could have massive implications for the universe.
Long story short, All Black was crafted by Knull. Knull is the original Klyntar, or Symbiote King. Combine this knowledge with the post-credit stinger in Spider-Man: No Way Home and we could be looking at a steppingstone for Marvel’s own, non-Tom Hardy, Venom on Earth-616. Or we could just be looking at a sword. Don’t quote me.
Calm down, dude bros! Yes, there is a wave of female characters coming or getting expanded roles. Thor: Love and Thunder shows off both King Valkyrie and Mighty Thor. So what?! Have you read the comics? Change happens! Mantles are passed! It’s okay to support a character that does not look exactly like you.
Thor: Love and Thunder is a bit surprising already. Mighty Thor looks great. Gorr’s characterization is concerning, but workable. Hopefully Thor finds a win that is deeper than “survival” before the dust settles in this next chapter. The poor guy deserves a break.
Thor Love and Thunder opens domestically in theaters on July 8th, 2022.