Here’s why the trailer for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is FANTASTIC

“He stood alone..” (From Thor #362, words and art by Walter Simonson

Oh, man.

Oh, maaaaaaan.

Behold the magnificence that is the totally excellent trailer for “Thor: Ragnarok.”

 

 

I know, right? Here are my favorite bits, which are spoilers for what you just watched. Didn’t watch it? Go watch it. Do it again.

I have been waiting for Marvel to use Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in a scene or movie or SOMETHING involving Thor for years. It is as totally awesome as I hoped it would be.

Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Asgardian goddess of  death, CRUSHING Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which is an object we, the people, have been told is pretty well indestructible and so totally awesome only Thor can pick the thing up. Yet, here we are.

“He’s a friend from work!” OK, so, it looks like Ragnarok will take bits from a few different storylines from various comics: some Thor stuff from various points in the comics run is being paired with a completely different, non-Thor  storyline from 2006 called “Planet Hulk.”

Written by Greg Pak, “Planet Hulk” involves a bunch of ostensible heroes who shoot Hulk into space because he’s just too dangerous (nice friends, huh?) Hulk ends up on a planet full of monsters not unlike himself, and gladiator combat ensues. Thor isn’t in the original “Plant Hulk” (nor is Jeff Goldblum, for that matter) and, quite frankly, the “Planet Hulk” arc would make a pretty excellent movie in and of itself, but this could be a clever way to get some of that imagery into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That said, expect howls of outrage from fanboys furious with the fact that a) the “Planet Hulk” ideas are in there at all and b) that this trailer mixes comedy with Ragnarok, which is, you know, according to Norse mythology, supposed to be the end of the world. From the retro music to the jokes to the font, there is a very “Guardians of the Galaxy” vibe to this thing. 

However, and this is a big however, said fanboy/girl jaws hit the floor around the 1:04 mark.

Did you happen to notice the gent with the two M-16s? That is a guy named Skurge and he is played by Karl Urban.

Now, Skurge was a punchline for years in “Thor” comics — an inept and silly bad guy who was inept in spite of the fact that his name was Skurge the Executioner, which sounds like something that should be written on the side of a van.

But in the hands of the legitimately brilliant Walter Simonson — whose 1980s run on “Thor” is one of the all-time great runs on a superhero comic — this doofus was given one of the greatest hero moments in comics.

Seriously, if you want to see a 30- or 40-something “Thor” fan burst into tears INSTANTLY, walk up to him or her and say “He stood alone at Gjallerbru.” (Lord, I am getting verklempt typing this out.)

This essay by the great Chris Sims breaks it down. There are spoilers in there for a 30-year-old comic (and possibly for Skurge’s role in “Thor: Ragnarok”) but his analysis, per usual, is spot on.

Or you could just read “Thor” #362.

As for me and my house, we are going to watch the trailer again. And also “Thor” #362. And maybe cry.

Which summer movies were box office winners and losers?

Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in "Captain America: Civil War." (Photo courtesy Marvel Studios/TNS)
“Captain America: Civil War” dominated the global summer box office. (Contributed by Marvel Studios)

This isn’t news, but it bears repeating: If there is one thing we can learn from looking at summer movies, it’s that absolutely nobody cares what critics have to say about summer movies.

Critics hated some summer movies that did really well and loved others that bombed.

Who had a good summer at the box office? Who wishes that 2016 had never happened? Let’s look at some numbers. All grosses are drawn from the almighty boxofficemojo.com.

This summer’s biggest winner was Disney, by far. Great merciful crap, did Disney have an insane year. The top four movies on the planet were Disney films.

“Captain America: Civil War, the most recent entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossed $1.152 billion worldwide. “Zootopia” was a sleeper smash with a $1.02 billion gross. “The Jungle Book,” an entirely CGI-affair (save for the lead actor), grossed $961 million. And Pixar’s most recent entry, “Finding Dory,” picked up $930 million worldwide (with $479 million of that in the States; domestically, it’s the year’s most successful picture).

Even with a few flops —The BFG,” directed by Steven Spielberg, earned only $54 million domestically and $160.3 million worldwide against a $140 million budget; “Alice Through the Looking Glass” took $77 million domestically but finished with a decent $295 million worldwide gross; and “Pete’s Dragon” has only made $55 million in about three weeks of release — Disney pretty well owned 2016. Until everyone gets sick of Marvel and Star Wars, this trend may continue. Then again, nothing lasts forever.

That said, superheroes in general had a good year. The critically excoriated “Batman v Superman” grossed $872 million worldwide (though only $330 million of that at home). The critically rebuked “Suicide Squad” made $637.8 million worldwide.

“Deadpool” was the real superhero surprise, grossing $782 million worldwide against a budget of $58 million. Considered a low-budget also-ran, it radically outperformed “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which took in $544 million worldwide but only $155 million domestically, less than half of the $363 million domestic “Deadpool” made. The moral of this story is that absolutely nobody cares what critics have to say about superhero movies, especially audiences in other countries.

You know who also had a good year? People complaining on the internet. Take, for example, “Ghostbusters,” rebooted by Paul Feig with a gender-swapped cast. A certain segment of the internet almost instantly started complaining about the ladies wielding proton packs, keeping up a drumbeat of bafflingly bad buzz that resulted, most recently, in actress Leslie Jones’ website getting hacked. The movie earned a $121.7 million domestic box office (and only a $217.7 million international total), and plans for a sequel seem to have been scrapped. This is very literally why we can’t have nice things.

Then again, sometimes the market and critics march hand in hand. “Free State of Jones,” starring Austin spirit animal Matthew McConaughey, just did not work and made only $20 million, less than half its $50 million budget.

I was one of the very few critics who didn’t absolutely love Austin film godfather Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some,” but it never completely found an audience, grossing only $3 million, making for Linklater’s worst outing since “Me and Orson Welles” in 2009 and doing far, far worse than 2014’s still-incredible “Boyhood.”

But I really enjoyed “Midnight Special,” by Austin director Jeff Nichols, a movie that couldn’t quite find its audience, either — it made only $6 million worldwide. (And also got its tribute-to-’80s-sci-fi-and-fantasy lunch eaten by Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”)

Ultimately, critics enjoyed “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone’s comedic ode to the Biebers of the world.  But it made a dismal $9 million (no budget was released) domestically and has not been released overseas. And the genuinely terrific “Green Room,” a much better horror movie than, say, “Don’t Breathe” or last year’s “It Follows,” has made only $3 million. I suspect both will have a decent life on various streaming services.