Marvel definitely had some steep competition heading into Saturday night’s Comic-Con panel. Most were expecting a brand new Thor: Ragnarok trailer, but fans were also treated to the sneak looks at Black Panther and Captain Marvel, plus a repeat engagement with the D23 footage from Avengers: Infinity War. Black Panther gave us an early look at Klaw’s new arm to replace the one lost in Age of Ultron, but it was Captain Marvel that might’ve surprised the most with the inclusion of the Skrulls — originally thought to be property of the Fox deal — and the revelation that it will be a prequel set in the ’90s. Well ahead of all the other Marvel films we’ve seen.
But both of those are well off past the turn of the new year. While many people are still dying to see the Infinity War footage, the real star of the show was the Thor: Ragnarok panel and trailer. Not only does it combine two of the greatest Marvel Comics stories of all time into one film, it also looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Fun that was missing from previous Thor films, fun that helps bust up the tension of this world shaking superhero battles, and fun that is welcome before the grim events of Infinity War.
Not only is the scope massive — which is hard to comprehend considering what comes next — but we also got to see the Hulk do practically every Hulk thing we’d want to see except having his name in the title of the movie. And that’s only in the trailer. It might not be the footage that everybody wants, but it’s more than worthy of a breakdown.
The Norse Connection
This might seem like a bit of an obvious thing to point out, but the idea of Ragnarok and the events of this film actually drag the cinematic Thor closer to his comic and mythological counterpart than the previous two films. That’s a lot to say given he’s sent to a foreign alien planet and forced to fight a giant green rage beast, but there’s a lot of imagery, characters, and comic history that takes a direct cue from some very old tales. The giant wolf for example is Fenrir, the beast that’s meant to kill Odin in the tale of Ragnarok. Because of this, the gods bound Fenrir to keep the story from coming to pass, something that carries over to the comics.
In the trailer, we see Fenrir is loose but we also know Odin is already out of commission. So instead it gets The Hulk. It’s meant to be a wolf with the intelligence of a human, so we might hear the beast speak or something on the big screen. His appearance in the trailer was definitely one of the top surprises, though.
Elsewhere we get our Richard Wagner moment with Valkiyrie and a horde of her fellow warriors flying in to battle Cate Blanchett’s Hela, possibly to keep her from claiming the souls in Valhalla as her own. If you’ve seen Wonder Woman, this is similar to the painting that opened the film, brought to life in impressive fashion. Other aspects that might pop up include the Midgard Serpent, usually housed in Hela’s realm, and hopefully we’ll get some good Heimdall action.
This might seem like a small portion of the Thor story from Marvel, but Walt Simonson made a point to bring the character and his brethren back to their mythological origins with his run on the character in the ’80s. Since this film is borrowing a lot from that, it’s nice to see they’ve tried to keep it intact.
The other great story being blended into this film is the Planet Hulk storyline. It was rumored to happen as a solo Hulk film for a few years, but this might actually be a better way to make it work. The Warbound are present, the Hulk is clad in his gladiator armor, and he’s still taking on gigantic beasts he would normally have no business fighting.