I watched this documentary on the Phoenix lights, and it got me thinking about skepticism. I even had this great idea of exploring skepticism, belief, and the Terran desire to find something “greater”.
But who really gives a shit?
I could throw my own observations into the collective consciousness of humanity, but it’s just more noise to the din. I could point out that skepticism is not defined by a lack of belief in the paranormal, but an admission that there are limits to our own perception and whenever we try to exceed those limits, we usually end up making assumptions proven wrong in the end. But it’s not going to convince anyone of anything, and I doubt anyone comes here looking for my feeble insights on the nature of perception itself. So let’s just put all that aside, and talk about something that matters.
Let’s talk about Dinosaurs Vs. Vampires.
Or Robots Vs. Ninjas.
Or Dragons Vs. Space Aliens.
Or just about Anything Vs. Anything Else.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of the Vs. genre. I enjoy it when things fight other things. The best part of Sucker Punch (or is that Suckerpunch?) was the sequence were a dragon fought a bomber. Although I did also enjoy mech Vs. bi-planes. Avatar only really won me over when a space rhino crushed a robotic marine. And one of the reasons Kung Fu Panda, The Incredibles, and How to Train Your Dragon are each so awesome is because of super kung fu, robot attacks, and a giant @#$%ing dragon battle respectively.
Heck, Pokemon has built an entire franchise of video games on this concept.
Perhaps it’s my comic book superhero background. Reading them, that is. I was never actually a superhero, and I certainly never went to Mars and fought Ernest Hemmingway’s brain in a robotic gorilla’s body for the fate of the universe. (You’re welcome, by the way.)
In superhero comics, everything loves fighting everything else. Superman, an alien, lives in the same world as Captain Marvel, a boy who gets his powers from a wizard. Spider-Man can throw down with the Hulk. Aliens will fight dinosaurs. Space gods fight regular gods. In the world of comics, a highly-trained rich guy, an alien, and an Amazon can all hang out together and no one thinks it’s weird. So naturally, when it comes to watching memorable fights, you can’t really go wrong here.
My favorite would have to be Marvel’s Thor. I admit I haven’t read much of him lately, but I really don’t read comics much at this point. But Thor was my first superhero, and he’ll always hold a place in my heart because Thor is a god who fights everything. He has gone to outer space and battled cosmic aliens. He’s traveled through time. His foes range from the Absorbing Man (a magically powered street thug), to the Tomorrow Man, to Loki, God of Evil himself. He’s also fought Set, of the Egyptian pantheon, and punched the Hulk to a standstill. If you name it, Thor has probably fought it.
Thor has even fought the Midgard Serpent in his comic, and it was an epic battle. Every page was a splash page! And this was back when that concept was still pretty cool.
Did I mention the Destroyer? You might have seen him in the trailers. He’s the giant armored warrior that is wreaking havoc. The Destroyer is a magic robot created by Odin himself. For those of you who skimmed that last sentence, let me repeat: Magic. Robot. Odin.
In Walt Simonson’s epic end to his run on the Thor series, we’re treated to a series of amazing battles, one right after another. It starts with Thor versus evil mutants and just gets crazier from there. He faces Grendal, frost giants, the Midgard Serpent. Eventually, his spirit ends up in control of the Destroyer itself, and Thor, as a magic robot armed with a magic lightning hammer, storms the gates of Hell itself.
Epic seems too timid a word.
Considering the high standards set by Simonson, I have to say I face the Thor film with trepidation. I tend to be disappointed by superhero flicks because I want more action than I’m given. And if the god of thunder is going to fight a magic robot made to obliterate everything it sees, it better be an epic battle. Instead, I expect it will be like Iron Man 2, where the bad guys fall like tenpins. That’s all well and good for a minor foe like Whiplash, but this is the Destroyer we’re talking about here. If the fight is over in two minutes, you can be sure Loki must have had a hand in the screenplay.