After both Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age Of Ultron met with a fairly muted reception, even from die-hard Marvel fans, it’s fair to say enthusiasm for a new Thor solo movie – the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok – wasn’t quite as high as it could’ve been. That all changed once the latest trailer dropped, showing off new director Taika Waititi’s incredible Kirby-inspired makeover of the Thor franchise. If this trailer doesn’t make you excited, you’re categorically dead inside.
But what did we see?
As Dickens once wrote, we wear the chains we forge in life. And it looks like Thor’s been forging some pretty big chains. There’s little doubt that this is Hel, the domain of Hela and the afterlife for the Asgardian dishonourable dead. But what did Thor do to end up here? Did he die, or was he brought here against his will?
Speaking of Hela, here’s the Death Queen herself, as played by Cate Blanchett. And she crushes Mjolnir without breaking a sweat. How? Why? Because she’s just that powerful. She’s the thing gods fear, because she has the power to take them – and their lives. Only Odin’s power rivals hers. But of course, Odin’s not around…
3. Hela again
In the comics, Hela is known for ceremonial headgear that’d make Lady Gaga go “um, isn’t that a bit much?” and this is exactly the sort of incredible nonsense you should expect her to wear. The whole look of this trailer seems inspired by Jack Kirby’s designs more than any Marvel movie to date, and this is just one way how.
4. Asgard is dead
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok signifies the death of the gods. Clearly, blowing up Asgard is going to involve a lot of gods dying. Given that Loki’s supposed to be running Asgard, albeit in disguise, we’re left to wonder: is he in on this, or is he just too self-interested to stop it?
5. Junk World
One way or another, Thor does escape the destruction of Asgard, but we’re betting this isn’t one of the classic nine worlds he ends up on. Instead, this looks like a planet cobbled together from the remnants and junk of other societies. In the comics, Thor’s one of the characters who most easily crosses between Earthbound stories with the Avengers and the cosmic setting embodied by the Guardians of the Galaxy, so it’s apt that things are getting quite literally far out here.
A woman riding a winged horse? That’s Valkyrie. Their role in Asgardian myth (or at least Marvel’s version of it) is to accompany the honoured fallen to Valhalla. If Hela’s making a powerplay to expand her realm outside of its natural limits, then of course they’d be the ones to fight back. Although given the amount of Pegasuses (Pegasi?) dropping from the sky, probably not very successfully.
This is THE Valkyrie, as played by Tessa Thompson. In the comics, she’s an Asgardian warrior who, like Thor, fights alongside Earth’s heroes. Here, she seems to have made it to the strange exiled world and is serving, if not working for the Grandmaster.
He’s back! The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s only villain! It’s a very safe bet that whatever’s going wrong in this movie is his fault, probably because he secretly deposed his father. After all, we know from that Doctor Strange stinger that Thor and Loki are – at least for some part of this film – on Earth looking for Odin.
9. New helmet
I just wanted to highlight what a pure slice of Jack Kirby design aesthetic this is.
10. Planet Hulk
Excuse me for being a giant Incredible Hulk nerd, but this. THIS. This is the ‘Planet Hulk’ design. If you haven’t heard about Planet Hulk then you’ve clearly missed the years of (rubbished) rumours that a solo Hulk film might be based on it, but here we’ve got as close as we’re likely to see. Hulk, in gladiator gear, ready to smash. I could literally weep in happiness.
Lots of questions here, though, not least of which is how did Hulk end up on this world, fighting in the Grandmaster’s arena? Well, in Age Of Ultron, Banner did ask the Black Widow “Where on Earth am I not a threat?”. Maybe he found an answer to that riddle.
We’ve already seen The Collector in the first Guardians movie, now here’s Jeff Goldblum playing another Elder of the Universe: The Grandmaster. The collector likes to collect stuff, but the Grandmaster’s gimmick is games. Specifially, putting them on for his own amusement. Like the other Elders, he’s virtually immortal and just trying to do *something* with his time in the universe. Chances are he’s running this planet so that he’s got somewhere to stage his games. And the fact that Loki’s at his side suggests that whatever happens to Asgard, Thor’s treacherous brother is still putting himself first…
Are you excited? We’re pretty excited.