Sunday, June 22, 2014

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Thor the Mighty"

And now we cross the rainbow bridge of Asgard! Where the booming heavens roar! You’ll behold in breathless wonder! The God of Thunder, Mighty Thor!

Try not to behold in breathless wonder for too long, though. Breathing is good.
We open up on a shot of... whichever part of New York has the Statue of Liberty. All my New York readers are now shaking their heads. Perhaps I can curry their favor by making fun of New Jersey at some point.

It seems as though something or someone has utterly wrecked a dock as well as the shipping containers on it. Or maybe it's just in New Jersey. There's a few unconscious dock workers what aren't looking good, either. Jersey air will do that to you.

(To my New York readers: You're welcome!) 
(To my New Jersey readers: I'm sorry.)

Suddenly, a wrecking ball smashes into some crates on a ship with "Stark Industries" painted on the side. This would be a perfect time for a Miley Cyrus joke, but I'm not going to make one. Because I can be better than that. The wrecking ball is pulled back to its owner, the musclebound Thunderball. But I'm not going to make a James Bond joke. Because I can be better than that.

The wrecking ball-wielding Thunderball is joined with his fellow teammates, collectively known as the Wrecking Crew, led by the Wrecker. Urge to make Miley Cyrus joke rising.... Thunderball then exposits that the bit of tech they're after is a Stark Gamma-emitter. Because of course Stark built one of those. Actually, think about it. Bruce Banner got hit by a Gamma bomb, Tony Stark built a Gamma-emitter, Tony Stark used to make weapons for the military...  I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Anyway, the cops show up. We then cut to an ambulance getting a report of officers down, and I'm pretty sure we can fill in the blanks ourselves. It's called in as a possible "Code Blue."

Male Paramedic: "Code Blue? Never heard of that." 
Female Paramedic: "I have. Supervillains."

Uh, I hope that paramedic has actually heard of a Code Blue. Because in real life, a "Code Blue" refers to a patient who needs emergency resuscitation, aka "They stopped breathing."

Been a while since I had you guys learn something.
She drives to the scene, where it doesn't look good. The Wrecking Crew is... well, they're utterly wrecking the cops. The paramedics barely make it to the scene, what with the cop cars flying from the sky. But they make it and start paramedicaltitionizing. Pretty sure that's what it's called. But because Thunderball acts while other men just talk (okay, I lied about not making a James Bond joke), he turns on the Gamma-emitter and prepares to test it on the paramedics. Before he can, however, a giant hammer hit him into a couple of shipping containers. Having left him crashing in a blazing fall (I lied about the Miley Cyrus joke too, so sue me), the hammer returns to the hand of its master: the Mighty Thor!

Thor's all like, "I got this" and moves in to lay the smackdown on the other three.

Bulldozer: 1-hit KO 
Piledriver: 1-hit KO

But what can you expect? Thor plays on God-Mode. Wrecker manages to hold him off by kicking the God of Thunder right in the... I was going to call them "Thunderballs," but there's already a character with that name in the story. Shoot.

And so, the readers narrowly avoided a terrible joke, but only narrowly.
Speaking of T-Ball (which I just realized is a completely non-threatening nickname), he manages to get back up and knock a crane onto Thor. The rest of the crew walks over to inspect the damage, maybe take the hammer.

Wrecker: "The mighty Thor? More like a mighty big idi..."

He doesn't get to finish that sentence, though, because Thor's hammer flies out of the wreckage and hits them so hard they all go flying. But, as Thor gets out, Wrecker has already taken the female paramedic hostage.

Thor: "Have you no honor?" 
Wrecker: "Not even a little."
Thor: "Then you should be familiar with attacking a foe from behind."

Wrecker gets hit in the head with Thor's returning hammer, knocking him out, and Thor makes sure she's all right. He's quite impressed with her bravery, what with being a puny human who risks her life for the sake of others. She introduces herself as Jane Foster, and let me just say this to those of you who have only seen the films. In the comics, she's a nurse. So revamping her into a paramedic is a step up from being a nurse, not a step down from being a scientist. Just wanted to stop that argument in its tracks, because I've heard it before.

Also, she's hot. I know she's just a 2-dimensional image... but just look at those dimensions!
But a giant portal opens in the sky, and Heimdall appears and tells Thor that Asgard is under siege, and Odin needs his help. So off he flies, leaving the awestruck Jane to take care of the injured cops. We then cut to a shot of the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge going into Asgard, and it. Is. Gorgeous. It's rendered in the same Kirby-ish style as the rest of the series, and it works so amazingly well.

This screencap doesn't do it justice.
But a snowy wind begins to blow into Asgard. The snow falls, the wind howls, and a soldier on the walls narrows his eyes and braces himself. No, winter is not coming, it's a trio of Frost Giants. They start throwing rocks into Asgard, hitting towers, walls, and the great hall, where Asgardian warriors watch what can only be described as a bellydancer. Well, it won't be the first stripper Disney ever had in its animation.

Now, I'm completely against the objectification of women... but dang, she works that pole good.
More giants appear, and one climbs the wall, cuts the moat down, and lets the others in. Ordering the Frost Giants to attack the city is their leader: Loki. Not sexy, bad-boy, film Loki. Evil, twisted, heartless, not-that-good-looking comic book Loki. Sorry, to cool your loins there, ladies. Probably a few gentlemen, as well.

The Frost Giants get to smashing, and Thor appears next to Heimdall. Heimdall exposits that it's soon time for Odin's big nap called the Odinsleep, after which he regains his strength for another year, and that's why Loki's attacking now. Thor goes off to knock down some Frost Giants, and does so. But before he can, Baldr the Shining God beats him in felling the first one. Hooray for Baldr! You know what? Forget Thor. Back in the Viking times, everybody liked Baldr. And I can see why. No hammer, no lightning, no flying. He just climbs a giant and stabs it in the eye. Like. A. Boss.

The Warriors Three and Lady Sif get in on the action, too, but Thor shows up and begins to takes out the remaining trio of giants. All the while, a pair of crows have been watching. They report back to Odin, who wait just a minute.

 What is this malarkey?
Odin has... two eyes?  No. Odin has one eye. Odin has always had one eye. Okay, not always, but it's a well established part of mythological lore that Odin traded one eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom! Okay, let's be fair. Asgard probably has the technology to make glass eyes. This gets a pass, but only because I'm nitpicking.

Outside, Thor begins to summon lightning, but is stopped by Loki, who freezes him in place. It doesn't take. Thor emerges and, after a pummeling, manages to keep himself from getting eaten. Then he summons the lightning, defeating all the Frost Giants. But now it's boss battle time, and Loki zaps him through a few walls.

Loki: "Welcome home. Brother."

Dun-dun-du- wait, this wasn't a reveal.

The episodes continues with Thor and Loki fighting. Thor gets zapped by Loki's dark energies, and gets quite badly hurt. Still, he doesn't want to fight his brother, and tries to talk Loki out of his plan by calling upon Loki's love for his brother, reminding him of all the good times they had.

I think you and Loki remember very different "good times," Thor.
But Loki still wants to take over and kill Thor, what with Thor being blind to "Odin's lies." Yeah, Loki? your title's "God of Lies." I think the pot's calling the cauldron black. At the very least, a dark shade of grey.

They fight, and Thor manages to win against the dark magicks of Loki, despite Loki's little tricks like turning into a flock of either moths or ravens (I can't tell), purple fireballs, and the like. Loki gets brought in chains before Odin, and they argue. It basically comes down to "Loki, I was going to take a nap! Don't steal the throne!" against "You're not my real dad!" So Odin grounds Loki by teleporting him to the Isle of Silence, which is monochromatic. And there is. No. Sound. At. All. You know, absolute lack of sound leads to hallucinations.

Say hi to your nightmares, Loki. 
Odin tells Thor that Thor needs to get stuff around so he can take his epic Odin-nap and regain his energy for a year. But Thor says that the other gods can do his job, and he wants to be on Earth for a bit.  But Odin argues that humans can get by on their own, like that Jane Foster lady.

But that just gets Thor mad because he doesn't like Odin watching him 24/7, not letting him have a life of his own. It's like that on Earth too, Thor. One word: NSA. (Oooh! Topical!) But Thor manages to raise a good point. Odin is a manipulative bastard. After all, Odin's ravens keep him informed of pretty much anything. Odds are, he probably knew Asgard was going to be attacked by Loki and the Frost Giants, and Thor calls him out on this and offers his alternative.

Thor: "Should Asgard be threatened, I will be here. But until then, I choose Earth."

"Jane Foster doth need my help... um, building a portal device."
"I thought she was a nurse?"
"Aye. And I do believe I need an examination...."

He leaves the hall, and it's time to shift focus from Thor to Loki. Thor looks out on Asgard one last time, and leaves for Earth while being watched by a mysterious, green-clad woman who proceeds to teleport to Loki's Isle of Silence. While Loki waits for her to arrive, he thinks back to what got him in this mess.

Earlier that day, Loki told all the Frost Giants that Odin wanted to commit a little genocide on them, because Odin's what you would call an "Old Testament" sort of god. The Frost Giants are hesitant, what with Thor being a pretty good fighter, but Loki tells them to leave Thor to him.

Thinking back to Earth, Loki flashes back to Hulk's arch-nemesis the Leader ordering the Wrecking Crew to steal the Gamma-emitter. And by "the Leader," I mean "Loki in disguise."  Later that same day, a woman in a green dress calls out to Thor, saying that the cops at the docks need help dealing with the Wrecking Crew.

"Pink."  "Huh?"  "Pink."
(A No-Prize if you get the reference.)
After Thor leaves, she transforms into the green-clad woman from Asgard, and messages to Loki through her crystal ball that Thor took the bait.

Loki: "Of course he did, my beautiful Enchantress."

Back in Asgard (at the same time that Thor was fighting the Wrecking Crew), it seems that Baldr is worried about Thor. He tells Odin that Thor's beginning to spend more time on Earth, treating humans like children who can't take care of themselves. And he seems to be interested in a specific one called "Jane Foster," so much so that... well, let's just say that Thor seems to want her to give his hammer a polish.

But can you blame him? Yowza.
After Baldr leaves his meeting with Thor, we see that Baldr was really Loki in disguise.  But Loki's done reminiscing for now, because the Enchantress shows up with her guardian, the axe-bearing Executioner, Skurge. She magicks up a bubble of sound to let them talk, and they prepare to discuss the next part of their plan.

Loki: "No one is ready for what comes next."

And the episode ends. Well, I wasn't ready for that. But you know what I am ready for? Reviewing!

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