Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. Pepe Melan and I spent the morning at the local Comic Shop in Lancaster signing comics and talking to comic book fans. It wasn’t as big as last years gathering, but it was still nice to meet so many people like us who love comics. We made a few connections which may result in more news here later.

If you’re a person who reads and is passionate about comics please support your local comic shop. It seems to me they are dying away, especially in the smaller towns like mine.

After the signing we decided to catch the new comic book-based movie, Thor. I went into the theater with a sense of “I hope this movie is good.” I was not disappointed. Anthony Hopkins as Odin was expectedly great. I am willing to over look that the film makers cast other supposedly Nordic gods in the film who were Asian and African-American, It is after all, fantasy and who is to say that an alien culture from another place would not be as diverse as our own here on Earth. To the bitching I’ve seen online I say “It’s a comic book film people, get over it.”

The film is a bit slow in places, but I think it was necessary because it was a big story to tell. My main concern was that the story would be too big and complex for the average non-comic reading moviegoers. To be fair I think Kenneth Branagh pulled this off nicely. The story by J. Michael Straczynski was a good translation of comic to film. Since he was the writer of the comic I think he was the right choice for the film.

The story is spread across three realms or planets Asgard (realm of the gods), Yodenheim (realm of the Frost Giants, and Earth (realm of mortals). The movie skips between them telling a story in each. There is war with the Frost Giants, punishment of arrogance, betrayal, and redemption. I liked the Einstein explanation of travel between the realms.

The acting is decent, as I said Hopkins is perfect as a god-king. The other actors fit their roles as well. I could probably done without the comic relief of Cat Denning, it seemed out of place or maybe added to keep teenagers entertained. I was disappointed with SHIELD, they’re supposed to be an organization that handles super-human threats. I don’t think the portrayal was fair, they had their butts handed to them numerous times in the film. If they are a line of defense for the planet I think we’re in trouble.

I’ve seen other reviews saying the movie is another Dark Knight or as brilliant as Lord of the Rings. I don’t think I would go that far. It was a good film, not sure if I’d see it twice at the theater. If early box office is an indicator I think the movie will be the success it deserves to be. If the upcoming Summer of comic book movies are as well done as Thor we are in for a great bunch of comic-based films.

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