You might have been following the news recently when there was talk of Valkyrie in Thor Ragnarok being bisexual. You, like me, might have seen the movie and thought ‘well, when it comes to representation, that was a whole lot of nothing’. Later interviews revealed that the scene had been cut for timing, or pacing, or such. However, it might have struck you about how often that we might hear about a character potentially being LGBT or such in a major blockbuster and then nothing comes of it. And why you may ask?
[Spoilers for Thor Ragnarok]
So, some weeks ago I was watching the latest offering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe about a superhero whose mythos and supporting cast are drawn from Norse mythology. Here’s the thing. I know most of the work of director Taika Waititi and eagerly awaited Thor Ragnarok purely because of the comedy stylings of its director meeting the solid structure powerhouse that is Marvel Studios. The film was loved for its humour and action. For my money, it’s not my favourite Taika Waititi film (What We Do in the Shadows) or my favourite Marvel movie (Captain America The First Avenger), but that’s a matter of personal taste and there’s certainly lots to love about the film. The thing I want to discuss in regards to Thor Ragnarok is a couple of scenes in particular. However, first, I have to talk about Hela.
So, last week, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon released on the Nintendo 3DS. I’ve been playing through them. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. The reason I mention these games is that these games have been revealed to be the last Pokémon games for the 3DS. Now I’m very new to the Pokémon games due to having neither Nintendo consoles or handheld consoles as a kid. The handhelds were withheld due to a belief of my parents that I would play the games all night. They weren’t wrong, but now I’m an adult and can make my own poor life decisions.
So, a couple years ago I bought a 3DS and played through Pokémon X and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. Through these games, I completed the Pokédex and got invested in the series. You can read about some of my experiences with going back to play Pokémon Blue in my first post on this site. Anyway, I’m fairly tied to the series now. A friend recently suggested that I post my theories about what the Switch will do to the main Pokémon formula and so, this piece exists.
I find myself being very introspective of late. Perhaps it’s just that time of year. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a short one-act play burning in my back pocket that’s all about the responsibility of writers and the power that writers have over the grand narrative. It might have been disingenuous of me to eliminate social media into that above creative thesis. Anyway, I’m getting off track thinking about a project that most of you haven’t even seen. Let’s focus on what you might have actually seen. My website has quite a few pieces on it that I’ve noticed fall into a broad catergory: Men thinking about their past and their relationship with the women in their life. Now, upon this realisation I thought to myself: God, am I really that boring? Then it lead me to the thesis point of this whole piece: Who Should You Write About?
So, I’ve been playing some GTA V Online on PC recently and … oh, boy. It’s an interesting beast. The last time I played GTA V Online was about four years ago on Xbox 360. At the time I didn’t really see the appeal. Fun stuff was expensive and mostly I just tried to steal a jet from the military base. When I returned earlier this year, I found a lot more to like. There were more varied game modes, especially for someone like me who’s not so good at the combat. I felt like I could have fun in this world that Rockstar had created. Well, almost. There was one thing that hampered my enjoyment quite a bit. Well, two things that are sort of the same side of one coin, those being the griefing and the hacking.
So it’s officially been one year since I launched the website so I thought I’d do some writing about what I’ve learned from this experiment, what has changed, and what the future holds. While there might be some talk about the Patreon, I’ll leave that till early next year when I celebrate twelve months of Patreon support.
So, at this point in history, we’re nine years in and sixteen films deep (seventeen as of Thor Ragnarok) with this Marvel Cinematic Universe thing. Next year will mark the ten-year anniversary of the MCU and the culmination of an arc that started in the first Avengers film. With the MCU officially being the biggest grossing film franchise of all time, the question might arise: how did they do it? It might seem obvious in retrospect that the MCU is the biggest franchise in the world but this has only been the state of the world for about five years. There are a few things I want to look at with this piece, all tying back to the central idea: The Marvel Experiment. What were the risks? How did they pay off? How did they not? Finally, what makes the whole universe tick? How does this monolith shake off the legitimate critiques of its world, i.e. lacklustre villains, same-y plots, and the like?