Saturday, November 17, 2007


A top-five list on the Cracked Magazine website isn't exactly the first place you'd expect to find theological insight. But Thor grabbed the #2 spot on their recent list of "5 Upcoming Comic Book Movies That Must Be Stopped," and their rationale includes this discussion of his origin:
The origin of the comic god goes like this: The arrogant Thor needs a lesson in humility, so his father Odin, the ruler of all gods, sends him to Earth in the form of a crippled mortal to teach him to be humble. When Thor finally learns his shits do stink, his mortal form dies off and he is allowed to become himself again.

This spiritual lesson serves to confirm two things: Being handicapped is God's way of punishing you for religious transgressions, and to the son of God, Earth is essentially a giant time-out where instead of facing a corner for five minutes you live a short, challenging life rife with confusion and pain until you are eventually allowed to die.

Granted, Cracked got the origin story wrong—there's nothing about Donald Blake dying; he becomes Thor again when he finds his hammer—but the insight still stands. Something always bugged me about Thor's Don Blake persona, and it wasn't just that he was the most character-less alter ego in the Marvel stable. Blake is essentially the incarnation of a deity, and the nature of that incarnation says some dark things about the way the universe is run.

Co-posted on SF Gospel