Asgardians do like their discs, it seems. That’s the first thing that pops out at me from this image, the discs on Odin’s shoulders, Thor’s chest and Loki’s point collar of evil. It’s an interesting design choice and I like how it ties the three of them together despite them all clearly wearing entirely different outfits.
The layered effect on those outfits is the other thing this image really drives home and it seems we really are in ‘Technology as magic’ territory here. I like the way Odin’s in particular looks, the idea of multple layers of metal combining to form something which looks durable, tough and flexible at the same time. It doesn’t look organic but it does look very old, very different and strong in the same way the Iron Man suits do. In fact, come to think of it, there’s a distinct air of the Adi Granovs to Odin in particular…
Let’s talk about the world’s Welshest All Father for a moment shall we? Good LORD he looks happy to be there, and I love the metal eyepatch. It puts me in mind, in fact, of Christopher Plummer’s nailed on patch in Star Trek VI, just a little more stylish and probably far less agony-inducing. The mirrring of the chest design on the eyepatch is nice too.
What’s really interesting though is how vital Odin looks. This isn’t a tired old man waiting for his sons to succeed him, Hopkins looks like he’s ready to hop over the battlements and start hacking Frost Giants in half, and the armor only emphasises that. It’ll be interesting to see if the potential conflict between a ‘hands on’ Odin and Thor will be part of the movie.
Then, of course, there’s Thor. This is the first real look we’ve had at Chris Hemsworth in the outfit and he looks good, hitting the right combination of terrifying ManMountain and slightly uncertain prince. Thor’s always interested me when he’s been written as a more violent, direct Hamlet, a man who has absolute faith in his abilities and only trips up when that faith, that willingness to dive headlong into danger is exploited. Hemsworth looks to have nailed that, and the troubled expression is, I think revealing. After all, whilst Dad is looking out over the brave new world, Thor’s looking at the frost giant’s child-sized elephant in the room, Loki.
Loki was always going to be a problem. Do him right, and you hit the Gigantic Galactus Hat problem of trying to make a man wearing a pair of antlers on top of a bodystocking look frightening. Do him wrong and you’ve got…Thor without the workout, a snivelling, snide comic relief figure instead of the chess player he should be. Loki thinks nine moves ahead, something beautifully realised in the JMS/Oliver Coipel run on the title, and to be convincing, he has to be, and crucially, look, smart.
Tom Hiddleston looks great, he’s got the right combination of physical presence and intelligence and, once again, where he’s looking is massively significant; Odin’s back, presumably wondering where to drive the knife. I like the hints of the Antler Hat too that the collar gives too and absolutely love using his cloak to show not only Loki’s signature green but that he’s different to the other two.
Finally, the set’s interesting isn’t it? I’ve just finished the first two collections of the JMS/Coipel run and this seems to be their Asgard, full of clean stone, high ceilings and the tiniest hints of machined technology (The grate in the ceiling for example). It’s an interesting take on the home of the Gods, a blank canvas whose size is meant to communicate their power as well as provide a stage for their wars to play out on and it certainly looks promising based on this shot.
So overall, I’m impressed. The costumes look good, there’s a hell of a lot of information in what looks like a fairly standard shot and even Mjolnir looks right. Personally, I’d like to see Titus Pullo/Volstagg turn up in the next bit of publicity but for not this will do very nicely.
– Alisdair Stuart