After ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ more superhero movies may be on the same track
By Veronnica MacKillop, Contributor
The latest Thor film brought an upbeat change in tone and displayed plenty of similarities to the comic book, which may have been just what fans have been looking for from Marvel and DC.
Thor: Ragnarok hit theatres last weekend, and Marvel fans were thrilled with the third installment of the Thor series. The movie is unexpectedly hilarious. Marvel tends to incorporate humour into their films, but Ragnarok almost seems more like a comedy than anything else.
Apart from humour, the movie uses bright, bold colours, fast-paced action sequences, and architecture reminiscent of older Thor comic books. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has stated on Twitter that the movie was heavily influenced by Jack Kirby’s art in the Thor comics from 1962 to 1969, and this influence is easy to spot. From costumes to the green, orange, and blue focused colour palette, right down to the jokes and references, influence from the 1960s series is seen all throughout Ragnarok.
It seems that more comic book movies nowadays are taking artistic inspiration from the stories that sparked them. The first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) seemed more like kid’s movies, with simple colour palettes and jokes that verged on cheesy, easy humour. The trend shifted towards a more extreme yet whimsical approach of bright, colourful, and funny with Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Many fans thought this movie was funnier than previous MCU films, perhaps because of the more adult-oriented humour. The space adventure film may have started a tonal shift for the MCU, and if fan theories are correct, the fourth phase of the MCU will take place pretty much entirely in space, so the theme is probably here to stay—for the next while, anyway.
Even DC seems to be taking a break from its dark and brooding past. Since the first few movies after the Dark Knight Trilogy didn’t perform as well as was hoped for, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is trying to regain its fan base. 2016’s Suicide Squad, though widely regarded as a flop, did make some interesting choices in terms of bold colour palettes, heavy comic book influences, and, of course, humour. Given Wonder Woman’s success, and the upcoming Justice League film, the DCEU may be on the right track. With the casting of Ezra Miller as The Flash, we can expect a few quick-witted one-liners, and judging from the snippets we’ve seen in trailers, the classic comic book style colour choices of bright yellow, orange, green, and blue seem to be prevalent in Justice League, rather than DC’s usual palette of dark blue, grey, and muted red.
Marvel’s Black Panther, hitting theatres in February 2018, may be taking style notes from movies such as Guardians or Ragnarok. The surreal Wakanda setting is breathtaking, and the heavy uses of blues and purples are not only similar to the comic, but are sure to fit in well with the MCU’s upcoming intergalactic theme. Based on the trailers, Black Panther seems like it will be taking on more of a serious tone, rather than the humorous one of Ragnarok, but that is true to the comic, so this makes sense if the MCU is trying to emulate comics more in their movies.
As we know, both DC and Marvel have at least the next few years of movies planned out, and many hope that the whimsical comic-book-inspired style is here to stay, as well as the humorous tone from Ragnarok.