Firstly, there’s such a thing as a comic called THOR: THE DARK WORLD, “Prelude”, a two-part “limited series” introduced this month which is apparently designed as a movie tie-in meant to bridge the gap for readers between the first THOR film and the new DARK WORLD film set for release in the US on November 8th, 2013. The comic sports an action shot of actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor looking, of course, rather dashing and menacing, hammer in hand. Also unsurprisingly, the comic opens with an ad for the film, with a closer-up image of Hemsworth as Thor looking dashing, menacing, but concerned, as snow and rain pelt around him in the dark. So, for a comic that’s supposed to help readers connect the dots and glimpse things to come in small part, what can it tell us?
[*Spoilers for the “Prelude” comic below though they aren’t all that earth-shattering]
-The Frost Giants didn’t have a very good year after Loki was dispersed across the universe in the first THOR film.
-Troll Lords may feature in DARK WORLD, and have their sights set on attacking a Dwarf or two.
-Civil war is breaking out among the Badoon and is likely to spread among the Nine Realms.
-Marauders of some variety are threatening Vanaheim.
-There are major repercussions for Thor’s necessary but brash destruction of the bridge Bifrost in the first THOR film which is essentially the crack in the dam leading to the DARK WORLD chaos brewing. This seems like a serious point that really will bear thematic weight in the new film. Thor feels guilty that his actions have caused this imbalance, since without Bifrost, the Aesir cannot travel between the Nine Realms bringing order and rule.
-Heimdall is actually a lot smarter than the first THOR film seems to give him credit for, and pretty much knows everything that’s going on everywhere in the Nine Realms.
-Odin is still badass but believes Ragnarok is on the way and not much can be done to stop it.
-Humans in Midgard, particularly Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest in the first film, played by Natalie Portman, will continue to attempt to do sciency things they don’t understand to open wormholes and any forethought about the damage they might do by being so whimsical will be casually laughed off with quips ad infinitum.
-DARK WORLD will be a very loud film with only the most alarming sound-effects to judge by the many “KRAKOOMS!” in the “Prelude” comic. In all actuality, this is probably an accurate prediction.
What you may not realize, but isn’t a terribly difficult logical leap to make is that the “Prelude” comic actually may tell us a thing or two about how the first THOR film ties into the AVENGERS film, also. The major point that it makes is one that really did need to be explained further: how Thor, in the absence of the bridge Bifrost, actually managed to travel to earth to help out in the AVENGERS film, considering his normal travel routes were out of commission. In “Prelude”, we witness some “dark energy” magic known only to Odin that involves the components of Thor’s axe and Odin’s spear to take care of that little impasse which is given some explication lacking in AVENGERS.
Trailers and promo for THE DARK WORLD tell us that the film is set 1 year after the events of THE AVENGERS and that Thor will have to find a way to save the Nine Realms from a malevolent vengeance quest by Malekith, leading an ancient race against the universe. “Ultimate sacrifices” are hinted at for Thor. Let’s hope that’s some kind of heroic resurrection myth and not just a leading lady condemned to an unpleasant end to prove her love. The “Prelude” comic does reinforce the romance elements of the Thor/Jane dynamic as both struggle to find each other again, but the comic does suggest a broad, epic scale for the events of THE DARK WORLD, hopefully fully realized as a universal threat with sympathetic characters going for broke to save their worlds. “Prelude” doesn’t contain a lot of information, which again, is not that much of a shock, since it’s engineered not to really spill the beans about the film, but there are a few hints here and there to take away from it if you are fond of prognostications in the Marvel filmic universe.
Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress. Find her bio here.