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Thor's Movie Costume: Function Over Fantasy?

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Hot on the heels of the release of Captain America's new movie duds last week, more concept art out of Marvel Studios was "leaked", this time of Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god himself, Thor. Though we had seen a brief, and rather obscured, publicity photo of Thor a few weeks back, this is the first time we've gotten a look at the outfit in its entirety.

My initial impressions from the original publicity photo were very positive, but now that we've gotten the costume in full, my excitement has turned to fear. Similar to the Cap costume that was essentially a decent mash-up of the classic and Ultimate costumes with a dash of functionality thrown in, Thor sees elements from various different realms but is less successful making them work.

Hemsworth's facial look is straight up taken from the Ultimates camp, with his semi-epic beard and long locks. And really, we can split the outfit in half: the top and the bottom. The top half is a stellar mix of Thor's current look and his Ultimates design, similar to the amalgamation that Captain American had. The under armor/chain mail that movie Thor wears is a direct inspiration from the modern comics, while the blue glowing hue of the plates on his chest is one of the most defining characteristics of Ultimate Thor. The rest of the upper body is a further mixture, while the film includes Thor's cape (not present in Ultimates) but does not include his ridiculous helmet (present in modern/classic depictions). Notably missing as well is the Belt of Power, which pretty much is dependent on the artist in terms of if it appears in the comics or not.

The bottom half of the new costume is where things get funky. Using the same "functionality over style" mentality that was present in the Cap costume, the movie Thor gets some tight leather and wrestling boots in place of a loin cloth, spandex, and oversized crime fighter boots. It's a good idea in theory, but when you consider that cinematic Thor also has a long flowing cape to deal with, why not go crazy with pizazz over realism, especially for a character so firmly rooted in fantasy?

 

This conflict leaves Hemsworth's Thor in a bit of a weird spot. Compared to the costume design of Captain America and Iron Man, this costume makes perfect sense. But within the confines of the outfit itself, it's a bit conflicting and even contradictory.

While the suit itself could sway my opinion once seen in action, I have to say that the biggest letdown of the Thor costume is Mjolnir, Thor's trusty hammer. It looks like something Mario brought back from an encounter with the Hammer Bros. and then made Toad wire it with some LEDs. It's tiny. Historically, it's in keeping with how Mjolnir has been classically drawn, but man. It's the big screen! Let's ramp it up a bit and make Thor's Hammer a force to be reckoned with, a giant monstrosity of a weapon that is believable as the source of Thor's powers!

While I credit Marvel for sticking to the same mold as Iron Man and Captain America, Thor is a strange beast because while the aforementioned properties are rooted in technology, Asgard is a fictional fantasy land and I'm not entirely sure that the design of Thor's film outfit should have been relegated to functionality.

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