It looks like we are set for a Thoriffic time when Marvel's #ThorRagnarok swings Mjolnir onto our screens in November. While the DCEU is still playing catch up to Marvel, there is no denying that for the time being at least, the #MCU is ruling #superhero films far beyond Asgard.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, and Thor: Ragnarok bring the Marvelverse to an impressive 17 films since Iron Man in 2008; however, is MCU relying on misleading its viewers with gimmicky titles as a way to bring in more fans?
What's In A Name?
Readers of the Thor #comicbook series will know that the upcoming threequel will only be a loose representation of the "Ragnarok" series from 1978. In fact, the live-action film will be more of an amalgamation of 2006's "Planet Hulk" than the "Ragnarok" arc.
Written by Roy Thomas and drawn by John Buscema, "Ragnarok" ran in Thor #272-278 and showed Asgard in the twilight of its years. It contained an alien serpent, the death of Balder, and a red-headed Thor. Heralded as one of the ultimate Thor storylines, newcomers to the universe shouldn't rush out and grab themselves a couple of copies of "Ragnarok" ahead of Marvel's film. Reportedly, Taika Waititi’s Thor film will only use the comic books as a launchpad — so, why the name?
The Age Of Titles
The fact is, we have seen this happen 1,000 times before. Avengers: Age of Ultron was definitely not an alternate reality tale set in the ruins of New York, while Captain America: Civil War definitely didn't follow its climactic big deaths from the 2006–2007 arc. In fact, "Civil War" dramatically altered the entire future of Marvel comic books, while the undoubtedly spectacular film outing didn't really change anything. Elsewhere, Spider-Man: Homecoming won't follow Peter Parker's time at university and Avengers: Infinity War will actually be based off Jim Starlin's "The Infinity Gauntlet" storyline rather than the "Infinity War" crossover arc.
It seems to be an annoying new trend that has come out of nowhere. The Christopher Reeve Superman films didn't have titles like Superman: Birthright, Burton didn't name it Batman: A Death in the Family, and it wasn't X-Men: House of M — mainly because none of these events were the basis of the film. We have already seen X-Men: Apocalypse fail to live up to its own hype, mainly thanks to an inability to cram so many colorful comic book panels into a two-hour runtime.
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Don't Look To The Books
If you look at novels in general, the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, James Bond, and Game of Thrones have come under fire for missing out large chunks of their source materials, so why do comic book movies not face the same criticism? It isn't across the board though; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn't have a fancy prefix and Iron Man 3 took elements of 2005's "Extremis" storyline without feeling the need to call it Iron Man: Extremis.
Admittedly, things have gotten a little complicated recently, what with character disputes and rights to shared universes, a repurposing of the source can actually work in a film's favor. Swapping a time-traveling Kitty Pryde for Wolverine or having Thor battle Hulk are seen as great twists on what fans think they should expect. Unfortunately, by naming the upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok, some will come to theaters with an unrealistic expectation of what they will see.
Comic book sales may be in decline, however, by looking like you have named a film after the first comic book you picked up from the shop is one surefire way to piss people off. Whatever happens though, Marvel seems to be doing something right and Ragnarok could be called 3hor or Thor: Hulking Not Sulking for all I care, it looks like it could be one of the MCU's best films yet.
Check out the full trailer for Thor: Ragnarok and don't forget our poll below!
Do you think 'Thor: Ragnarok' is a misleading title?
[Poll Image Credit: Disney]