This post contains potential spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok. You've been warned.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe rolling nicely along the road toward the Avengers: Infinity War centerpiece, it's easy to overlook what could be one of the most interesting pieces of Phase 3 — Thor: Ragnarok, which is currently filming in Brisbane, Australia.
Ragnarok star Chris Hemsworth — the Thunder God himself — yesterday posted a cheeky behind-the-scenes snap of himself with his co-star and on-screen brother Tom Hiddleston "selling papers" on the Ragnarok set. But it's more than a cute snapshot, this sneak peek could give away some major plot points about the upcoming movie.
The really interesting part of the image is the various newspapers we see in the rack behind Hemsworth, suggesting that the Thunder God and his brother will be making more than just a flying visit to Earth when Ragnarok rolls around.
1. Incognito On The Mortal Plane
Specifically, they'll be visiting New York again, as the papers in question are the The Colonial Post, Big Apple News, Lady Liberty News and Sleepless City News, with references to the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. Quite an interesting reveal, given that what we'd heard previously about the movie suggested that it would primarily be set off-world, neither on Earth nor Asgard.
It's worth noting that both actors appear in plain clothes rather than their Asgardian garb, with Hemsworth's Thor sporting a pair of jeans and a hoodie, while Hiddleston's Loki appears in a sharp suit similar to the clothing he wore during the Stuttgart scene in The Avengers, and when he visited his brother in S.H.I.E.L.D. captivity during Thor.
This certainly seems to suggest that the two might end up laying low on Earth or working together à la The Dark World, but why? Does this mean we shouldn't expect Loki to be the villain this time around?
This reveal also opens up all kinds of cameo possibilities, should the troubled brothers run into any of Thor's teammates while they're in the area. But there's something even more interesting lurking within the headlines themselves. Let's break them down.
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2. The Colonial Post: Hammer Attack
The top headline on the newspaper rack is The Colonial Post, reading "HAMMER ATTACK." Not a huge surprise to learn that there was a hammer involved — this is a Thor outing after all — but does this mean we're getting a new villain with a hammer? And one seriously Ronald McDonald-looking character at that, holding a hammer similar in shape to Thor's Mjolnir.
There are a few notable instances of villains wielding hammers in Thor stories, as in the Avengers Disassembled crossover, which features the most recent Ragnarok of the comics. Avengers Disassembled: Thor is the story from which Ragnarok is expected to take certain story elements, and it features Loki triggering a huge Ragnarok, 'cause that's just what he do.
During this time Loki forges new weapons from Uru, the material from which Mjolnir was created, after acquiring the mold used to created Mjolnir many years before. He uses the mold to supply his forces with new hammers — not as strong as Mjolnir but more numerous, able to overpower the forces of Asgard.
More recently, the events of the major Marvel Universe crossover Fear Itself saw the return of Odin's banished brother — the Serpent, God of Fear — who bestowed divine power upon his seven warriors, dubbed "the Worthy." The Worthy drew their power from seven celestial hammers gifted to them by the Serpent. Sin — the daughter of the Red Skull and Herald of the Serpent — had her own divine hammer too, which she used to kill Bucky Barnes/Captain America.
There's not been much to suggest that we could see elements from Fear Itself coming into play for Ragnarok, but it's worth noting that there's only one currently confirmed Ragnarok actor who we don't have a character name for yet — Jasper Bagg — and guess who he kinda totally looks like?
Yep, the Serpent.
A big reach? Sure, but with facial hair that convincing, we're sticking with this speculation.
3. Big Apple News: Has Thor Returned?
From the looks of things, we're also going to get to see Thor going head to head with — Lady Justice? Lady Justice is the Roman goddess of Justice, often used as a representation of law and order in the court system — appearing blindfolded with a scale and sword.
Does this mean we'll see Thor going head to head with the American justice system? Kinda doubt it, but statues and murals of Lady Justice adorn many a New York Courthouse, so perhaps we'll see a battle taking place at one of those locations? The image used on the front page of the paper is almost entirely cropped out, but we can see what looks like a flash of lightning there, supporting the headline that suggests that Thor perhaps causes a bolt of lightning to strike a statue of Lady Justice.
Also that's terrible punctuation there, where's the question mark? Get it together Big Apple News. No pictures of Spider-Man for you lot.
4. Lady Liberty News: Time Square Murder
Another snippet from Lady Liberty News reads "TIME SQUARE MURDER," along with a picture of what looks very much like New York's famous Times Square. Another spelling error perhaps?
No huge guesses as to what this could mean for Ragnarok, it could just be something entirely unrelated. But given that the rest of the newspapers in the rack seem to be pretty directly related to Thor and Loki's shenanigans, perhaps this mysterious murder has something to do with why the Thunder God returns to Earth?
5. Sleepless City News: Villain Loki Spotted
Finally, at the bottom of the rack, the Sleepless City News runs a front-page story on the possible return of Loki. It's perhaps a surprise that this isn't the main page story across all publications, after Loki nearly annihilated the city of New York a few years before in The Avengers.
The subheadline of the paper is cut off in the Instagram image, but it seems to be reporting an unconfirmed sighting of the God of Mischief on Earth, likely occurring around the same time that Thor was rocking it up with Lady Justice.
This raises another question: Do Thor and Loki come to Earth together, or does one go there looking for the other? Perhaps Loki is seeking the hammer wielder referred to in The Colonial Post? Or maybe he just wanted a vacation from ruling Asgard? Pretending to be eyepatch Anthony Hopkins — sorry, Odin — must get tiring after a while.
What Can We Make Of All This?
Unless Hemsworth is seriously trolling us here, it seems like there could be a lot of interesting Ragnarok related goodies in this seemingly innocuous image. The biggest revelation though is certainly the confirmation that we'll be seeing Thor and Loki returning to Earth, however brief their visit might be.
So this begs the question: Where does Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) come into all this? Could it be that the Asgardians have returned to fetch him, for whatever reason? The question of how exactly he gets his purple-clad butt into outer space in the first place is still to be answered — there's no Illuminati kicking around in the MCU to fire him off in a rocket using a life model decoy of Nick Fury, after all.
Curiouser and curiouser. For now we'll have to wait until we learn more about the secretive Thor: Ragnarok to make a more educated guess on what Thor and Loki will be getting up to upon Earth. What do you think?
What do you think will happen during Thor: Ragnarok? Have your say in the comments, and see Thor & Loki in action for the Marvel dance off below!