The Practical Magic of Asgard

asgard

   “I just don’t see how they can make a movie that’s full of magic and monsters and expect that to fit in with a science fiction movie like Iron Man.”

For most people, Tony Stark’s Iron Man makes some kind of sense. Its the sort of thing that is actually possible in the real world…give or take a decade or so. So my friend…and many like him…just didn’t know what to make of Thor, Odin, and Asgard. Magic? Giant ice monsters? A rainbow bridge that zips you around the universe? A magical hammer that flies?

“I think Marvel is making a mistake,” my friend confesses, “ I don’t think audiences will get this.”

Anybody who grew up reading Marvel comics knew otherwise, of course. Peas and carrots, buddy. Peas and carrots.

Most everything that made Marvel awesome came from the hands and brains of two people: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Stan wrote stories, Jack drew them. But there’s sufficient reason to believe that, if we’re being completely honest about the history of Marvel, the lion’s share of credit should probably go to Kirby for making Marvel Comics the cauldron of mystery and might that it became. Jack Kirby had a style that can best be described as “psychedelic”, and, for my money, the most singular aspect of Kirby’s perspective on the world was his unrelentingly blurred lines dividing magic and science. Elves and aliens and gods and demons and superintelligent computer minds…all of these things live quite happily in the Marvel Universe thanks mostly to Jack Kirby.

My guess is that Kirby’s attitude toward things like magic and technology was much like the one I have now: its all just a matter of language and imagination. In that spirit, I submit that, from a certain perspective, everything we see in Thor…Asgardian magic, Odin’s vast power, Thor’s mystical hammer…all of these things are well within the realm of possibility in the universe as we understand it.

How can all that magic and sorcery possibly fit into our real world? I’ll explain…

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