The prevalence of Catholic writers in science fiction is examined. The new hit video game Undertale is reviewed. And we take a look at Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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The Guardian examines the long-term influence of one of the world's most famous science fiction novels. A comic details the story of a cop secretly practicing magic. And Vin Diesel explains how The Silmarillion informs his views of mortality. It's Airy Monday, our weekly look at magic and religion in popular culture. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Yesterday, the first issue of Marvel's LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD arrived in your local Comics and Games Emporium. I haven't yet acquired my copy, because a frost giants are currently attacking my neighborhood and my roommate is too busy binging on Star Trek: Enterprise to dig his car out so we can exit the driveway, but I want to encourage you to pick up this comic.* If you have any interest in Marvel comics, or the Marvel movies – or, to tread into dangerous waters, in the ongoing folkloric evolution of Norse mythology through popular culture – you should give it a read.
The first two categories should be obvious: Loki is a major character in the Marvel Universe, and arguably the second most popular character in the movies after Tony Stark. AGENT OF ASGARD appears to be the culmination of several years of intense character development for Loki as well as a re-alignment of the character to better match Tom Hiddleston's portrayal in the films. But my third reason may require more explanation....
At nearly the same time that Marvel Comics canceled JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY - a title that spent the entirety of its most recent run exploring the unique and wonderful creation that is Marvel's Asgard - one of Marvel's most prominent writers launched a comic through Avatar Press that I, perhaps naively, hoped might fill the void left by JIM in my monthly comics stack. Like JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, this comic would seem to deal with the storytelling trope of ancient gods in the modern world, a premise full of culture clashes and opportunities for introspection into the role of mythology, both in the past and in the now. At best, this could have been an AMERICAN GODS-like myth trip. And even if it were just average, the premise alone would seem to guarantee some fun stories, right?
So I bought it....
Ten days ago, I finished a long and occasionally arduous journey deep into the heart of nerdom: I finally read every issue of Marvel's THOR and its sister comic, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, published since the character came back in 2007.*
Between here and there, there have been about 60 issues of the main Thor book, plus 37 issues of Journey into Mystery, plus assorted one-shorts and miniseries. (I'll confess, I haven't read every single one of the one-shots, mainly because Marvel released a ton of them around the time the movie came out and I'm sorting out what's what. If I stumble onto any gems, I'll let you know.) That's a lot of comics - Gods bless the iPad, without which I doubt I ever would have taken up the project....