Welcome to another chapter of Loki Year 2016! This time, we’re going to talk about modern myths. In particular, about geeks and jocks. How Loki and Thor are presented is paramount to understand their relationship within the American society. I know, they are both from Asgard, but the story in the comics and the movies, at least as told from Marvel’s perspective, has to be understood within the American pop culture. So, in that sense, we have that Loki is a geek and Thor is a jock. I’ve already talked about stereotyping in comics and movies, but I’d like to explore how the duo are perfect stereotypes for geeks and jocks. We can see it easily in the movies, but we can also find it in recent comic books as well, like Loki Agent of Asgard.
An stereotype is an oversimplified idea of a thing, a person or a group of people. Stereotypes are useful to convey information quickly, specially in the world of comics and movies. Just with some hints, readers and viewers know what the character might be up to. This gives our brains security because we can sort of predict what’s going to happen. When we take a look at the movies, in THOR we can see a mischievous Loki from the very beginning. Not only the darker looks give us clues, but also his fashion. A horned helm anyone? But, does Asgardian fashion or culture give us something else but clues on who might be good and who might be evil?
Within the Marvel Universe, magic and science are but one bogus thing. Magic happens to be unknown science. Thus, the God of trickery, Loki, would be no other than a geek within Asgardian society. He studies and does “dark” stuff most people cannot understand. He is pale and sometimes even ambiguous. And what is worse: he looks kind of weak in comparison with other Asgardians. Thor, however, is per definition the perfect jock, the perfect sportsman. He is athletic, strong has few brains, a quick temper and is more about punching than thinking. In essence, the tantrum Loki throws out towards his brother very much resembles what happens within a high-school! Jocks and geeks in a love-hate relationship!
Marvel is exporting worldwide the American myth of the geek and the jock through their comics and movies. The relationship between Loki and Thor is one that can be seen as friendly at times while as totally hostile other times. Even in the comics, when they’re not dressed like gods, they follow the stereotypes completely. Thor wears jeans with tees and drinks lots of beer. Other times, Thor is presented like the perfect quarterback! Loki, on the other hand, wears longer sleeves, and casual clothing plays video games and knows tons about Midgardian technology.
Not all audiences are going to understand these stereotypes in the same way. How audiences understand the meaning of the story in comics is called closure, and how someone makes the closure of a comic is tainted by culture and their personal experiences. So, not everyone who saw the movies or reads the comics is going to see this geek-jock dance, nor going to understand the love-hate relationship Thor and Loki have.
Modern myths are born within a certain culture. We live in a time when exporting myths worldwide is quite easy thanks to movies, comic books, and the internet. Closures are closer, but nuances might be different in each location.
Loki, the Trickster God, the Geek, the ambiguous one will always be part of our imaginations. As time passes, he will grow and change with us, as Norse Myths did into our age. We are the ones to create myths according to our needs in every point in time.
Want to read more about Loki as a Geek and Thor as a Jock? Read this here!
Next LOKIsday we’ll continue reading the Gospel of Loki. Join us during this Loki Year 2016! Get Loki!
What we know so far: