More on Loki Year 2016! Catching up with the series, we discover that knowledge is power! Loki knows that gathering great amounts of knowledge means a great power for him. But, is there anything else? Today we are reading Geek Anthropology of Loki’s Army to discover to what extent knowledge must be power. As you know, Loki is a trickster “God” in the Marvel Universe (cinematic and comics). He lies, disguises himself as he wishes, transforms in whatever he wants and has extense knowledge about Midgard. However, here we’re not going to explore Loki per se, but what Marvel did to portray him and his environment for us to get all-so-Loki about him. Said in other words: how Loki is Marvel? Let me tell you: Marvel is very Loki!
The best clues are those hidden in plain sight. Thus, Marvel has used techniques to hide clues for fans and fans-to-be in front of our noses: from fashion to dialogues to colors. Everything around Loki is a great masterpiece of disguising our trickster in front of our noses. But how?
In comics, there’s a process called encapsulation. It entails choosing key moments of a narrative and present them to the reader in a certain order. In the movies, Marvel shot different key moments, but at the end of the day cut some scenes. We can all go to the DVD and check them out when we purchase it, but when we go to the cinemas, we’re stuck with the official cut of the movie. When we take a look at the extras, we understand further, or our ideas for certain characters might change as well.
Encapsulating means that chunks of information have to be delivered quickly, meaning that the use of certain techniques are a must to let the audience understand what’s all about. Thus, the use of colors and stereotypes will let us know quickly who is the hero and who is the villain, even if we have no clue whatsoever about the story in the first place. Think about, the colors: dark green and gold for Loki, bright silver and red for Thor. Black hair for Loki, with pale looks and lurking in the shadows for the most part. Thor has blond hair, he is open in his movements and shows a healthy skin (and biceps too). Just taking a look at these two, we already know who is going to play the hero and who is going to play the villain. Those colors and stereotypes work in our culture, and thus, Marvel has used them to explain quickly to the audience who is going to play what part in the narrative.
Fashion will tell us heaps about their personalities, but how they move and how they speak will also tell us a lot. 93% of communication is non-verbal communication. Thus, seeing Loki in a cell reading a book and Thor smashing some cups in a coffee shop talks volumes about them: Loki is a bookworm, the geek. Thor is the sportsman, the jock. Loki is smart, but Thor isn’t that much. Loki is cold-blooded and thinks and plots, while Thor is hot-blooded and just acts as he feels.
Our perceptions on Loki are totally tainted by culture. Conventions on what colors are positive and what colors negative, learned stereotypes on geeks and jocks, and our personal experiences will bring us to certain conclusions on each character in the narrative. Why are we so attracted to Loki? Why did Marvel create such a tricky character?
Loki feels that he doesn’t belong to Asgard, despite being his home. He feels like an outcast, misunderstood by his kin. And yet, he longs to be part of the flock, but he can’t: he is too smart, too sensitive and he wants to fit in nevertheless. True, his ways might be wicked, but don’t we feel like him at least once a day?
Next: we’re reading lessons 9 to 10 of the Gospel of Loki. Join us during this Loki Year 2016! Get Loki!
What we know so far:
- Loki Year 2016: the Intro + downloadable pdf: go here.
- THOR, the movie.
- Who is Loki?
- Lokabrenna, let there be light!
- Sif’s haircut.
- The Avengers.
- Modern Myths, Loki is a Geek and Thor is a Jock.
- Loki is never fitting in…
- Freyja’s Wedding.
- Thor: The Dark World.
- The worse environment of all.
- Messing around.
- Freyja’s necklace.
- The Creation of the World.