Have You Taken A Pamphlet?
SPOILERS FOR THOR: RAGNAROK FOLLOW!
By pretty much all accounts, Thor: Ragnarok is another major success for Marvel Studios. The mixture of comedy and the world of the God of Thunder, under the watchful eye of director Taika Waititi, was a combination that somehow worked really well critically and with audiences. There’s a lot to like about Ragnarok, from Chris Hemsworth’s great comic timing, to the Hulk’s excellent action scenes, but the one thing that’s stuck with me the most is one of the smaller characters: Korg.
Played by Waititi, Korg is more than just a way for the director to ensure a paycheck for future appearances. Korg serves as a really funny comic relief character, which is a far cry from how I imagined the character when I first saw him in Greg Pak’s “Planet Hulk” storyline. While he seemed like your typical tough guy rock monster in that series, in Ragnarok he’s actually a really sweet and soft spoken creature.
This subverting of expectation encapsulates what makes Marvel Studios work so damn well. Korg could’ve been just a generic rock guy that we’ve seen in countless other sci-fi adventures (hell, he’s not that far removed from the Fantastic Four’s Thing really), but by twisting his personality into that of just an average guy who’s largely unphased by the situation he’s in causes him to have a much bigger impact than before. Plus the idea that the reason he’s on Sakaar is because his revolution failed due to not “having enough pamphlets” is pretty damn funny.
Korg was probably the last character I expected to make such an impact on me from Ragnarok, and while he doesn’t have a big action moment like Thor, Valkyrie, Hulk, or Loki, he didn’t need one to stand out. Just hearing that weird New Zealand accent coming out of a giant rock monster was more than enough, and it speaks to Marvel’s willingness to let their directors try new things. Everyone likes to say that Marvel is a very factory minded studio, and they are right to a degree, but if they were so rigid do you really think they’d let Waititi put this spin on Korg? Hell, do you think they’d have let Ragnarok be released the way that it is? Korg, and Ragnarok in general, are proof that Marvel Studios has the confidence to stand behind their directors now, regardless of if the final product fully fits within the “Marvel Mold” or not. That’s something to keep in mind the next time you hear that “all Marvel movies are the same”.