Resurrected comic series will take place in Oklahoma

Perhaps attracted by our state's cheap real estate, Thor is relocating to Oklahoma, where he will battle evildoers.


That's right. Marvel Comics recently announced the resurrection of the comic series started in 1962 by Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, and will locate the hero in Oklahoma, according to a release from the company.


Disguised as humble, disabled Dr. Donald Blake, Thor, named for the Norse god of thunder, will reside in a town west of Oklahoma City.


This is from the comic's Web site: "The story: A freak thunderstorm hit the wide open spaces of Oklahoma "¦ the same day a young doctor named Donald Blake drove into town! Now the friendly residents of this cozy burg are just as puzzled by the walking stick-carrying young man as they are by the storm clouds gathering on the horizon. Little do they know an honest-to-goodness god of Asgard walks among them, searching for his own home in the heart of theirs "¦ and he's got big plans for their dusty little town! But what connection does Asgard " and Norse mythology have to the wide-open plains of Oklahoma?"


Perhaps this explains the recent weather patterns.


Writer J. Michael Straczynski, who worked on "Amazing Spider Man" and the TV show "Babylon 5," told The Oklahoman recently that he wanted to place the comic hero in another place besides New York City (and about damn time).


"I wanted to put this somewhere fresh, somewhere in the American heartland, and for a number of reasons, including the Heavener runestones, this seemed like the perfect place," Straczynski said.


For those who missed that part, the Heavener Runestone is a big rock " located at a park of the same name in eastern Oklahoma " which has what is reputed to be Viking writing on it. The state built a park around the main stone, but others are located in other areas. While the validity of these writings has been called into question, Straczynski thinks the connection is perfect.


"In traditional mythology, you could be walking across an open field and run into Thor or Hercules or Diana, and I want to go back to that notion, putting the gods of Asgard (the great heavenly home of the Norse gods) in conversational range of average people, not just superheroes," he said. "I like that contrast of that, but at the same time there is a complementary aspect as well."


Thor and his cohorts " Heimdell, Sif and Balder " along with his faithful hammer, Mjolnir, will rebuild Asgard in Oklahoma as the story progresses, Straczynski said. He said the characters will interact with the locals and act neighborly " like he remembers Oklahomans acting toward him.


"My experience the few times I've been in Oklahoma has been that folks for the most part tend to be very accepting and courteous and neighborly," Straczynski said. "So I see the folks near Asgard being very welcoming to their new neighbors " inviting them to town meetings and dinners and the like. Sure, a few folks might slip in some church pamphlets to leave on chairs, but I really don't see this as being a big, divisive point."


And as for future plot devices? Expect Oklahoma to show up a lot.


"The area of Heavener runes eventually will come into play, but for the day-to-day stuff, I put the location in a big, open area well west of Oklahoma City," he said.


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