Monday, May 14, 2012

Avengers RULE: "You have made me VERY desperate!"

To have a great superhero story, you need a great villain. He cannot be two-dimensional foil, or the heroes have no real victory in fighting him/her - there must be a heroic qualities that are perverted - glimmers of hope that the villain COULD be redeemed - or was once a great ally. This is the stuff legends are made of  and these are the villains we love to hate and find ourselves attracted to even as we know they must be defeated. Having many excellent qualities, they are undone ONLY by their villainy, the very wrongness of their goal. Thus, it gives hope to all of us that one day the good guys will win, despite other inadequacies they may have.

Loki has always, in my mind, been a second-rate villain. Conniving and deceitful, the "half-slash-adopted" brother of Thor, he is portrayed in the comics as a manipulator behind the scenes, and terrifically unequal in combat to his larger and more noble sibling.

But not under Joss Whedon's expert writing and Tom Hiddleston's dynamic, Heath Ledger-esque, Anthony Hopkins-honoring, Jack Nicholson-emulating performance, Loki is the Deceiver made flesh. He is a murderer, a liar and a thief. He is precisely what Satan is described as.

He's also vulnerable, charming, intelligent, witty, sarcastic, fashionable, ruthlessly sleek and courteous.

Whatever works, he uses. Scary as hell, folks. Scary as hell.

Hiddleston Becomes Loki
Like watching Robert Downey Jr. take the role of Iron Man and make it his very own, Tom Hiddelston  leverages his clean features, even smile and noble face to portray a dark son of Odin, who has fallen from grace yet is loved by the very family he hates. All because he wants to be a king, and rule as such.

Hiddelston has pulled off nearly the impossible working with Joss Whedon. He becomes a villain you almost wish you could be. My God, it is terrifying to see you WANT to like Loki and listen to him, even help him, and then, in two seconds, find him eviscerating you emotionally, digging your guts out only to snarl and spit on you for your weakness. [OK, I identified a little too much with the Black Widow in one scene... sue me! ;)]

Those who have lived with and/or argued with functional alcoholics - or just have met them online - will understand the shocking power of getting into verbal tete-a-tete with a wounded soul that has all their intellect intact. They have no mercy, no compassion, no grace for anyone except themselves.

I have not only witnessed such an emotional raping as some can dish out, I am sorry to say I have too crossed that line in the past.

And when Loki begins doing it, to get what he wants, he finds Nick Fury opposing him. Building a team to oppose him, to fight him.
"How desperate you are!" mocks Loki, referring to Fury's assembling of The Avengers.
"You have made me VERY desperate," agrees Fury, and then adds, "You might not be glad you did."
Loki's greed and arrogance, his demand for rule launches the very opposition that ultimately defeats him.

Loki? For Real?
If you are feeling desperate right now, may I suggest you have a dark foe, an enemy of mankind that brings monstrous despair? May I suggest that you call on God to avenge you and save you from him?

It may sound archaic, but the Enemy of mankind is "prowling around, seeking whom he may destroy."

A friend of mine committed suicide recently. I am still grieving. I think he must have felt too desperate to continue living, though a committed Christian full of good works and faith.

Yet he forgot he was part of a team, a body. We would've risked our lives for him, done anything for him.

But his actions have left me desperate for comfort and strength and power and love. I am calling on Christ for all of it, and not just for myself, but for others he hurt as he left them behind.

My faith in God is stronger than ever. My love for Christ and his sacrifice is growing again.

And my dead prayer life has been resurrected.

We say it, but I think we do not accept it in the modern church very easily: the enemy of the Christ-follower is Satan himself.

Let's keep it that way. Let us not be so fooled. We are indeed hated without cause.

But we are also loved unconditionally by God, so we must never despair. When we are made desperate, let us call on God to help us and defend us.

Perhaps even avenge us?!

He is just -and He knows just what to do.

Avengers Assemble!

Amen.






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