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10 Secret Reasons Why The Avengers Is the Best Superhero Film

4. Thor Embodies the Wand, the Magic Hammer Mjolnir Requires the Mastery of the Will Through Self-Sacrifice. One Must Smash the Ego Before the Great Work Can Begin. It's More Important to Do Something Great Than To Be Someone Great. Doing Over Being.

Matthew 10:38-39:

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

The origins of Thor are obvious -- Stan Lee pulled him directly from Norse mythology. I didn't find a similar explanation of Thor's beginnings from the deposition. So here's another interview with Lee, featuring a typical fanboy-style question but including a telling answer revealing one of the big problems with the character:

Roy: And now I have what Evans and Novak would call on their show, "The Big Question," which the editor requested me to ask you: Which is stronger, Thor or the Hulk?

Stan: I would have to guess that Thor is stronger, only because he is a god and probably can't be killed. Again, I don't know how the guys have been writing him lately, but I thought of him as invulnerable.

The story of Thor only becomes interesting when he chooses to give up his god powers and die for mankind. We've heard this before; it's one of the core myths of Western civilization. Thor succeeds so much as a film because it adopts the Christ narrative. Life only becomes meaningful when we find something more important than living. Like resurrection and immortality.

Wheat growing from the body of the dying-and-rising Egyptian god Osiris.

Pg. 3, Queen Nefertari, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars by Camille Paglia

One of the clever arguments that led me astray from God for over a decade, one of the proofs offered by New Atheists for the falsehood of Christianity: if Jesus really rose from the dead then how come there are so many other stories of dying and rising gods throughout history? Instead of the Gospel's claims of resurrection being a historical fact, isn't it much more likely that Christianity just borrowed pre-existing myths? At their root, aren't these dying and rising god, Thor type stories just metaphors for the change of the season and the dying and rising crops?

For a long time I took this as a key reason to reject the belief that I'd held like a zealot during my teen years: Jesus Christ was both wholly God and wholly man and had literally died and rose from the dead for the sin of mankind and all who believed in Him would have "eternal life."

But the truth is that actually the prevalence of these narratives doesn't disprove whether the resurrection of the individual known as Jesus of Nazareth actually occurred. And practicing Christianity isn't reliant on proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the Resurrection happened. All Christians need to do is show that if one chooses to worship resurrection and eternal life instead of death and the cruelty of Mother Nature then a happier existence follows.

At the end of the day that's the only case for any kind of religious practice that can withstand the strikes from the sword of rational thought. Choosing to believe in a Higher Power will make you a stronger person with a more developed Will. The final key component of the Avengers demonstrates this in a literal fashion and takes the superhero story back down to earth...