How different (or similar) ‘Victor Magtanggol’ is to Marvel’s ‘Thor’

July 31, 2018 - 4:04 PM
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The resemblance is uncanny, but there is a deeper story. (Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos. Victor Magtanggol photo from Philstar.com)
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Primetime superhero drama series “Victor Magtanggol” has premiered on GMA but it has been criticized for having many similarities with popular Marvel flick “Thor.”

The local network GMA however points to millennia-old Norse mythology as its main inspiration.

“Victor Magtanggol” in the days leading up to its premiere was harshly compared to Marvel Comics’ popularized version of the God of Thunder.

While both works are inspired by Norse mythology, the resemblance between the lead characters’ costume designs and the depiction of the divine realm of Asgard is uncanny.

Asgard in Victor Magtanggol. (Screenshot from GMA)
Marvel’s rendition of the Realm of Asgard (Screenshot from Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok)

Jules Katanyag, the creator of the show, has explained that the network’s source of inspiration was the Norse myth itself, being public domain. The show’s plot so far suggests that it has been more loyal to the source material.

Despite drawing inspiration from the same narrative, GMA’s “Victor Magtanggol” and Marvel’s “Thor” diverge in how they treat the myth’s other aspects.

“Victor Magtanggol” does not place the spotlight on Thor Odinson himself.

Victor Magtanggol, played by Alden Richards, is an OFW trying to find a living in Canada but is suddenly blessed with the thunder god’s powers after an encounter with magical objects at the museum where he works.

He later chooses “Hammerman” as his superhero name.

Thor, played by Australian actor Conan Stevens, is a supporting character.

The hammer Mjolnir as seen in “Victor Magtanggol” (Screenshot from GMA’s Victor Magtanggol”

In “Victor Magtanggol,” Thor, foreseeing his demise in the impending war hailed as ‘Ragnarok’, leaves his enchanted hammer ‘Mjolnir’ with his son Magni for safekeeping.

Marvel’s Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, puts the spotlight on the God of Thunder himself.

In the original comics, Thor assumes the mortal guise of Dr. Donald Blake when not fighting evil, but otherwise spends most of his time fighting and adventuring across galaxies and realms.

Marvel’s version of Mjolnir (Screenshot from Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok)

The villainous trickster god Loki in “Victor Magtanggol” assumes the traditional role as Thor’s greatest foe and is out for the destruction of all living things based on the trailers.

John Estrada as Loki in “Victor Magtanggol” (Screenshot from GMA’s Victor Magtanggol”

Marvel’s Loki on the one hand is a devious anti-hero who grew up as Thor’s brother and closest friend, later turning away from megalomaniac aspirations to return to his brother’s side.

Tom Hiddleston as Marvel’s Loki (Screenshot from Marvel Cinema’s Thor: Ragnarok)

GMA had previously been criticized for a number of shows with uncanny similarities with Western programs.

“Alyas Robin Hood” which aired from 2016 to 2017 was frequently compared to American network CW’s “Arrow”, which is based on DC Comics character Green Arrow.

Stephen Amell, the star of “Arrow” himself took notice of the similarities between the two shows.

Another GMA show, science fiction drama “The Cure” has also been compared to a Western show, AMC’s long-running zombie thriller “The Walking Dead.”