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How 1,000 years of storytelling led to Thor: Ragnarok

Why do so many superhero movies have the same origin story? It all comes down to the use – and misuse – of the monomyth. Here’s what the hero’s journey is and why it shouldn’t be used to make movies (even if great movies feature it).


So I haven’t been posting lately (personal issues mostly), but I have been making public speaking appearances. A friend of mine filmed this for me and it’s as good as any for my first official YouTube video.

Background on me, if you don’t recall my old Secrets of SHIELD posts: I’m a high school teacher in Texas, and a freelance writer who occasionally works with Marvel’s Official Handbook team. I also have my currently-on-pause blog, Monomythic.com, and love talking a lot.


This talk has:

  • Stories from the thousand-year-old Church of Thor.
  • Superman’s origin viewed through the lens of the hero’s journey.
  • Why the hero’s journey doesn’t work when writing a movie.
  • Why the hero’s journey does work when writing a movie.
  • Bad acting.

Also, I painstakingly transcribed the entire thing to make sure the subtitles were accurate, so feel free to turn closed captioning on.


Oh, and I gave another talk of sorts at San Japan recently. It’s not as polished, obviously, but someone recorded it and put it online, so there’s that.

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