So we’ve seen how the glaive works as…
- A fine melee weapon
- A haterface-triggered (and drama-tolerant) projectile weapon
- A crappy, crappy enthrallment knife
- A (hopefully) proximity-triggered bad mojo radiator
On the Twitters Patrick Kovacich made some convincing arguments that the glaive wasn’t really involved in the teleconferencing as much as it was an astral projection by Loki himself, though that raises questions about why it glows so white-hot right as he’s entering the teleconference. So, for arguments’ sake let’s leave it in, but I acknowledge the evidence against is quite compelling if less instructive.
So, with these subtopics covered, let’s turn back to the total question of the glaive: How is it as an interface for these functions? Let’s return to the three values that I hold every show up to: believability, narrative, and as a model for real world interactions.
Believability (the sci)
Can we believe that the glaive can work the way it does within the bounds of the story? There is the major failing of the pointy enthrallment knife, which can’t work unless you tell the actors to shut up and stand there.
What else? Given its category of ”magic technological artifact” it’s hard to ding it for what it does. But one place we would look is to see if there were any conflicts between how he activates its various functions and how it signals to him that those functions are in use.
|Melee weapon||Physical force||N/A|
|Projectile Weapon||Haterface/affective||Level 9000 magic missile|
|Enthrallment Knife||Touch||Blue fog & thrall eyes|
|Mojo radiator||Geofence + proximity||Stealth|
|Mystic Polycom||Alpha state||Bright white glow|
Turns out none of these things conflict. So, sure, in a world where magical technology can make these things happen, it’s internally consistent and believable that Loki could manage these inputs and outputs without confusion.
Narrative (the fi)
It’s not a Macguffin. The glaive fits into the story, conveying why Loki would want it, how it enables his plans, and why he needs to not lose it. Visually, it conveys its wickedness with the physical design and the power via that blue, glowing gem stone (that, without too many spoilers, becomes even more important in Age of Ultron). So narratively—including that one hilarious Stark tower scene—it does its many jobs well.
Model (the interface)
So, if we had to create a glaive with all these abilities, would we create it that way? With the exception of the terrible enthrallment aspects, it’s a well-designed device for field marshal tasks: brawling, distance attacks, looking menacing, keeping in touch with leadership, but wait—don’t answer yet, because—it comes equipped with a lojack that should rightly terrify thieves, even if it doesn’t directly deter them. For a comic book movie weapon, it’s a pretty good piece of work.