Initially, I was rather dubious about this film. Marvel’s successful track record tends to waver as they move away from their A-list heroes (X-Men, Spiderman, etc.) to their second tier characters. Take The Hulk for example; a hero who has twice failed to connect with audiences despite admirable efforts by both Eric Bana and Edward Norton. Witness also the complete waste of celluloid that was Ghost Rider.
However, Marvel seems to have finally perfected their formula. Iron Man has risen in popularity into sequel-land from the ranks of second tier of Marvel characters thanks to the solid direction of Jon Favreau and the inspired performance of Robert Downey Jr. And with Thor, Marvel have wisely relied on those two same strengths; the right cast and a strong director with a clear vision.