Comic Review – Thor #5 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“And the road of the mighty necroworld shakes the heavens. But not loud enough to drown out the laughter of one little worm” Narrator

This week I wasn’t sure what I’d review, until I enjoyed Thor #5 so much I couldn’t help but take the chance to write about it. I’ve really enjoyed the return of the Odinson to the mantle of Thor (as I did the fantastic Jane Foster Thor run before) and the cosmic level adventure to date has provided an incredibly fun change of pace and has bought some of the most powerful Marvel entities such as the Great Galactus, Ego the Living Planet and a mysterious cosmic worm into the picture.

Cover by Ribic (Marvel Comics)

This coming was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Jason Aaron
  • Guest Artist – Christian Ward
  • Logo – Jay Bowen
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Sabino
  • Cover Artist – Esad Ribic

Thor #5 takes place in the distant future, in a dying universe where the All-Father Old Man Thor and his grand daughters protect New Midgard. The issue picks up with Thor coming face to face with an old friend – (very!) Old Man Wolverine, the current incarnation of the Phoenix Force. We’re treated to a flash back to show the dynamic between the two in the modern era, with them both enjoying a few drinks in ‘the best bar in Midgard’. We see that although there is still a friendship between the two in the future there are far greater forces at play here they are both bound by. In the meantime, the majority of the universe has deteriorated and passed away, leaving only the most powerful forces standing. New Midgard has caught their attention and the grand daughters of Thor must protect it.

Art by Ward and Sabino (Marvel Comics)

Ward excels in an art style well suited to such a fantastical issue and cosmic scale events. His characters and actions scenes almost appear to be painted brushwork, with intense colours communicating motion, action and awesome imagery that captures the imagination. Sabino’s lettering adds to the grand atmosphere. His choice of speech bubble, font and text colour for various characters suits them perfectly and brings out their personality – the passion of Thor or the malevolence of Ego the Living Planet. Sabino does a solid job with the lettering tucking them into tight panels weaving the reader’s eye through the pages and allowing the reader to appreciate the art.

Final Verdict

I really enjoyed this issue. This is a hell of a good way to write Thor, cosmic battles for the fate of the Marvel universe against cosmic level entities. It’s fun to see Aaron’s interpretation of a few familiar faces come the end of time, to see who from the current era is still kicking around and what has happened to certain characters and powers that make a cameo appearance and set up a cliff hanger for the next issue.

I’ve been enjoying Thor for a while, and that won’t be stopping any time soon!

Final Score: 9.5 weird goat stories out of 10

Comic Book Review – Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I read Thor #1 from Marvel Comics, the latest relaunch for the God of Thunder under Jason Aaron. Mike del Mundo provided art for part one, ‘God of Thunder Reborn’, with colour assists from Marco D’Alfonso, and Christian Ward drew part two ‘The Grace of Thor’, with letters on both by VC’s Joe Sabino.

The Mighty Thor is dead. Long live Thor. In ‘God of Thunder Reborn’, after the defeat of Mangog and the destruction of both the hammer Mjolnir and Asgardia, Jane Foster has reluctantly stepped down as Thor to finally focus on the treatment she needs for her cancer. The Odinson has taken up his old mantle again, with a fancy new golden arm and a lot of hammers, and with Jane’s direction he is tracking down displaced Asgardian artefacts before they fall into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, the bifrost is under repair, and until it is fixed there is no way of accessing other realms – a big problem, as Malekith the Accursed wages his War of Realms and Thor is powerless to stop it.

In the second story, ‘The Grace of Thor’, a one eyed old Thor and his grand daughters are watching over a rebooted Midgard. After all life ended on the planet long ago, now over 200 years have passed since they seeded life there once again in the forms of ‘Jane’ and ‘Steve’. As Jane dies, Thor sombrely reveals the state of the afterlife, before flying to the edge of the universe, which is rapidly ending. And there he meets the final incarnation of the Phoenix.

I hope Jason Aaron keeps writing Thor comics for a good long time yet, regardless of who Thor actually is. The arc of Jane Foster as Thor was wonderful, and enjoyed a satisfying wrap up too while not ending her story within this world. The Odinson slipping back into being Thor seems effortless, but to maintain his God of Thunder status he seems to be effectively supported by his own version of MI6, with Jane filling the role of M, and Odin and Screwbeard outfitting him with gadgets and magics in place of Q. It means that the usual brawns over brains approach needs to be taken with an element of improvisation rarely seen from this Thor. Aaron’s script is excellent, unsurprising as these are characters he has been in charge of for years now, but the new status quo of Thor and his supporting cast is still fitting in to the ongoing narrative of the plot he has been driving for a while now.

Mike del Mundo’s art is otherworldly, and yet feels very at place here. I feel that he is even better placed on Thor than his recent run on Avengers. There are some stellar action scenes in ‘God of Thunder Reborn’, but the quiet moments in the Brooklyn resettlement of Asgardian refugees works very well too, bolstered by the warm colours that often accompany del Mundo’s pages. For ‘The Grace of Thor’, Christian Ward’s skills are perfectly suited to the grand space sequences on display, from fighting a space shark to speeding to the universe’s end, and these pages are awash with cleaner colours than the first part that suits the story just as well. Rather than feeling jarring having two stories in one issue, the two artists sync right up with their respective tales, enabling them to complement each other.

To say Thor #1 is a great start would be disingenuous and a disservice to all that came before it from Aaron and the other great artists who have shaped his run on Thor. More this is a great continuation that may serve as a jumping on point for anyone who has slept on the series up until now (but if you have you should absolutely go back and read it all in trades). I’ll miss the Goddess of Thunder, but I suspect that we haven’t seen the last of her. Regardless, get this at your local comic book shop or online!

Score: 9 Asgardian Artefacts out of 10

Comic Review – The Ultimates #6 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: Minor spoilers.

“If you say so, Lifebringer. Good luck… and don’t stop pushing” Molecule Man

ultimates6

Cover by Kenneth Rocafort

Yes, I’m starting on issue #6 of something this week. This isn’t a series I’ve been reading and I didn’t look up the plot beforehand. Why? Well there wasn’t much new out this week that grabbed my attention I had time I read (coursework and being an adult etc.) But I spotted a passing reference to things being a bit shaken up for Galactus in another comic I read (his cameo in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7) and it seems they’re kicking off a new arc in the The Ultimates (written by Al Ewing, art by Christian Ward) about him. I figured why not?

What’s going on for Galactus these days then? It seems the Ultimates defeated him recently, by reversing his hunger. He is no longer the devourer of worlds; he is the ‘Lifebringer’. A planet seeder who is creating planets and life throughout the universe. There’s a problem though. He’s also learnt of a problem with well, everything. Eternity, the physical manifestation of the multiverse has been bound and chained. He needs to somehow free it.

With the fallout of Doom’s Secret Wars still causing reverberations around the universe, and Galactus’ new role, there are cosmic entities out there who do not care for the new state of play and want to put Galactus back in his place.

ultimates6v

Variant Cover by Christian Ward

Ward’s art is colourful, I’m not so used to the golden Galactus we currently have, but the art was vibrant and made things seem extra dimensional, for lack of a better term. The scenes with cosmic beings and the high level entities stood out.

There’s an on-going metaphor throughout the comic, likening Galactus’ eternal struggle with the legend of Sisyphus, the man cursed to eternally push a boulder up a hill forever and somehow his newfound life-giving powers are part of this. This piques my curiosity. I’m not sure where they’re going with it but it has a lot of potential.

 

Final Verdict

If there’s one criticism I’d give this comic, it’s the lack of Ultimates for a comic called The Ultimates. They’re in there, very much as a cameo appearance though. Otherwise, the dialogue maybe felt a little clunky at times, but these are beings significantly more evolved than I am, maybe that’s the way we’ll all talk when we’ve ascended to gigantic, godlike talking heads?

Otherwise, if you’re curious about Galactus, his history and understanding his role even more in the bigger Marvel picture this is a great comic for you.

Final Score – 8 Stuffs out of 10!

Comic Review – ODY-C #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I picked up ODY-C #1 from Image Comics, written by Matt Fraction with art by Christian Ward, flatting by Dee Cunniffe and letters from Chris Eliopoulos. This is going to be a bit of a speed review, but I’ll probably struggle to sum this comic up anyway.

ODY-C is essentially a retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey, with two key differences. The first is that instead of ancient Greece, ODY-C takes place a distant galaxy, possibly in the future though it doesn’t really matter. The second is that all the male characters have been gender-swapped, with Zeus, Poseidon and Odyssia (not Odysseus anymore) all being female. In this story, Zeus had all the men in the galaxy slaughtered to avoid challenge to her rule, and the Olympian goddesses and mortals are constantly at war with one another. Following a decades long campaign on the seigeworld Troia, Odyssia starts to return home aboard her ship the ODY-C. She has however angered the gods, so Zeus and Poseidon want to make her journey back difficult if not impossible. Odyssia must deal with what are effectively space pirates, and doubt from members of her crew who are terrified of the vengeful wrath of the gods. Rather than continue to cut a bloody path through the galaxy, Odyssia decides what is most important to her and sets her sights homeward.

Reimaginings and retellings of The Odyssey are hardly a new concept, but Fraction and Ward do it in a fresh and unique way here. The shift to space opera makes this bleed high concept sci-fi, but the characters remain much the same. The gods remain vengeful assholes, and Odyssia is a fierce and extremely capable warrior and captain. The art is fantastic, with Ward bringing a psychedelic feel to every page with the colours and twisting designs a real treat for the eyes. There is an extensive fold-out timeline leading up to where the story picks up and a fold out planetary system map, which combine on their reverses to make this gorgeous piece of art.

20141127_000954

This was a really interesting read, and fans of mythology and sci-fi should really enjoy this. I’ve not really done the book justice in trying and failing to summarise the story, but definitely check this out at your LCS or digitally. Now.

9 Starhearts out of 10