Comic Review – The Unworthy Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)

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

This week I picked up The Unworthy Thor #1, the start of a new miniseries starring the Odinson as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative. The Unworthy Thor was written by long time Thor writer (and writer of the current Mighty Thor series) Jason Aaron, with art by Olivier Coipel, colours by Matthew Wilson and letters from VC’s Joe Sabino.

unworthy-thor-cover

Cover by Coipel

Two years ago in the Original Sin event, Nick Fury whispered a secret into Thor’s ear that caused him to become unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir, dropping the weapon on the surface of the Moon unable to lift it again. Since then, Mjolnir has been wielded by Jane Foster, taking the Odinson’s place as Thor and doing a damn good job of it. But what of the Odinson? Things haven’t been going well for him. He lost his hammer. He lost his arm (he did get a fancy new one though). But now, in the wake of last year’s Secret Wars, there is a new Mjolnir in the regular Marvel Universe, and the ex-Thor is determined to find it.

Jason Aaron has been writing this character for a long time now, and it’s very clear that he know exactly how the Odinson thinks and why he works so well when written well. Marvel do have a recent issue with holding out on a secret or plot point a little too long before the reveal (looking at you Cyclops post-Secret Wars), and the mystery of what Fury said to Thor has been held onto for so long now it is in danger of being underwhelming regardless of the gravity when it is finally revealed. However, the writing in all of Aaron’s various Thor comics since has been so strong that it is easy to forgive this point and just enjoy the story as it comes. The Unworthy Thor is no exception, with plenty of mystery and action, along with the return of a fan-favourite character.

unworthy-thor-interior-2

Art by Coipel & Wilson

Coipel’s art, probably better called ‘The Shirtless Adventures of the Odinson’, is hugely detailed and brims with a sense of the epic, and be it in the desolation of outer space or in the brutal brawls throughout the book there aren’t many artists better suited to this series. And he draws a damn impressive goat. I’ve extolled the virtues of Wilson’s colours multiple times before, but it does bear repeating. His colours bring an extra level of vibrancy to an already great looking issue, with the scenes on the Moon and in space looking colder, and the action beefier because of them.

The Unworthy Thor #1 is a great companion to the superb Mighty Thor, with gorgeous art and an interesting set up that promises a lot for the future of the Odinson and his corner of the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping that we do finally find out the reason for the unworthiness, but even if we just get a good Thor story out of it that would be fine too! Check it out at your local comic shop or digitally now.

Score: 8 Mjolnirs out of 10

 

Check out the recent collected stories that lead into The Unworthy Thor,  and support the site by picking them up through our Amazon links! Thor becomes unworthy in Original Sin; a new Thor picks up the hammer in Thor: The Goddess of Thunder & Who Holds the Hammer?; the Marvel Universe collides with the Ultimate Universe, and a new Mjolnir appears as a result in Secret Wars and Thors; and Jane Foster continues her adventures post-Secret Wars in the first volume of Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.

Comic Review – Cage! #1 (Marvel Comics)

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

cage-cover

Cover by Tartakovsky & Wills

This week I picked up the long-delayed Cage! #1 from Marvel, written and drawn by the Emmy-award winning Genndy Tartakovsky, the man responsible for several of the cartoons I watched the hell out of as a kid including Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, along with inks by Stephen DeStefano, colours by Scott Wills and letters from Clayton Cowles. Marvel have timed this pretty well (after it was delayed for 9 years I mean), hot off the heels of their Luke Cage TV series with Netflix that dropped last Friday. Coupled with how much I enjoyed that (I binged it all over 3 days), and the other book starring Luke Cage being one of my favourite books on the stands right now (the excellent Power Man and Iron Fist by David Walker and Sanford Greene), this was a must-buy for me.

Cage!, unsurprisingly stars Luke Cage as the hero for hire, as he takes down bank robbers, slams some baskets and heads out to catch up with Misty Knight. When she’s a no-show, he finds that many of New York City’s heroes are missing in action, with the cops scrambling to pick up the slack without them. Luke takes it upon himself to figure out where they have all gone, and why he wasn’t taken too.

cage-interior

Art by Tartakovsky, DeStefano & Wills

The plot to Cage! is simple (I would, at this point say refreshingly simple compared to some current superhero comics) and the dialogue is hilarious and very much of the 70s era this harkens back to. In fact, the book even acts like it still is the 70s, with an appearance from some beloved mutants and a superb editors note. Where the book really shines is how it pulls this all together into something that feels truly fun. This is rendered even more clearly as Tartakovsky brings his signature art to the book. The aesthetic is hugely expressive, with heavy line art emboldened by DeStefano’s inks and a warm colour palette that adds to the feel of the era. The whole package of the art is kinetic and larger-than-life, while feeling incredibly nostalgic both for the cartoons I watched as a kid and the 70s time period (I know I wasn’t alive in the 70s, shut up).

Cage! is a hell of a lot of fun. It may have been hugely delayed, but hopefully that means that the release schedule will be pretty consistent for this four-issue mini. Fans of the Netflix series should definitely check this out, even if it is a little tonally different, but equally fans of anything Genndy Tartakovsky has ever put out will love this too. Check it out at your LCS or digitally today!

Score: 8 Bank Rollers out of 10