Odinson takes the main stage this week in Thor #1 written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Del Mundo.
My comic book tastebuds were all over the place with this book. Some aspects of the book I fell in love with and wanted more of, whereas others parts of the book might not be for me no matter how much ranch I put on it.
Did Thor just pull ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ on us?
Aaron once again proves why he is one the best comic book writers in the biz with a brilliant concept of Thor hunting around the cosmos looking Asgardian relics. It’s a procedural show I want on CBS now! Aaron lays the groundwork for a ton of great stories. With that said, there are a few flaws. One of my biggest pet peeves in cinema is when the primary action takes place off-screen. This happens in this first issue, and at a cover price of $5.99, the reader is paying to see an epic battle. Give the fans a historic two-page spread that we will talk about for generations to come.
My other slight concern is Thor’s ability to summon weapons from his sidekick, and the conversations that ensue between them. It comes off very Iron Man-ish, and Thor is not Iron Man. This is also an elementary writing tactic to get a hero in and out of trouble. The character of Odinson has evolved under Aaron’s writing, but this aspect changes the tone of Thor into more of Marvel Cinematic Universe version than previous versions. New readers picking up the book after watching Thor: Ragnarok might love the concept, but for readers who carry Walt Simonson baggage, this might not be for them. It is purely a personal preference issue.
Del Mundo is an amazing artist. The one-page spread of the Juggernaut is beautiful, but there is something that is just a bit off. Marco D’Alfonso works with Mundo on the colors, and the mix of textures leaves the book off balance and lack details. The blurred backgrounds to create depth are distracting and take away from the story.
Thor uses hundreds of hammers in this issue, and the cover of the book has great detail of several weapons, but Mundo doesn’t give us enough detail to appreciate the different hammers on the inside of the book. Thor trying out new hammers is a great concept; let the fans enjoy it. While we are critiquing design elements, lose the current helmet. Its design is flawed as the helmet drastically changes its look due to perspective.
Overall the cliffhanger at the end of the book is enough to compel you to read the second issue. The backup story, “The Grace Of Thor” has an even more significant cliffhanger / WTF moment that has me freaking out inside.
Sidenote about reviewing comic books from Marvel and DC Comics. I treat the big two like professional baseball teams. You expect more from them because Marvel and DC Comics are charging top dollar for its product. Like professional athletes, artist and writers can have good days and bads. Discussing a below average performance in a comic book doesn’t mean I want to see a person fail. It’s the opposite. I want everyone at Marvel and DC Comics to succeed at a high level, but it’s not easy, and that is why only a few make it. When a company charges $5.99 or $9.99 for a comic book, that book is going to get critiqued twice as hard because that is some serious cash for a comic book.