Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Issue Review: Thor God of Thunder 14

Alfyse, queen of the Dark Elves, seeks refuge from Malekith by hiding out in the realm of the dwarves.  Meanwhile, her champion, Sir Wormsong, challenges Malekith to battle. They fight, but Malekith uses sorcery and kills Wormsong.  Meanwhile, Thor returns to Asgardia to discover that the Council of Worlds is putting together a strike team to go after Malektih, and they want Thor to lead it. Thor is joined by Sir Ivory the light elf, Screwbeard the dwarf, Oggmunder the giant, and Ud the troll.  Lady Wazira of the Dark Elves, whose arm was cut off last issue, insists she be allowed to join, and uses a twig to magically repair her arm. Together, the team heads to the land of the dwarves, only to find that Malekith has already gotten there, and battle ensues. Malekith's force is driven off, but not before he beheads the queen and all her courtiers.  Thor swears revenge.

This is another outstanding issue from writer Jason Aaron.  The story develops nicely, as Malekith continues is rein of terror against the Nine Worlds.  The dialog continues to be strong, and the characterization is excellent.  Aaron has mentioned what a fan he was of Simonson's Thor run, and he seems determined to give Uncle Walt a run for his money.  So far, he is doing one heck of a job.

I think my favorite part of this issue was the assembling of the "League of Realms" -- a Fellowship-of-the-Ring style party with one representative from each of the major realms of the Thor mythos.  Each character is interesting, and has unique abilities that should prove useful over the next few issues as this story arc continues.  The characterization of the party members is very good. Into a very bloody and serious story, Aaron uses some of them, like Ud the Troll, to inject a little bit of humor.

Aaron also does a good job showing how treacherous and evil Malekith is. His take on this character is clearly rooted in Simonson's, but he dials it up a notch, making Malekith seem even worse than Walt did.  We have a real villain on our hands here, and it will be interesting to see how Thor strives against this powerful foe.

The artwork continues to be very strong. Although Ron Garney is not quite as talented as Ribic, he does an excellent job with the fantastical setting, and his drawings are quite good.  His fantasy backgrounds are done in a simple yet classical style, and  he does a very good job with both quiet and action scenes. I particularly like his rendition of Lady Wazira.

Overall this is solid issue with top-notch story and art. Jason Aaron is doing amazing things in this series, and he has definitely got me along for the ride, permanently.  He did mention in the letter column the possibility of a crossover with Wolverine, and I really hope he was just throwing that reader a bone. I absolutely detest Wolverine as a character, and I have no desire to read about him in the pages of Thor.  But that's a problem for the future. This issue as it stands is a gem.

My score: 10/10

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