The last six months have seen a plethora of titles including mini-series, limited series and one-shots featuring Thor, The Norse God Of Thunder. It seems as if whenever a character becomes popular or a movie is about to premiere Marvel makes sure there is a glut of titles available. I’m sure we are going to see even more Thor books as the opening date for the Thor movie gets closer. I can only imagine how many different Captain America books there will be by the time summer gets here. (I already see some evidence of that.) You can’t blame Marvel for what they are doing - - interest and curiosity among new readers will be at a peak for only a short while - - so why not make sure there are plenty of books with that character on the book shelves?
I’m a fan of Thor so I’m interested. However, there are just too many for me to try and follow or read them all. So I’ve tried to stay with the one-shot books and steer clear of the series. If Marvel continues to line up the high caliber writers and artists for these books and the quality level remains this high then I really don’t care if they saturate the market - - the more the merrier, in this case. Let’s take a look at two good examples:
THE RAGE OF THOR #1 (Marvel One-Shot, October 2010) Peter Milligan, Writer. Mico Suayan, Artist. Matt Milla, Colorist. Joe Sabino, Letterer.
Peter Milligan wrote a couple of great Thor one-shots in 2009 and THE RAGE OF THOR is equally great. Milligan brings a fine sense of Norse legends to his Thor tales and always gives them that mythic quality. It’s like a reading a chapter in the chronicles of yore. Thor and all-father Odin confront Surtur, the Fire Demon. While they fight together there are few words between them, despites Odin’s gestures of friendship. Because of a past disagreement, Thor feels he was wronged and bears a grudge that makes him sullen and grouchy.
His melancholy gets the better of him and he departs Asgard to live among the common villagers on Earth and earns a reputation there as a mighty warrior as the village defends against barbarian raiders. I’s a wonderfully told tale and reveals a part of Thor’s character that isn’t always featured - - and not necessarily one of his good points. It just seems like Milligan is hinting that the wall that seems to exist between Thor and Odin has been there for a long, long time. To tell any more would be to spoil the tale for you.
The art, backgrounds and colors in this book help visualize the Middle Ages setting and give a feel to it not unlike the way The Lord Of The Rings movie made that classic tale come to life.
THOR; WOLVES OF THE NORTH #1 (Mavel One-Shot, February 2011) Mike Carey, Writer. Michael Perkins, Artist. Dan Brown, Color Art. Dave Sharpe, Letters.
I could easily make the same comments on the writer-artist team on this book as I did regarding THE RAGE OF THOR. Mike Carey also brings that mythic feel to this story - - and the art by Perkins reminds me of The World Of Warcraft in the same way that Suayan’s work reminded me of The Lord Of The Rings.
A Viking clan is besieged by demon warriors. As the leader goes down in battle, there is disagreement among the group regarding turning to his only child, a woman, for guidance. At that moment Thor crosses the bridge between worlds and appears as if he has fallen from the heavens to aid their cause. The daughter uses a lock of her hair to act as an anchor, bonding Thor to Earth so that he can assist in driving away the demon hordes.
But there is treachery afoot, that involves Hela who seeks to trap Thor on Earth. It’s a well-told tale and comes out well - - as you may have guessed.
I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for more quality one-shot books featuring Thor as well as Captain America. You can’t beat a good single issue story that entertains and wraps everything up so completely before it ends. Keep ‘em coming.