Advance Review: THOR #1

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THOR #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dauterman
Published by Marvel Comics

Release Date: October 1, 2014

From Easter eggs and long made promises in the God of Thunder series, to new intrigues and cliff hangers, the first issue of Thor promises to welcome all.

From the depths of the ocean to the surface of the moon, this opening acts more as the aria of the second act in an opera. Frost Giants have invaded Earth with a powerful ally commanding them. However, their attack is not overt or clear to the rest of the world, leaving only Asgardians and their special knowledge to come to the rescue. The down-notes play across the fall-out of Original Sin #8. Thor can no longer pick up his hammer, now finding its resting place on Earth’s moon. Aaron and Dauterman have worked together to create a simple and short recap that flows seamlessly in and out of the story with graphic beauty. The exposition feels so natural, especially with promises made by Aaron in the nonlinear God of Thunder series.

Dauterman’s style has come a long way since his days on Supurbia. Even when compared to some of his other Marvel works, Dauterman’s characters hold a regal tone and carriage about them. While some of the female faces more closely reflect is constant style, with rounded outsides and small features, the actual costume design and placement seem just right. Perhaps working as a movie costume designer is rubbing off in the best way possible for his comics, because Odin and Freyja’s designs are those of grandiose warriors. The designs feel more Asgardian and royal compared to many previous incarnations. Dauterman has always excelled at destruction and magic touches. There is plenty of that to be had here with fierce combat scenes and attacks.

Matt Wilson’s colors are vivid and living on the page, despite needed tonal textures for the various locales covered across the book. As a sidenote, there is an absolutely beautiful rendering of the backside of Thor during one fight scene.  While Dauterman’s lines provided the context, there is plenty of evidence that Wilson’s light reflections along the curves is what makes it so… well-formed, we shall say. Also, the high detail of lightning, magic, and water is enhanced through the color work that appears just as patient as Dauterman’s lines to fill in every tiny touch and not using generic broad sweeps of color.

The question everyone is asking though is: Who is the new female Thor? There is no doubt, if you have read the series or not, that this first opening issue is more about the original Odinson than his female replacement. There are clues scattered throughout the issue as to her identity if you’re willing to take the time to look. It’s a mystery, along with the very secret behind Thor’s downfall, that is fun to dive into and explore and that I’m sure plenty will be raging about online. To keep this review spoiler-free that’s as far as the discussion will go on here.

Aaron’s original vision finds its natural continuation, despite the #1 label. Those who have been reading the series will feel as if the series had never stopped. Those who are just hoping on should not feel left out. There is a clear line in the sand for how much information is need to know to understand what is happening. All of that information has been provided for the reader. Aaron personally addresses concerns fans have about a female Thor in a necessary blunt fashion in the letter’s column.

Both the issue and Aaron’s letter’s column notes bring a refreshing honesty that makes no attempt to pander to those who are upset without providing clear justification, other than they just do not like the title of Thor being held by a girl. Aaron and Dauterman paint the image of the broken hero, with the Odinson.  He now has nothing to lose from a society that is thrown by the very visage of his downfall. At the same time, the promise and rise of a new hero thrills you through your chest as the hammer is once again taken up by someone who knows that the world needs Thor. The fact that you’re screaming on the last page, “I need to know more now!” says everything about the power between the covers of this book.

The Verdict: 9.5/10

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One Comment;

  1. loudlysilent said:

    Jessica: I loved EVERYTHING about Freyja in this issue. I can’t wait to share my review of it with you so you can see which famous actor I compared her to 🙂

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