Thor, Valkyrie, and Nova fight Trolls on Asgard. Meanwhile, the mystery behind the time traveling Black Widow and her surveillance of Sue Storm deepens.
This issue of Marvel Adventures Super Heroes is a crowd pleaser. Acres and acres of individually illustrated Trolls–no cut and paste here–try to beat the tar out of Thor, Val, and Nova. The art by Scott Koblish and the fine folk of Sotocolor (love the blue of Val’s shag cloak) is scrumptious old school at its best.
Check out the grins on Val’s and Thor’s faces. Fighting Trolls is a pleasure for them. Whereas Nova is way, way out of his depth. Watch how Koblish tenses Val’s leg muscles as she withstands the brute force of a Troll and how he angles her pose to suggest an arrow of force against a Troll gang. Observe her multitude of expression as she plays with Nova. Note the way the shadows emphasize Thor’s anger as he uncovers a Troll plot. Witness the Thor’s clenched teeth as he seethes in rage.
Paul Tobin gives Koblish a lot to do, but this issue of Marvel Adventures Super Heroes is the perfect fusion of art and writing. Tobin’s plot is more than mere simple heroes versus Trolls. This is about Nova maturing to a point where he can face Odin and earns the respect of Valkyrie. The story features a running joke about “flirtations” with this particular female of the species. The comedy’s punchline lies in the final fate of the Troll mastermind behind the plot and this tour of Asgard never becomes boring. In a practical throwaway line, Tobin redefines Asgard and it’s such an elegant, brilliant idea.
Back on Midgard, Steve Rogers’ growing attraction to Sue Storm, who is oblivious to his feelings, compliments Val’s and Nova’s screwball comical “romance” in the heavens. The Black Widow’s almost under the breath revelation indicates that this particular subplot is about to spring like a trap. Every page of Marvel Adventures Super Heroes results in gorgeously illustrated, well written, intelligently plotted entertainment.