"The Lake of Lilitha"
Writer: Akira Yoshida
Artists: Greg Tocchini and Jay Leisten
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What a pleasant surprise from Marvel. This series has been on shipped on time, has delivered consistently quality work and has been more entertaining that Thor's main title for the past few months. This is how Thor's world should look and feel.
Akira Yoshida has written a wonderful tale of three young heroes on their very first quest in their service to Odin, the lord of Asgard. They have completed three out of four tasks set before them, and look to complete the last task in this issue. The characters display a wonderful mix of the exuberance of youth, the desire to accomplish great deeds and leave their mark on the world, and the forging of a life-long friendship, all within the context of being in that weird situation of wanting to be independent from the parental figure yet wanting that parental approval of their actions.
The story is engaging, the events are not what are expected, Loki actually seems to develop a character beyond being the only Asgardian who hates Thor in the Marvel mythos, and a big battle for the survival of Asgard sets itself as the final test for the main characters.
There is only one thing that doesn't work for me: I already know that all of the main characters will survive. Loki, Balder, Sif, Thor and Odin are going to survive and triumph. They have to. Which is really sad, because this knowledge really downgrades the last page of this issue, in which Balder holds the body of young Thor who has been shot by an arrow through the chest and yells "Thor is dead!!!"
Greg Tocchini and Jay Leisten have done an amazing job of building a believable fantasy setting for the tale that is being told. The characters look like the teenagers they should be, their opponents are formidable and the fight scenes are very well choreographed and illustrated. The only place that I get jarred out of the story is when Thor stabs the giant Rock troll in the throat with a tree log. Still, the artwork gets high kudo's from me, including the colorist, who does an awesome job of coloring the dying forest and the greys of Asgard.
By the way, this Asgard isn't the Jack Kirby-inspired type with the spires and the funky designs and the shrunken city floating in space. This one owes a little bit to the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' city of Edoras. Good choice.
Adi Granov has delivered a beautiful piece on this cover, with a young Loki casting a spell with young Thor in the background, sword in hand, trying to stop him. Moody and atmospheric, the artwork looks great. Thank you Marvel for wisely choosing Granov to do cover work for Iron Man, She Hulk and Thor:SoA.
Overall, I am glad that I didn't wait for the trade. It has been a joy to find this book month after month on the racks of my comic book shop, delivering an adventure that has not been told before in Thor's title and showing us a Thor that is more fallible and therefore, we can relate to him better. I look forward to the conclusion next month and the future works of all the great artists involved in this production.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!