Artist: Olivier Coipel
Thor is back, Asgard is back, and this re-imagining of one of Marvelís oldest legends keeps firing on all cylinders, albeit at a much slower pace than weíre accustomed.
Strackzynskiís take on the character is to return the son of Odin to his mythological roots and firmly entrench him once again into the Marvel universeís elite as a figure of tremendous power. Indeed, Thor wields the power of a God - as he is quick to remind Tony Stark in this issue.
The post Civil War smackdown between Iron Man and his former Avengers comrade may be the selling point for this issue as Strackzynski finally gives this title a much needed infusion of action. But itís also the intricate and complex relation between Thor and the New Orleans natives which gives this comic book much of its intrigue.
The writer is able to successfully weave a fascinating look at how citizens of New Orleans react to intruders post hurricane Katrina with an examination of the Thunder Godís human side. Another interesting element in the plot which comes across well in the narrative is the anger and disappointment people feel about the heroes not being there for them in their time of need. Thorís question, ďWhere were the other heroes?Ē echoes as an eerie aftermath of the Civil War conflict and serves to illustrate the comicís thematic refrain of disillusionment and resentment towards super-heroes.
Considering Thor wasnít around during the conflict, it also serves to add to the pathos by emphasizing the loneliness he feels upon returning to an alien post Civil War world. Thor has always been more than a powerful being, heís always been an amalgamation of mythology and his human spirit: Strackzynskiís penchant for penning stories with a mystical angle serves this re-boot well.
What can we say about Coipelís artwork other than it is kinetic and dynamic without being too flashy. His take on Thor deviates somewhat from the look weíve become accustomed to, instead transforming him into more of a warrior with his chain-mail armor. The character is nonetheless regal and awe inspiring without losing any humanity in his Nordic countenance. Mark Moralesí inking over the pencils creates a thing of beauty, further enhanced by colorist Laura Martinís subdued hues.
I like the pacing of the book, we donít need to be slapped with life threatening cosmic events every issue like in the old Avengers comic. This approach also works well by focusing on the more human aspect of Thorís supporting cast and his interactions with mere mortals, super-powered beings like Iron Man and otherwise. Also by allowing Strackzynski the time to tell a satisfying opening arc, Marvel correctly re-integrates the Thunder God into its pantheon of elite super powered beings. Welcome back Thor.
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