Writer J. Michael Stracynski
Pencils Marko Djurdjevic
Inks Danny Miki with Allen Martinez & Marko Djurdjevic
Colors Christina Strain
Format 23 New Pages Story & Art, 6 Page Preview of the next regular issue of Thor and 13 Page re-colored reprint of Lee and Kirby’s first Thor story.
Ok let me first say this was a great comic and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I was reading it and enjoyed the beginning, the middle and the ending, which felt a little rushed. Then we get the couple page preview of the new team on the book and then we were given a reprint of the first appearance of Thor, which was re-colored in the modern way and then I said “WAIT A MINUTE” what the frell was this? The actual story was only 23 pages long and was essentially just another regular issue of Thor. I loved this book and the story, but I feel like Marvel just F*&% me again by charging $4 for a regular issue and calling it a Giant Size book making me think JMS was getting some extra pages to go out with a bang. Instead it was a marketing grab by Marvel to take an extra buck out of my pocket and make feel like I was someone’s girl friend in prison. It just sucks that Marvel has to taint my enjoyment of what was a good issue and a nice way for JMS to leave the book being on top of his game.
The story opens where the last issue left off. William, the mortal love of the Asgardian Kelda, is dying after being attacked. Balder comes in and after being informed by William of what Loki and Doom are doing begins to fight off the Asgardian henchmen of the evil duo. Balder appears to be almost beaten when William makes a heroic effort with his dying strength to save Balder. Balder is now aware of Loki and Doom’s machinations and is alerted that he has led his people the wrong way.
We also see the showdown between the enhanced Doombots and Thor. The Warriors Three and the Lady Sif defend Dr. Blake as the Doombots strike. We get to see one of my all time favorite scenes as Volstagg takes on the Doombots and is shown as a hero. He loses his clothes and we are given some great humor as Sif comments on other attributes of Volstagg that have increased his legendary status.
From there Donald Blake finds his cane, but before he strikes it, the a Doombot shoots a bolt of enjoy and wounds Blake’s back. He succeeds in changing and Thor dispatches the robot and then checks Donald Blake into a hospital and we find that the injury will cause him to have a bad leg for the rest of his life, which brings Thor back full circle as his human side is the lame Dr. Donald Blake and his god side is Thor.
This story had so many elements that were good in it, but it was still a little rushed. I can’t believe that JMS was moving the story as fast as he did this issue and therefore the pacing was off kilter. Still we saw a lot of important story beats and he left a lot of fertile ground for other writers to plow. The preview scared me a little as Kelda was seemly dispatched by Doom pretty easily and this is a character that JMS had been slowly building. Time will tell how this will work out for the series, I’m in no rush to prejudge it.
Marko Djurdjevic did a beautiful job on the art. This guy’s art work doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. Every time I see his art in Thor I’m impressed, in other books his work is a miss at times and I’m yet to fully understand that, unless inking is saving or killing him.
I will continue to follow Thor as my interest level in the character is at all time high, but I can’t help but to think where JMS would have taken this book if Marvel did not feel a need to interfere and bring Thor into the MU. If the sales were off on the book I could understand it, but JMS’s Thor was a top seller, why mess with success.
Overall Grade A, I almost gave it a “B” since price and format account for part of the calculation of how I grade a book, but the book was very well done.