After reading (and loving) Thor #1, it dawned on me Jason Aaron isn’t so much writing a comic series, but a rock opera. This second issue confirms that notional via a flaming singing Hel train and a dog that murders for fun, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. The vibe of this book is something similar to Thor: Ragnarok, complete with intense colors only Mike Del Mundo could conjure up. It’s a hell of a ride played best at the highest volume.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This issue takes place in Hel, which is the place all Asgardians go when they die. That means characters who are deeply ingrained in the lore of Thor will be popping up. Plus, expect some wild surprises since readers haven’t really explored this place in quite a while.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The last issue did a good job establishing Thor’s place in the world and the status quo of his people. This issue does the heavy lifting of setting up the new supporting characters in the story arc, establishing who the immediate threat is, and drops a heck of a lot of action too. This issue feels dense with content, not only reestablishing old supporting characters longtime Thor fans will delight in, but delivering an action fight sequence and a heist sequence (of sorts). I had to keep checking what page I was on simply because I couldn’t believe there was more. “Surely this is the last page…nope!” It’s the kind of issue that seems to have big surprises at every turn especially if you’re a Marvel fan who knows their MCU history. The cliffhanger drops a heck of a cliffhanger too and it’s one that movie and comic fans will delight in.
As might be custom in Hel this comic goes full tilt with the action and Del Mundo positively dazzles with his art here. His of blur is fantastic and he layers in such a way to give panels a cinematic feel. There’s a sense someone is using different lenses, which helps create a 3D effect. Then you add in his wild colors, some of which are beautiful, others strange and hard to really grasp requiring you linger for long. Take one panel for instance, which has a long lost friend of Thor talking in a triumphant way. If you look closely at his chin you’ll see multiple colors are used that add a texture and life to his face. It’s little details like this, or amazing texture used in others, that breathe a lot of life into this work.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Thor’s hammer has always been a key element of the character and some may see its use here as a joke of sorts. It has been lightly referenced in the last issue and gets a direct purpose in kicking off the cliffhanger, but Thor has many hammers, each of which does something different. Like a bag of tricks (or maybe a variety of armors?) Thor apparently has trick hammers for any occasion. It’s a silly sort of idea — admittedly it’s a fun one, but it’s the sort of silly that doesn’t quite jive with the serious, action-packed narrative. Some may love the idea, but I imagine many will hate it.
Is it good?
If you like Thor or the latest film you’re probably going to love this. The series is a lot of fun and it’s a bright adrenaline shot in its depiction of action and adventure. It appears someone has turned Thor up to 11 even though we all thought it could only go to 10.