Marvel Comics has been in the process of recoloring Walter Simonson’s epic run on Thor and the fourth volume hits comic stores this week. Longtime Thor fans might want this collection because it contains the strangest Thor story ever when he turned into a frog. A Mjölnir-wielding frog — how cool is that?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“COLD WAR RELICS,” Part Four The Dead Hand melts down as Vil and Ellis get closer to bringing about the end of the world.
Why does this matter?
This fourth volume collects Thor #364-369 and #371-374. Why does this matter? Because it houses one of the coolest transformations any hero has ever taken as Thor turns into a frog. This collection is also recolored by Steve Oliff.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection is written by Simonson with art by Sal Buscema, and it captures a time when Asgard is under duress. Odin is no longer ruling and Loki is attempting to take everything over. Thor is due back to Asgard and unfortunately is turned into a frog. Buscema and Simonson had the courage to actually focus on Thor hopping around for an entire issue! I wonder if comic creators would even be allowed to pull something like that off these days. It’s a story that reveals a war rages in every realm, be it Asgard or a pond. This story is worth the price of admission alone since it comes with a heck of a reveal and a fantastic frog-Thor design.
Speaking of Buscema, he only gets better with each issue. There’s some fantastic stuff in this book like Justice Peace’s futuristic motorcycle design, epic Asgardian vistas, and of course the aforementioned great frog Thor design.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is a shorter Simonson collection, which might bum some folks out. That said, the last four issues collected here take some wacky turns. These might be fun for those who want to reminisce over ’80s comics. Justice Peace is a character introduced here who is a time travelling police officer not unlike Judge Dredd. He of course befriends Thor (even though he forces himself on seemingly innocent folks at one point) and the story doesn’t add much. There’s also an X-Force crossover story that is somewhat awkward. These stories are an interesting read since they show readers how crossovers and new characters were integrated a bit differently 30 years ago.
Speaking of 30 years ago, readers will notice the writing style is a lot different. All of these Simonson collections harken back to a more verbose time in comics and it can make the reading slow.
Is it good?
A good collection which houses one of the wackiest Thor stories ever. That alone makes this worth a purchase.