There are a couple of things I’m always looking for in an event comic book, especially in the first issue. Does it establish the stakes? Does it offer enough questions that need answering? Does it bring the big blockbuster feel we all crave from summer movies? If it has all those things it has at the very least won readers over enough to read the next installment and maybe some of the tie-in issues too. In War of the Realms, there are a massive 11 issues encompassing act one of the event. Buckle up, it’s going to be an epic ride.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This is it, the big Marvel summer event we’ll all be talking about. Partly because it’s a huge in scope literal war and also because it will affect every comic Marvel publishes. You cannot avoid this series!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is paced very well, flowing nicely as it weaves in various major superheroes so that when war eventually shows up on their doorstep, they’re all in one place. Opening with some harrowing text, Jason Aaron helps build up a mythical sort of story unfolding before our eyes. It just might involve a ton of superheroes.
Characters like Spider-Man, Punisher, and the new Avengers lineup are all written very well. There are even a few quips that made me laugh out loud from Spidey and characters reacting to Spidey. Aaron has a fantastic handle of all the characters, further helping keep the flow natural and genuine. Even Iron Man has a quip or two that is on point. Hell, Blade has his moments too!
This issue certainly establishes who the main players are quite well. There’s even a villain reveal that’s breathtakingly cool. As with most events, a major loss takes place and it’ll hit you in the feels partly because it somewhat mimics the movies. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers!
The art by Russell Dauterman with colors by Matthew Wilson and letters by Joe Sabino is off the charts good. We’ve seen how high the quality is from their work on Thor and it’s as good here if not better. The use of perspective, motion blur, and dynamic lighting is impressive. There is an impressive double-page spread featuring numerous beasts running right at us that will scratch that big summer movie itch, let me tell you. This is without a doubt one of the strongest art teams in comics today and maybe even ever.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
This issue does a lot of heavy lifting establishing the plot, setting the mood, and integrating all the heroes into the mix, but it seems to have left out the villain. He shows up, don’t get me wrong, but if you haven’t been reading the prelude issues that built towards this he comes off as nothing more than a semi-powerful dude who deserves a smack. Scenes with Malekith establish his cackling villainy is well worth fighting, but the why in his fight isn’t clear. If it’s as simple as bringing war wherever he goes that’s fine, but it lacks an emotional connection for the reader.
Is it good?
This is a very well written comic that’s paced to perfection, delivers many fun moments for the various heroes, and establishes the stakes in play very well. It’s also drawn by one of the best teams in comics. The voice of each hero is so strong War of the Realms is a must read battle.
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