Out this week is Thor: Lightning and Lament #1, which features a one-shot Thor story for casual readers. Written by longtime Marvel writer and editor Ralph Macchio with art by Todd Nauck, the tale will win you over with its art and easy-to-follow plot.
It has apparently fallen to Macchio to supply Marvel with new one-shot adventures of superheroes timed for release around Marvel Studios films. Similar to Doctor Strange: Nexus of Nightmares — which came out coming out around when Multiverse of Madness was released — Macchio writes a Thor adventure that isn’t part of current continuity but does supply an origin story for new readers. Lightning and Lament puts an accessible Thor book on the shelf for the casual reader to throw onto their read pile.
This one-shot is far better than the Doctor Strange tale, as it has an action-packed plot and only makes you sit through one origin compared to the Doctor Strange tale that bewilderingly had two. Sure, Macchio’s verbose classic style can be overwhelming, but it’s either scaled back or streamlined to the sides well by letterer Joe Sabino. The plot opens with a big fight, features Asgardian battle scenes, and has some nice Donald Blake scenes too.
What really sells this issue is Nauck’s art, which is very clean and easy on the eyes. Nauck’s cartoony renderings of characters pair well with the detailed muscles, backgrounds, and costuming. Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg amp up the art, making it feel fun and classic in its outlook. That works well with Macchio’s old-school writing style. Given how well Nauck draws Thor here, I’m surprised he hasn’t taken on a long-running He-Man series or Thor itself. It’s a great-looking book that all ages can admire.
I can’t say it’s evident why the Donald Blake version of Thor is used here. Given he recently popped up in Donny Cates run it’s extra bewildering. He’s also the furthest version of Thor we see in the movies, but it certainly evokes a certain era.
Similar to the Doctor Strange one-shot, there’s really no rhyme or reason to why this story needs to be told, but it’s well drawn and entertaining nonetheless. Does any of this really matter? Certainly not, which is a big reason why it’s a skippable read. That said, if you want to throw a Thor book on the pile of comics you’re buying this week it’s a nice throwback story reminding us of a specific type of Thor adventure.
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