In Review: Thor #3

I thought nothing could ever equal Walt Simonson's run for storytelling and art, but this is coming really close.

The covers: A pair of covers to track down as the new Thor really gets the action going. The Main cover is by Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson. It’s a terrific shot of Thor using Mjolnir to get out of some icy prison that she must have been placed in by the Frost Giants that have been her foes in previous issues. I really like how the image shows her behind the ice, and the coloring distorts her. Only her hammer is clear as it breaks out. Really well done with the coloring selling this completely. The Variant cover is by James Harren and it has a point of view shot of looking at Thor from the ground up. Against a sensational dark blue background, Thor holds her hammer high as lightning strikes around her. She looks strong and feminine, and her cape billows about her wonderfully. Great image with terrific color work. Both of these covers are excellent. Overall grade: Both A

The story: A three page flashback opens this installment as Skrymir, the guardian of Utgard, home of the Frost Giants, is speaking with Malekith, wondering why the Dark Elf hasn’t fulfilled the promises that were made when their two kingdoms made a pact. Malekith reveals that the object the Frost Giants seek, the lost skull of King Laufey, is in something called Roxxon on Midgard. Skrymir doesn’t want to invade Earth because it would enrage the Asgardians, especially Thor. With a smile, the Dark Elf reveals that Thor has lost his hammer and the invasion can begin. Back in the present, on Roxxon Island, the floating headquarters of the Roxxon Energy Corporation, three Frost Giants and Malekith have invaded. Behind a sealed door is the skull that they seek, Dario Agger, the CEO, and Mjolnir, which is slamming around the room seeking Thor. On the other side of the door are the invaders and the hammerless hero. She doubts her ability to do the creatures any harm without her weapon, yet when Malekith approaches this new heroine, she speaks the words of the classic hero. This is the payoff issue of this new series. Jason Aaron gives readers what they’ve been waiting for–a monstrous battle. The Frost Giants deal with Thor, while the elf enters the room and Agger reveals a big surprise. This was an excellent two-pronged battle with Thor solving things in the simplest, though not wisest, way. The repercussions of her actions¬†could last a long time, but the final page has a stupendous cliffhanger that will make any fan scream every day until the next issue comes out. Terrific action and great twists. Overall grade: A+

The art: Russell Dauterman continues to show he is a superior artist. The issue opens in a classic fantasy fashion, with a close up of a map and the citadel of Utgard. Skrymir is a frightening Frost Giant and the top of Page 2 is a great interior setting. I flipped over the sweet, dark, gross detail in the second panel on this page. I’m so pleased that Dauterman included this–it put Skrymir into a whole new realm of evil with this inclusion. The angles used to show Malekith are great, as his smirk is always highlighted. In the present, the battles look great. Without spoiling what occurs in the fights, super panels include the bottom of Page 6, excellent magic on 7, all of 8, even better magic on 9, the reveal on 11, the top of 15, the hand on 17, the second panel on 19, and the glory that is 20. There is hyper detail on every page, from the growths on the giants to all the debris flying about. This is how super hero comics should look. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The blues are beautiful, and there are several different shades of them in this book thanks to Matthew Wilson. The dark blue on Skrymir is perfect, and Malekith is such a wicked pale. Thor’s cape is a stunning standout feature in the Roxxon environment and as she battels the giants. The colors streaming out of Malekith are stunning.¬†Wilson’s colors make this magic real. I was also impressed with the sound effects’ colors. They are stronger and louder because of the colors. I loved the yellow as Mjolnir beat on the wall. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene setting, narration, character identification, elf speak, dialogue, sound effects, and Agger speak are created by VC’s Joe Sabino. I really liked that Thor and Malekith had dialogue that showed their elevated status among other characters. The sounds are absolutely brutal, with Mjolnir being exciting to hear in action. Overall grade: A+

The final line: I dare you to open this up and not purchase it. It is perfection. I thought nothing could ever equal Walt Simonson’s run for storytelling and art, but this is coming really close. Overall grade: A+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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