Après l'extraordinaire arc des 2 premiers volumes, on retombe d'un bon cran. Pas à cause du scénario, mais voilà c'est plus Ribic aux pinceaux. Le style graphique de ce tpb ne colle pas vraiment à Thor. Mais le twist de fin, quelle merveille! Et Ribic revient dans le suivant!
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Jason Aaron is the best Thor writer since Walt Simonson!2 avril 2014
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Yes, I said it, and no, it is not hyperbole folks. Thor has always been my favorite comic book character. Thematically, the Thor mythos is a perfect blend of norse mythology, epic fantasy, and superhero tale that seems almost catered to my tastes. That been said, I'm very well acquainted with the best writers in the history of the character. Lee, Straczynski, Langridge, and most importantly, Simonson. For the past year or so, I've now added a new name to the very top of the list right alongside good ol' Walt, and that name is Jason Aaron. After his incredibly awesome debut run featuring a spine-chilling and fantastic new villain, Gorr the God Butcher, he has returned to tackle a classic villain, and I was a little nervous. With his own original creations, sure, Aaron was great, but could he handle the classic Thor mythos with the same skill and impact? Oh yeah, you better believe he can. This volume has cemented my admiration and respect for Aaron.
This is the third volume of the "Thor: God of Thunder" series, under the Marvel NOW! initiative. It does feel less beefy than Aaron's first Thor volumes, The God Butcher and Godbomb, as it features two one-off issues to bridge the gaps between the preceding Gorr story and the Roxxon story that is currently on the stands. This in no way diminishes the quality of the volume, however, as every issue, whether part of a multiple-issues story, or just a one off side-story, are all fantastic.
The first issue, #12, features Thor returning to Earth and spending time there, interacting with the various human friends he has made over the years and performing the sorts of acts you'd expect a noble, honorable god like Thor would perform. It's not an action-packed issue, at all. It is a character study of a god, and it's a great change of pace. It's hard to explain, but this issue really humanizes Thor in a way only the very best stories can. It actually reminds me a lot of Superman for All Seasons, and I mean that in the best way. This sort of issue could easily become preachy and/or cheesy to the point of being unbearable, and it definitely strides that line very closely at times, but the fact that it is, for the most part, so poignant and affecting is a testament to Aaron's fantastic writing.
Issues # 13-17 features the return of Malekith the Accursed. This is the meat n' potatoes of the volume and once again, Aaron hit it out of the park. I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, but needless to say, this is a great adventure story. It is filled with very compelling characters, as Thor is joined in his quest this time in the form of the "League of Realms". This group, appointed by the "Congress of Worlds," is comprised of appointed warriors to represent each main race in the nine realms. It's an odd set-up, and could come across as a cheesy Thor-centric Avengers rip-off, but it really is an interesting idea. The amount of humor and intensity pulled out of such a motley crew working together to tackle a truly terrorizing villain is superb. Each character, whether it's the fancy dual-pitol wielding light elf Ivory Honeyshort, or the more taciturn dwarf Screwbeard, son of No-ears, son of Headwound (he likes to make things "go 'splode" lol), all have great, unique personalities that bounce off each other and Thor quite nicely. Lots of belly-laugh inducing humor in this one, as well as great tension. Aaron's characterization of Malekith is easily as fantastic a villain as Gorr was, but very distinctly unique. Malekith's psychotic sadism and sociopathic, seemingly-senseless plans are made even more unnerving by his lighthearted and eloquently refined manner. Of course, his handling of Thor is stupendous, second to none in my humble opinion. Again, I can't say it enough, Aaron did an amazing job. The story here is tense, full of gravitas as well as a more down-to-earth grittiness than his past work. Bravo!
Issue #18 ends the volume with a fantastic one-off story revolving around young viking Thor, back in the past and partying with a drunken dragon, and then kicking its ass. It doesn't get much better than that, does it? I'm partially kidding. It's a great, fun romp, but it's also pretty moving as well, heartbreaking even. I'll just leave it at that. I find the idea of young Thor to be brilliant, as he is a way to show major character development without erasing decades of comic history. I love that.
The art in this volume is definitely the aspect with the least amount of coherency. This volume features three different artists working the pen. Issue #12 is done by Nic Klein, and it's definitely the weakest of the bunch. That isn't to say Klein is BAD per se, but it is definitely shaky in parts. Some places, where Thor seems to have a deformed baby face with a five o'clock shadow, distract from the otherwise stupendous story-telling.
The art in issues #13-17 is done by Ron Garney. For the most part, he did a fantastic job. Upon opening the book, I was really sad to see Esad Ribic's gorgeous painterly art style from the previous Thor volumes was missing, especially when I saw his gorgeous covers in this collection. However, Garney actually comes fairly close to capturing Ribic's fantasy style and quality, at least relatively speaking. The art in these issues has a fairy-tale like beauty combined with a detailed and powerful sense of fantasy, with some nice comic book superhero boldness from time to time. It's vibrantly colorful too, which can be a strange contrast to the darkness of the story, but I like it. While it's not all perfect (the last half of issue 17 in particular is incredibly sloppy to the point of looking unfinished compared to the rest) but overall, Garney did great with the art in this book. I am impressed.
Issue #18's art was done by Das Pastoras. I was a bit worried about his inclusion in this book, as I always found his past work to be incredibly off-putting. Here though, he did a great job. The best way I can describe it is to have you imagine Maurice Sendak's art style with a graphic novel detail, and then ratchet the intensity to a level befitting a story where viking Thor fights a freaking DRAGON. Awesome.
I also appreciate the decreased pricing for this volume. While the five issue Malekith story is definitely less substantial than the eleven issues that Gorr received, this volume actually contains more issues than either of those volumes did. Volume 1 had five issues, Volume 2 had six, and this collection has seven issues in total. It's nice to see us fans getting more content for our money. Hopefully Volume 4 will have eight issues.
All-in-all, this is another homerun from Jason Aaron. The various artists that joined him on this run - Klein, Pastoras, and most especially Garney- all did a great job rising to the task of proving art for Aaron's brillaint writing. I'm just so floored by the aptitude of the writing here. The story moves along at an excellent pace, is brimming with a brilliant sense of cinematography, and is full of compelling, well-developed characters. Perhaps the most exciting thing to me about this collection of issues is that Aaron plugged in some truly Simonson-level foreshadowing that indicates that his vision for Thor's future will only get more epic and grand in scale from here on out. I can't wait! Esad Ribic has also returned to the series as full-time artist, so the future of Thor is looking brighter than ever. If you ever read this Jason, know that I truly feel your name deserves songs to be sung in its honor in Valhalla. So whether you're a major Thor fan, a big comic book fan in general, or even a newcomer to the character and want a good jumping off point, this (as well as God Butcher and Godbomb) is as good as any volume you'll find written in the last several decades. As a massive fan of the Thor character, this gets my highest recommendation. Thanks for reading my review. Hope you found it helpful. Toodles.
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Thor Adventures through the Realms1 avril 2014
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This volume collects issues 12-17.
Following up the previous two collections, collecting the God Butcher Saga, is no small feat, but writer Jason Aaron and crew show they are building a mythic run on the God of Thunder: Thor.
Issue 12 is a breather from the God Butcher Saga as all three Thor's of different eras return to their time and check up on Midgard or what we mere mortals call Earth. The young barbarian Thor still has his lust for women, mead, and fighting, not necessarily in that order. Old King Thor is back in his future where he is the All-father and Midgard is a wasteland. The bulk of the story focuses on modern day Avenger Thor as he provides various God tasks and visits old friends. He meets a new S.H.E.I.L.D. agent, Roz Solomon, who is part of their environmental program and asks the battle wearied God if she could have his assistance in helping the world become more conscious of all other forms of life other than humans. Thor even pays a touching visit to a classic Thor character that is a very heartfelt moment. This issues is illustrated quite beautifully by Nic Klein. The next story is issues 13-17, the five part title arc where Malekith the Dark Elf sorcerer escapes his prison in hel to wreak havoc across the nine realms of Nordic myth. Malekith hates his people for fraternizing and partnering up with the beings of all the other more peaceful realms. The Dark Elves are also scattered throughout the different places under small clans. Malekith's overall goal is simple: either his people submit to his unified rule or they die. The All-mother Freyja, Thor's mother and leader of Asgard, knows that chasing Malekith and his followers is a dangerous task and one that is very unsettled with political trappings. Thor wants to give pursuit with his Asgardian pals, but Freyja knows this will not play out well across the worlds and instead creates the League of Realms headed by a begrudging Thor. The group is also made up of a light elf, dark elf, troll, giant, and dwarf, to chase after the accursed dark elf.
The story here is spectacular. First of all, it is great to see Thor back with his regular cast members and surroundings as the God Butcher Saga had him isolated from all of that. Malekith proves to be a formidable foe and a very vicious creature too, as he slaughters without mercy. This fantasy tale ventures into some brutal territory. The League of Realms is a great bunch and the only down part of this story is that they do not get more panel time to further explore their characters. Hopefully, Aaron will have them return in future storylines. The twists and turns are nicely done and really do add to the momentum of the story all the way to the surprising and heartbreaking but satisfying conclusion. The majority of the artwork is done by longtime Aaron collaborator, Ron Garney. Garney was a very good choice for this story arc as his pencil work is very sketchy and edged that works well for a fantasy adventure with all the grizzled and menacing creatures. Emanuela Lupacchino provides help on the last two issues and although he does a similar style it is a bit more rounded off. s
Issue 18 closes out this collection with a tale of young barbarian Thor in the early days of Midgard. It is a somewhat funny story, the darker form of humor, and also a cautionary tale for Thor. It could be simply summed up as Thor fights with a dragon, but as cool as that would be, there is just so much more to it that. I will give no other details other than Thor and the dragon start off as friends and the people of Midgard do not understand that. Art is done by Das Pastoras who presents the story in a very beautiful ugly style that is a great fill in for regular series artist Esad Ribic.
Jason Aaron is firing on all cylinders here as he explores the nine realms and plants seeds for battles between them. Bring on the next story, The Last Days of Midgard, where modern day Thor fights with Roz Solomon against the Roxxon corporation to help save the environment and future Thor tries to fight off Galactus from a barren Earth all illustrated by Esad Ribic. Nuff Said!
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Fellowship of the God4 avril 2014
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The God of Thunder returns from his ordeals with the God Butcher to face an old enemy. Malekith the Dark Elf, who was visualised in the recent Thor: The Dark World blockbuster movie, returns to the pages of Marvel and causes chaos, mayhem and destruction as only a Dark Elf can.
Freed from his prison in Niffleheim by his dark followers (there's a lot of things that are `dark' in this tale, Malekith begins to systematically wipe out those who would oppose him, including his own countrymen not loyal to him.
His killing spree comes to the attention of the Asgardians of course, but whilst Thor would rather lead the Warriors Two (reasons why they're not the Warriors Three anymore are contained within) and Sif into battle, the All-Mother informs the Thunder God that political turmoil would ensue and he must not make any illegal incursions into other realms.
The Congress of the Nine Realms therefore, come up with an alternative plan. Thor must instead lead a team of individuals, called the League of Realms, to take up the hunt for Malekith. Enter Sir Ivory Honeyshot, of the Light Elves of Alfheim, Screwbeard the dwarf, son of No-Ears and Headwound, of Nidavellir, Oggy the Hill Giant from Jotunheim, Ud the Troll, and Lady Wazira of the Dark Elves.
So, like a cheap imitation of the Fellowship of the Ring, the League of Realms sets out on its mission to find Malekith and bring him to justice. In this tale, we visit Nidavellir, and Alfeim, Svartalheim, Jotunheim, Vanaheim and also Midgard, where a final showdown takes place beneath the streets of Manhattan.
This is an interesting foray into the Realm Eternal, previously unseen for a while due to shenanigans in Broxton or on the God Butcher's world. It's a welcome one too. Visiting the Bloodmuck Swamp of Svartalheim, or the Sugar Woods of Alfheim, or the Brown Alps of Jotunheim, whilst Thor struggles to keep his fractious team together, is a delight for those thirsting to see more of Thor's and his companions worlds. It's a refreshing change for me anyway.
Like any good team of dubious intent, Thor has to deal with treachery and villainy from within. There's plenty of action, sorcery, intrigue and humour (mostly provided by Screwbeard the Dwarf who just wants to use his dynamite to make things `SPLODE!) as the Odinson just seems to be one step behind dread Malekith.
This is a great tale and writer Jason Aaron does not fail to disappoint. Is it as good as God Butcher or Godbomb, the previous 2 volumes? It's hard to say. I would mark it one half-star lower than those volumes purely because of the artwork. The artwork is by no means poor, in fact it's very good, it just isn't Esad Ribic. Ron Garney's done a great job and has explored the Nine Realms superbly, as has Ive Svorcina on colouring duties - his rich vibrant palette showcasing the worlds surrounding Yggdrasil expertly.
I'm a big fan of this volume, which also includes 2 other 1-issue tales (the Accursed taking up 5 issues); Once Upon a Time in Midgard, and Days of Wine and Dragons, the former introducing a new character, and possible love interest (and bringing back Jane Foster), who we will see more of in Volume 4. These extra 2 short tales boost the whole thing back up to 5 stars. Job done.
I love when the story surprises me..6 juillet 2014
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After the exceptionally strong start with the God Butcher, I was concerned that Malekith wouldn't hit the mark as a follow-up villain. And he didn't, until the story took some unforeseen turns.
First, the book opens with a one-shot of Thor being, well, heroic. What does Thor do when he’s not fighting alongside the Avengers or saving the galaxy? He visits a prisoner on death row, brings rare millennia-extinct seeds to some nuns to try and grow, and concludes with a visit to his former flame, Jane Foster. This story was light on action, but heavy on heart and subsequently very satisfying. Then the book jumps to the Accursed.
The Malekith story opens strong with a team breaking him out of Hel, whereupon he sets about slaughtering his own people because they've gone soft! Naturally, Thor intends to stop him but the All-Mother insists on choosing his team so that is represents the League of World. Individuals who would normally be at each other’s throats are expected to work together. What follows is a chase that quickly got old fast. They would always arrive just after Malekith, or he would escape. However, Aaron through a couple of twists in that saved the story from being boring. First, Thor pulls a gambit that when revealed very nearly made me cheer out loud; especially his reasons for being able to do so. Second, the story had a surprising ending.
The book closes with another one-shot of Thor, in his past Viking-era days and his encounter with an unusual dragon. This story was underwhelming to say the least. Brash, arrogant, act-before-you-think Thor is just not that interesting to me. I would have preferred the first story be longer and skip this altogether.
Overall, aside from the last story, I thought this volume was excellent. The writing quality for this series continues to be strong and I will definitely keep reading. Highly recommended!
God of One-Shots!23 juin 2014
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Thor may be the God of Thunder but Jason Aaron is the God of the One-Shot Comic!
His day in the life of Doop was arguably the best comic in his Wolverine and the X-Men series, and his Wolverine’s week issue (I forget which series) was so damn good – it looked at how Wolverine was able to be a part of the many superhero teams he’s a member of, like the Doop issue, in a comedic way. And then there was his brief stint at DC before he joined Marvel and became one of the Marvel Architects, when he did a Penguin one-shot which Gregg Hurwitz used as the foundation for his excellent Penguin mini-series, Pain and Prejudice. Aaron did in one issue what Hurwitz took five issues to do – Aaron’s issue is included in the back of the Pain and Prejudice trade paperback, though both writers’ stories are worth reading.
So we come to Thor, Volume 3: The Accursed which has two of Aaron’s signature one-shots bookending it, Thor #12: Once Upon a Time in Midgard and #18: Days of Wine and Dragons – and both are outstanding!
Thor #12 is a day in the life of present-day Thor where he drinks mead at a New York dive bar, visits a prisoner on death row and gives him a rare final meal, brings food to the street children of Brazil, helps out some nuns, visits a monk in the Himalayas, and too many other cool things to list. Remember a while back when a marine posted a video on Youtube asking Justin Timberlake to go to her graduation ball as her date? Thor does something similar for a SHIELD graduate. This is why people like Thor!
But the highlight was visiting his ex, Jane Foster, who’s with someone else – a non-superhero man – and is going through cancer treatment. Aaron effortlessly writes their scenes so well that within a single panel you instantly believe their years of history, and Jane gets some great lines that make me wish Aaron were scripting the Thor movies.
Thor #18 stars young Thor back in the days of Vikings getting plastered with a talking dragon called Skabgagg. It’s basically a comedy issue with an ending that shows the young Thor growing up a bit. It has my favourite exchange of the book where Thor and Skabgagg are explaining themselves to the female Vikings – both are badly hungover and Thor woke up in the dragon’s mouth covered in vomit (some of it his own).
(Thor and Skabgagg fought trolls and of course won): Thor: Afterward... we discovered their stockpile of grog. Enough rancid liquor to fill a swamp. I thought it smelled of rotting horse. But the dragon dared me to drink it. Skabgagg: Yes. And then you wouldn't stop. Thor: What about YOU? You gulped that swill by the barrelful. And then blew FIRE at me, I seem to recall. Skabgagg: Was that before or after your buried your axe in my FACE? Thor: I woke up inside your MOUTH you foul...!
Days of Wine and Dragons indeed! The whole issue is full of great stuff like that.
The main story of the book features the villain of the most recent Thor movie, Malekith the Dark Elf, who is (as is always the case) far more interesting in the comics than his bland cinematic depiction would have you believe. He’s set free by some followers and begins a civil war amongst his people. Standing in for a kind of fantasy UN peacekeeping force, Thor forms the League of Realms which includes the delightfully named Sir Ivory Honeyshot of the Light Elves, Screwbeard the dynamite dwarf, a giant, a Dark Elf sorceress and a troll.
The Accursed isn’t a bad storyline but it’s your fairly standard “heroes chasing the villain” plot. Occasionally they meet up, they fight, they continue the chase, and so on until they defeat Malekith (though to Aaron’s credit the ending has an unexpected twist). It has some nice moments but it was a very easy story to put down.
They are pretty good moments though, like when Thor takes his League to a pub to get drunk in a team-building exercise (ingenious!), and Thor even pulls off a trick worthy of Loki, showing off his oft-underplayed cunning and intelligence.
There was also a genuine belly-laugh scene between the dynamite dwarf and the troll when the dwarf lights a stick of dynamite then gets it stuck to his hand – the troll chops off the dwarf’s hand and saves his life, though as Screwbeard says “Stupid troll! You could’ve cut fuse not me!” Ron Garney’s wonderful art sells the joke, and then later when they’re yelling out their battlecries – “For Alfheim!” etc. – the dwarf yells “For my hand!” Brilliant! That’s why I read Jason Aaron’s Marvel comics – he really is the funniest writer they have.
I haven’t loved Aaron’s Thor as much as many other readers but I think that’s down to The God Butcher storyline which took up the first two volumes – the third is a lot more fun and enjoyable a book and finally won me over to the series. I wouldn’t say it’s one of Aaron’s best books – I’m comparing this to Scalped and his Wolverine and the X-Men run, both of which are superb – but despite not being as consistently good a read as I’d hoped, it’s definitely his best Thor book so far. It’s certainly worth checking out for the one-shots alone.