Thor: God of Thunder #13 by Jason Aaron – Friday Flash Review [Bane of Kings/Shadowhawk]
Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk reviews the latest installment of one of Marvel Now’s biggest successes.
“A spectacular issue that kicks off the start of a promising arc. Bring on #14.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
“If this issue is any indication then Accursed is going to be at least as good an arc as the God Butcher. Which is perfectly fine with me!” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields
Bane of Kings:
Art: Ron Garney | Colours: Ive Svorcina
Beginning a new arc featuring the bloody return of one of Thor’s greatest enemies: Malekith the Accursed!
Once the former lord of the Dark Elves is freed from his otherworldly prison, the chase is on across the Nine Realms to capture him and end his vengeful reign of terror!
Wow. Thor: God of Thunder opens with a spectacular new story arc in this issue, kicking off something that seemingly looks to connect to the Thor: The Dark World storyline which also features Malekith. Outside of the Warhammer Fantasy world, this is the first time I’ve encountered the Dark Elf named Malekith in comics. I understand he’s one of Thor’s more famous villains, up there with Loki, and Jason Aaron has an even bigger challenge on his hands when it comes to the previous arc focusing on Gorr the God Butcher – which was just simply incredible and one of the best comic storylines that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. However, #12 of Thor: God of Thunder certainly delivers a staggeringly awesome opening to what sets to be a really promising arc.
It’s also important to note that whilst Ron Garney’s artwork is not as impressive as Esad Ribic’s, meeting the quality displayed by Ribic is virtually impossible apart from a select few – but with Ron Garney providing the art and Ive Svorcina doing the colours, the book manages to be pretty impressive both from an artistic and a visual element. Whilst it’s not as clean as Ribic’s art, who was doing both art and colours, it’s certainly among the stronger Marvel art that I’ve seen in recent years, and really allows for a strong addition to an incredibly strong book that ranks among my Top 5 Marvel Now! titles. I know I’ve said this in multiple reviews, but Thor: God of Thunder is really worth being part of the likes of Daredevil, Hawkeye, Young Avengers and X-Men as my favourite books from Marvel. When the series hits high form, it really shows, and this issue would have been pick of the week for me in any other week, were it not for the release of the incredible Daredevil #31, which remains my current favourite Marvel series.
The narrative itself looks set to become another epic storyline that really helps feel like you know that Thor is a God, and not just any average superhero. Aaron gives the book the ‘epic’ feel that will have you hooked all the way through, and this is reinforced by some stunning visual elements from Ron Garney. This issue, like the last one – also provides a perfect jumping on point for newcomers to the series, and I highly recommend that you get on board if you’re not already – trust me, Thor: God of Thunder is brilliant and you won’t to miss this incredible arc, particularly if you intend to watch Thor: The Dark World later in the year when it hits Cinemas. It’s already got some pretty awesome promo posters released for it at the moment.
After creating one of the best Thor stories possibly in existence, Jason Aaron has created a really solid instalment for the readers to enjoy and proving that he’s not just a one-trick pony. This issue is unmissable, and really incredible, with the only weak aspect being that Ron Garney’s art isn’t as strong as Ribic’s, but it’s still pretty solid nonetheless.
Last month marked the end of Jason Aaron’s long (and extended) first arc on Thor: God of Thunder as he wrapped up the story of Gorr the God Butcher. While it took me some time to warm up to the series, I was soon an unabashed fan of the title, particularly of writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic, who have consistently put out a great series. I’ve even followed Jason over to his 5-issue Thanos Rising mini-series, and I have to say that Jason is definitely in the top favourite writers of the industry at the moment, as far as I’m concerned. And Esad is right up there with the best of artists. However, while Jason has stayed on, Esad is off to other things. Issue #12, which marked an interlude as the Thors of the past, present and future all returned to their own eras, was drawn by guest artist Nic Klein, and it seems that with the start of the new arc, we have a new artist on the team, Ron Garney.
This issue deals primarily with Malekith breaking out of his icy prison Niffleheim with the aid of a raiding party of Dark Elves. That forms the first section of the issue, and is a straight up prison break-out, epic fantasy style, a touch that I really had a lot of fun with. There is a very sombre mood throughout this section, and I got to say that I was completely hooked on to things from the very beginning. The level of fanaticism in the Dark Elves with respect to their fealty to Malekith was another positive element of the comic. This is the first time I’m reading about Malekith, or even watching for that matter (animated shows), and it was interesting. The way that Jason wrote it made me wonder just what the character’s history is and what has put him at odds with Thor.
Of course, it cannot be ignored that in a few (hopefully) short weeks Thor 2: The Dark World will hit theaters all over the globe and that the main villain of the movie is Malekith as well. Its an interesting coincidental timing, unless Jason planned it that way. It also shows a canny eye toward tying the comic to the movie while keeping both as separate entities with their own particular story and their own nuances. What this issue has done is get me really excited for the movie, and I was fairly excited already, so not like I needed the boost, but it is nonetheless all the more welcome.
The second part of this issue deals with a confrontation between Thor and the Warriors Three along with Lady Sif as they all confront Malekith and his warriors on Svartlheim, the home realm of the Dark Elves. This section shows the levels of the Malekith’s violent depravities and for me, it was a really strong section. The shift between the two sections is fluid and natural, with all the build-up of the first coming to a head in the second. Of course, we also have some great dialogue with Volstagg here, so that’s another reason why this second section rocked so much. From my reading of The Mighty Thor Volume 1 by Matt Fraction and the brief glimpse in Thor, Volstagg is very much a comedic hero, and its great to see him played off all the other Asgardian characters here. He always brightens up the day, this comic being no different.
As far as the art is concerned, I’m definitely missing Esad Ribic on this title. Sure, Nic and Ron both do a great job with their individual issues, but its Esad who set the visual definition of the book. And I’d love to have him back here. I miss his pencils quite a bit. Ron has a much different style, and its often not as expressive with the body language or the character faces, and that takes away slightly from the reading experience. Not to mention just some weirdly drawn hair in the issue, especially for Thor. Most odd. Otherwise, Ron has done well for himself. Ive’s colours are, as always a joy to watch. He has a great sense for what colours to use where and it shows up again and again with this issue.
The way that this issue sets up a lot of promising conflict in next month’s issue, #14, and I certainly can’t wait to read it. If I had a time-machine, I’d jump ahead for each of the next four months and pick up the individual issues for the complete Accursed arc.