Friday, August 26, 2011

The Mighty Thor: The Galactus Seed 4: To Duel Against Galactus

Cover by Olivier Coipel,
Mark Morales,
Laura Martin
The Mighty Thor: The Galactus Seed 4: To Duel Against Galactus (July 27, 2011)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciller: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

I’m impressed, Matt Fraction.

You actually gave me a Thor comic that didn’t feature him leering at a woman or demanding sex. I get that as a god, he was a very big sexual appetite (I guess… I mean, I have always heard some crazy kinky stories starring different gods in world religions classes but that doesn’t excuse Thor’s level of creepiness) but it does get exhausting to read over and over again.

Instead, Fraction went down the other classic Thor route: cosmic battles and a pissed-off Norse god.

I’m going to be honest and admit that I keep reading Thor comics for two reasons: Loki and more importantly, the Silver Surfer. If either of these guys were absent from this arc, I would’ve given up on it long ago.

The Silver Surfer is still awesome and adept at stealing my heart (I love the guy, I don’t know what it is. Maybe because he’s so shiny and kind of tragic) while Loki, sadly, is about 11 years old. I missed whatever storyline accounted for his de-aging so right now, he’s an obnoxious, precocious kid, which fits his moniker: the God of Mischief. So I don’t really mind the fact that I kind of want to smack him.

The strongest element to this issue is the pacing. I really feel that Fraction has finally perfected his pacing and juggling of the many subplots in this arc. This is one of the least straightforward and simplified comics I’ve read in a long time and while this can normally be a major hindrance in single issues, Fraction has succeeded in balancing each character and conflict without feeling too rushed. I am impressed.

Secondly, I enjoyed his narrative choices and his ability to fluidly move the narrative from character to character without losing sight of the central conflict. For instance, the reader sees the same battle from Odin’s, Thor’s, and Galactus’ perspectives and is given their reasons for engaging in this cosmic battle. Fraction is not telling us whom to root for because each character has his own firm beliefs and struggles. I found this to be very clever and typically difficult to do, especially in a series that should really only star Thor.

The humor was a bit stronger in this comic as well, not as lowbrow as it usually is. The art by Coipel has been slowly growing on me and definitely helps make this series enjoyable to read. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am starting to genuinely like Fraction’s run on The Mighty Thor. I’ll just have to wait for the next issue to see if this feeling sticks or if it disintegrates in a giant burst of anger and eye-rolling.  

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