Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Mighty Thor #5

Cover by Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin

The Mighty Thor #5 (August 31, 2011)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciller: Olivier Coipel, Khoi Pham
Inker: Mark Morales, Dexter Vines
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Okay, I admit it freely and openly.

I really like Matt Fraction’s The Mighty Thor series. Little by little, it’s been obviously growing on me and my reaction to this issue is a far cry from my first one back in July (though my feelings on Thor’s romantic strategies remain unchanged).

Fraction has managed to craft a thoroughly gripping and engaging story, along with believable and likeable characters and epic battle scenes. There’s also plenty of humor and action without feeling lowbrow at all. Also, Thor did not make stupid references to how much he wants to have sex so that was a plus. Of course, Thor was very busy locked in a cosmic battle with Odin, Galactus and the Silver Surfer so I guess when he’s not fighting in battles, he’ll be back to making leeringly sexual suggestions to Sif. That seems to be his basic character.

Anyway, the plot is progressing towards an epic showdown between gods, cosmic beings and confused and frightened Oklahomans. Things are about to get real, if the final page as Galactus’ image looms over the Broxton horizon ominously is any indication. One of the things that I have so enjoyed about Fraction’s run on The Mighty Thor is how he handles crossing over Asgard with middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma. These two extremely different environments are key settings for this series and what’s more, they affect one another in crucial ways. Fraction manages to balance the two distinct environments and their residents without making them feel isolated. What happens in Asgard directly affects Broxton and vice versa. To watch the citizens of each setting react to the increasingly dangerous conflicts occurring is just as much fun as the actual conflict itself.

Like I said, there are epic battle scenes in this issue, beautifully rendered by Coipel and Pham. I was particularly impressed by Thor’s battle with the Silver Surfer on the surface of Mars. Each panel, however, was very strong and intricately detailed. The universe presented to us in The Mighty Thor series feels very real and tangible, though it is one of the more far-fetched comics I’ve read lately, what with the epic battles in the middle of space.

Finally, there’s young Loki, who clearly has his own agenda in the middle of all these fights and quests for power and godhood. His purpose and agenda is still a little ambiguous but since he’s Loki, the god of mischief, what else could you expect? Fraction imbues him a great sense of trickery that I feel was missing from the film (though I did enjoy Tom Hiddleston and am greatly looking forward to his role in the upcoming Avengers film). This is a Loki that is too busy being up to no good to lament his father’s lack of love or his cooler older brother. I like this Loki.

I’m very excited for the next issue and to see what surprises Fraction has up his sleeve for this showdown. I’ve got extremely high expectations so he better not disappoint. At the very least, I want an awesome Silver Surfer scene. And no stupid sex comments.

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