Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Mighty Thor #6

Cover by Olivier Coipel
The Mighty Thor #6 (September 28, 2011)
Writer: Matt Fraction
Penciller: Olivier Coipel
Colorist: Laura Martin
Inker: Mark Morales, Dexter Vines, Cam Smith
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Am I just a hypocrite to say that Thor is one of my favorite Marvel characters?

I mean, take a look at my reaction to my first Thor comic back in July. I was not having it.

But Fraction and Coipel won me over and impressed me, so much so, that I really love this universe and the characters within it. Perhaps I’m growing; or just willing to overlook certain things. Or maybe my middle school Led Zeppelin phase is rearing its head again. Valhalla, I am coming!

Anyway, the conclusion of The Mighty Thor series arc had, rather than an epic showdown, a compromise. I was not expecting that. If the comics have taught me anything, it’s that Odin doesn’t do compromises. Also, Thor has some major daddy issues.

Nonetheless, my beloved Silver Surfer of course came to the rescue and offered a truce between Odin and Galactus that I suppose was an interesting turn of events. It didn’t really bother me, though I was rather confused at how this cosmic showdown was wrapped up so neatly. It didn’t really fit the rising tension of the previous issues but Fraction made up for it with some great, minute character moments.

One of Fraction’s strengths as writer is creating really engaging and three-dimensional characters, rather than broad stereotypes. I mean, it would be really easy to portray Thor as a muscley, oafish god and Loki as an annoying, mischief-maker but Fraction managed to take these characters further than that. They’re interesting people and their relationship, which was never really at the forefront of this arc, is complicated and also endearing. Since this is my only experience with comic book-Loki, and since he’s just a kid, I had assumed he would just be obnoxious filler. I was wrong. This Loki is what I would expect from the god of mischief, though I would love to read some adult Loki or Lady Loki. Any suggestions?

There were also some interesting changes to other secondary characters, ones that I am super anxious to read about in other comics. I sincerely hope these changes aren’t dropped or neglected but stick around for a while. With comic books, you never know what continuity is going to be present, if any.

The art by Coipel is fabulous and manages to make the vast sense of the cosmos and Asgard real. The colors by Martin are also great, very bright and regal looking which definitely fit the theme of issue. My only question, and I noticed other reviewers were troubled by this as well, is that over the course of two pages, Thor magically grows a beard. I know the panels were supposed to represent some passage of time but they never explained how much time and if a full beard made sense. Also, if it was a long enough amount of time for a beard to grow, then what was discussed in those panels didn’t really make sense to discuss so long after the earlier events. I don’t know, I was confused and the beard bothered me.

Other than that, this was a flaw-free comic and I need to pick up some more Thor comics as soon as possible.

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