By Contributing Writer Brian Kamak
Thor: God of Thunder #13 (Marvel): Who wants to hear about
the humanistic side of Thor? Sure, the last issue was a nice break after the “Godbomb”
arc, it served as a character-builder for Thor and added a level of emotional
depth. We met his old flames, saw him counsel a man on death row, and help out
the average Joe. Again, it was nice to see the softer side of
Thor. But after that brief respite, thank Odin for issue 13. The “God of
Thunder” is back to swinging Mighty Mjolnir at the baddies.
Where the hell is Esad Ribic? I’ll never quit you! We were
introduced to artist Ron Garney in issue 12, but I thought Ribic was just on vacation
at some topless beach in France. Boy, do I miss him (bromance!). Garney’s work
is very good, but does not live up to the level of Ribic’s absolute mastery on
this title. I find his figures too geometric and cartoony. They lose a bit of
the believability that the series previously had. Svorcina’s coloring is spot on.
The transition from an ice-filled world to its eerie depths is flawless. The
dark presence of the elves against the bright arctic setting sets the tone
perfectly. The shading on the single panel page of Malekith The Accursed gets
my seal of approval. Kudos to Ive Svorcina.
I’ve read way too many comics that that contain a ton of
violence, but lack depth and empathy. Jason Aaron is a superstar in the comic
book world. He’s molded the perfect balance of brutality and storytelling.
[Editor’s Note: For once, I don’t have much snarky commentary for Kamak.
Shocking, I know. I recently read the first trade of Thor: God of Thunder and
really enjoyed it. Leave it to Jason Aaron to bring a fresh approach to a
character I never before had any reason to care about. While I’ll always prefer
a creative team like Jerome Opena and Dean White on the art side of the
equation for a regular ol' Marvel U book, Ribic really did help set the tone early on by
varying his style to suit each of the three time periods the story operated in.
Aside from Brian Wood’s X-Men, this is probably the best straight-up 616 title
Marvel is currently publishing. So, you get the double recommendation from
Kamak and Justin; you’re crazy if you’re not buying this!]
The story begins with Dark Elves entering the frozen land of
Niffleheim. Once they land their boats upon the icy shores, they’re met with an
unsettling image of what may happen to them, a frozen death making them one
with the land. They cannot escape this torture, even in death. Once the Elves
make it to the Halls of Nastrond, they face a silent terror, giant poisonous
tarantulas. For me, this was the height of hair-raising creepiness. The Dark
Elf Scumtongue is poisoned by one of the giant arachnids, but before the poison
induces a scream, Scumtongue cuts his own tongue off to prevent his cries of
pain. That is all you are going to get out of me on this issue, there is plenty
of Jason Aaron’s magic left to be had.
Thor: God of Thunder is still one of the best titles on
retailer shelves. If you have not read this title before, this is a great jumping
on point. I’m positive we will not be disappointed by “The Accursed” story arc.