9.24.2013

Thor: God of Thunder #13 [Kamak’s Corner]

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 Sears 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!]

**Minor Spoiler Alert**

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. Grade A.

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