Shiny Shelf

Thor #3

By Jim Smith on 21 September 2007

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

Of late Marvel generally, and JMS in particular, have developed a knack of getting me interested in and reading about characters about whom I had never previously given a flying…er…hammer. This stands in stark contrast to DC who have consistently and repeatedly, in recent times, driven me away from characters I’ve loved my whole life. ‘Thor’ is a good example of the former trend.

I don’t know anything about Thor the Marvel character (although a reasonable amount of Thor the God) and I’ve never felt any inclination to change that. However, JMS and Oliver Coipel’s re-start of his series attracted my attention based purely on their (separate) previous work. JMS is, of course, the man who did something I thought impossible and fixed Spider-Man, a character who had been broken for so very long that I’d actually thought his comic was meant to be that lame.

JMS’ Thor is a troubled soul, a brooding deity with issues and some grudges, one of which is against the old Iron Republican himself, Tony Stark. Against a backdrop of the wreckage of New Orleans Thor and Tony talk (and fight, Tony gets his arse handed him on a platter) about Thor’s recent death, the fall of Asgard, the Civil War and their vanished friendship while Thor searches for something amongst the bridges and human casualties of natural disaster and government indifference. Coipel’s artwork is simply beautiful with some smashing full page panels (check out page 11) and some really neat illustrating of scenes that would otherwise just be two dues talking. It works, partially because JMS’ dialogue is electric, conveying enough meaning to convince someone (me) who has not knowingly read a comic in which these two characters speak to one another before of the importance of this conversation.

‘Thor’ is the kind of comic I like to read. It’s not simplistic, but it is immediately comprehensible. It knows what it’s about. The artwork is nice to look at and tells the story. There are some jokes. It’s broadly self-contained but it forms part of an ongoing narrative. You buy it, you read it, you’re satisfied with the experience you shelled out for. The JMS/Coipel ‘Thor’ works and works beautifully. End of.

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