By Joe Kubert (art, colors & story), Pete Carlsson (colors)
The beauty of Tor is that it’s a simple story of survival that’s presented by one of the Godfathers of comics and boy does he know how to tell a story. This second issue is just another brilliant exhibition of how storytelling should be done in comics. Because none of the characters openly communicate (these are primitive folk), it’s up to the narration to fill in the gaps. And the narrative structure hasn’t strayed from the formula established last issue – it’s just there to compliment the art. It’s like when you play an audio commentary track on a DVD. You hear little of the actual movie, but you’re given a lot more information on what’s going on. That’s pretty much the same thing you get when you read Tor. Seriously, if you buy this book try looking through the whole issue first before you read it. Other than a few minor details, the story will remain unchanged.
This book will not appeal to some people, but for seasoned comic readers this is a rare, last glimpses to see a master at work. Mr. Kubert’s pushing 82 years of age and the stuff he puts into this issue is just inspiring. The perfectly paced story focuses on Tor’s humanity, giving us a look at his past and how he was exiled from his village. It’s also stressed that Tor, while a keen survivalist, is not an outrageously strong human (like Conan). While he successfully scares away a giant with a simple toss of a stone, Tor later takes on a bit more than he can handle in the form of a tiger and he pays dearly for it. The fight is brutal, violent, and intense as he takes a series of maulings from the beast that could later prove fatal.
There’s really nothing I can complain about with this issue. Some may find it too shallow on the surface – too simple. And I can see where they’re coming from. But you gotta remember that you’re getting old school storytelling – not some crazy cerebral Grant Morrison story. The only thing I can say is that this is visual storytelling on a highly entertaining level. Fans of comics really owe it to themselves to pick this book up. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s still something that should be appreciated. (Grade: B+)
– J. Montes