By Roger Langridge (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist)
The Story: Jane Foster extends a hand of friendship to her mythic savior while Hyde stalks the city, hell-bent on finishing what he started.
The Good: I’m perplexed and delighted by the sheer existence of this comic! Charming, thoughtful, light-hearted, and strangely tragic, it’s fast becoming the definitive origin of Asgard’s favorite son for a new generation of readers, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Dealing with characters that, in many cases, are over forty years old like Thor is, I think it’s natural to want to dust these characters off and reintroduce them to legions of new readers, and this comic is doing a quality job of that. With the impending movie fast approaching, movie fans and new comic readers alike are going to want to know more about Thor’s origins, and what better way to do that than with a comic like this that invites new readers and rewards them with friendly, approachable artwork and likable, well-defined characters? Told largely through the perspective of Jane Foster, Langridge’s story is effective in casting Thor as a truly alien being, lost in the tides of humanity’s filth, yet struggling to once again know the beauty of a life he can barely remember. I read Langridge’s story and fully believe that this god has been cast down against his will or understanding and forced to endure an existence amongst a form of life that he barely comprehends, much less appreciates. I’ve always believed that the more alien and otherworldly a writer can portray Thor, the more enjoyable the god of thunder is to read, and in this department Langridge excels. He is aided in his vision by the stellar artwork of Chris Samnee, whose bold, simple style is fast becoming one of my favorite comic experiences this year. Samnee’s art has the rare quality of toning down the inherently epic qualities of a Thor comic and emphasizing the quest for humanity that Thor has struggled to understand ever since Kirby and the Liebers brought him to life in ’62. This theme was most poignantly expressed for me on the last page when a disgruntled Thor wonders what wonders Earth possibly has to offer him, and a knowing Jane is fully ready to share them with him. I see what this book is trying to achieve, and I sincerely like it.
The Not So Good: In spite of everything I like about this comic, it’s proving to be a not especially exciting story, and I would argue whether or not it’s actually worth your entertainment dollars. Creatively speaking, purely in terms of the talent utilized to produce this comic, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this book. However, the visceral, action-orientated fan of comics might feel a bit disappointed with the lack of divine smackdowns he or she would otherwise come to expect from a book bearing Thor’s name. Whether this decision was made by Langridge or his editorial staff I cannot say, but I can certainly understand why this wouldn’t appeal to all readers. You need to approach this comic with the thorough understanding that it is an intentionally slowly paced book. If you can understand and appreciate that, this book will deliver some great storytelling. If not, I can’t say I’d blame you.
Conclusion: This is truly a delightful comic, but it isn’t quite giving me the entertainment value that I need to continue buying it every month. I’m inclined to wait until this is released as a graphic novel; I think I might enjoy even more.