By: Jason Aaron (Writer), Butch Guice, Tom Palmer (Artists), Ive Svorcina (Colorist)
The Story: The tale of Gorr is told, telling us how he got from feeble child to god butcher.
The Review: Transition issues between arcs are tough for readers. Most of the times, they are used for the benefit of the readers or to put several elements in the right place for a further story down the line, yet it does not necessarily amount to a satisfying issue for the readers. A series that can be used as an example would be Earth 2, which begun rather strongly, only for it to falter with less than admirable efforts for three consecutive issues before the next arc could be properly presented. It amounts to them being presentations of some other characters or elements of the setting, as if you had been bombarded by a huge information dump before the next important chapter.
Still, it does not always come to that, as there are some transition issues that do their job rather well, telling us some very important or at least compelling tidbits before we continue in the story. This issue is one of such; with nothing much that propel the whole plot ahead, but it is a satisfying entry in the series, as we delve deeper in Gorr, the major antagonist that Jason Aaron has created for the series. Here, we follow him from his childhood, toward his god butcher day as we see most of what convinced to bring a godless age for the whole world. While most of these scenes aren’t exactly intensely original, they are still well-written and emotional, as we can connect a tad with Gorr suffering throughout along some very good scenes that actually does deepen his mystery and some of the mystery around Thor as well.
One of those scenes that are absolutely great is the one when Gorr finds his very first gods, as they do battle and crash on his very planet as he was exiled from his for not believing in them anymore. The very moment he can actually claim vengeance for his suffering and what happens then could be the source of a multitude of stories, which is a good way for Aaron to start. Another of those moments would be a longer scene set hundreds of years after as he is shown torturing a certain person that I will not reveal, but the implications as to the identity of the tortured could truly be a grand Asgardian tale. With simply two revelations, Jason Aaron shows that he has a plan and knows how to craft an epic. With this story, he creates his own mythology and incorporates it to the larger one created by Marvel, giving us something well-thought out and satisfying to read.
What makes this a little bit less satisfying to read would be the art of Butch Guice, though. It is, by no mean, an attack or an offense on his skills as an artist, as he has shown how great he could be in several titles, with Winter Soldier being the most recent one. However, it is a bit jarring to go from Esad Ribic, whose style fitted this title so well, to Butch Guice who has a rough, yet well-done style of his own. It clashes a little bit, creating not an unsatisfactory experience, but rather a somewhat disappointing one. His figures are good, as are his panels, his poses and his expressions, but they are considerably rougher around the edge. Still, the book does have Ive Svorcina to lighten and enhance everything up with his careful colorization, giving a true sense of utter heat on the desert planet thanks to his plethora of warm colors.
The Conclusion: This is a good transition issue, giving us some more mystery and foreshadowing while adding to the whole mythos of Gorr the god butcher. The art may not be up to the standard set by Esad Ribic, but it does the job rather well both in the art and writing department.
Hugo Robberts Larivière