Penciler: Chris Sprouse
Inker: Karl Story
Color Artist: Marte Gracia
Letters & Production: Joe Sabino
The Thors of every domain, together in one book! As cosmic cops! Whenever there’s trouble on Battleworld, the Thors answer the call. But a string of mysterious murders leaves some of them asking questions that may unravel all of reality!A hard-hitting Marvel Comics police drama. With hammers. Lots and lots of hammers.
By now it seems like the novelty of having Thors serve as cops of the Marvel Universe would have worn off, but exploring the idea in greater depth through the lens of Battleworld will still entice fans in Marvel’s Thors #1. Author Jason Aaron has always felt right at home with the Thor franchise at Marvel. Under his deft (Watcher) eye, the publisher has executed a lot of changes, including switching out the lead character. After revealing the identity of the female Thor, some may think that there’s no where else for Thor (the main title) to go — yet Aaron is clearly invested in the mythos, picking up stray plot threads that were seeded for years and tying them back into this story. While this tale is another book focused on fleshing out Battleworld further, the story’s contents show a focused narrative that’s full of intrigue and irreverent novelty.
This issue has a premise that isn’t impossible to understand or appreciate — basically team Thor tracks down a serial killer running loose on Battleworld mercilessly killing people between various domains. It’s great to see one of my favorite domains: Weirdworld actually make a cameo in this issue. Yet, the Thors have yet to dive deeper into other parts of Battleworld. This tale skirts a really fine line in being silly and serious since the idea of having a force of Norse Gods functioning as policeman and woman is at least a little bit absurd. All of these different Thor characters fire off puns at each other that also moves dangerously close to the realm of self-parody (Frog Thor is in the issue after all,) yet a serial killer is still on the loose. The stakes are high in this initial installment — this is not a silly comedic farce of a bunch of Thor’s telling jokes to each other (see Valhalla Mad for that.)
One of the best parts of the new Secret Wars is how the different relationships with the individual characters are sometimes different — but also similar. Secret Wars obfuscates the story, but in most stories the narratives discrepancies usually add a wonderful sense of discovery to the different tales within the comic. The biggest contribution that Aaron really offers up to this comic is all the little moments about the Thors talking about their own duty. Later on, the book a really engaging piece of the Marvel Universe is lined back up with the superhero shared Universe in a fascinating manner. Every moment in this comic has some sort of rich discovery. We finally get a chance to meet the boss of all Thors and get a special look at a certain forensic scientist. There’s even a place for the unworthy. True Thor fans are not going to want to miss the last page of this issue when the world comes crashing down on Ultimate Thor.
Sprouse’ artwork is lovely. The penciller delivers a slight twist on the Marvel house style with a more cartoonish approach to pencilling than someone like a Dave Marquez or even Russell Dauterman. With this being a different incarnation for the life of Thor, it’s nice to see an artist who is different from the usual suspects really able to dazzle fans with extremely roster of characters present in this comic. The inking and colors are vibrant as well, taking advantage of the full potential present within the art of Sprouse. More importantly, this comic book has a really complicated tone, and this story is able to nail both the humor aspects along with the horrible serial murdering turning within every corner. In moments of humor, Sprouse renders just enough of a smile on Ultimate Thor’s face to show that he’s having fun — until the end of the issue.
With Thors not debuting until Secret Wars proper was nearly half over is definitely a bummer, it’s commendable that this series is truly able to captivate fans in the way that it does. So many surprises about Battleworld are left open in this project to discover — kudos to the editors and coordinators at Marvel who are tirelessly moving and shaking the event. Sprouse and Aaron have established one of the strongest narratives hammered into the umbrella of Secret Wars thus far — this issue is a can’t miss for people invested in the Thor mythos or even huge Secret Wars fans.
Fruit snack aficionado. @AlexandComics