Marvel Pick Of The Week – June 17, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Thors 1, by Jason Aaron and Chris Sprouse

I have usually preferred my Thor in small doses, but Jason Aaron’s most recent run on the title has, for want of a better term, converted me. That said, Marvel’s summer event has interrupted the book just after the first arc’s revelation, and now the book is going from one Thor to dozens of versions of the thunder god.

And it’s even better than it was last month. This is a Thor book in the same way that the legendary Gotham Central was a Batman book – a really good crime writer gets to write a really good cop story and enrich it with everything superhero fiction has to offer.

In many of the Secret Wars books, beginning with the first page of issue 2, a group of variations on Thor have appeared as Doom’s police force, flying around Battleworld making sure no one commits heresy against God Emperor Doom or tries to jump the fence into someone else’s kingdom. This book is about a team of Thors including Chris Hemsworth, Beta Ray Bill, Storm from that one story in the New Mutants Special when she had Loki’s hammer but before she turned into a hawk with a mohawk, and – well, really, once we get to that Storm, I am a happy reader. But Jason Aaron writes the team in a way familiar to viewers of procedural dramas like CSI or Law & Order. Hemsworth is the tough leader, Beta Ray Bill is the supportive partner with a secret, Storm is the love interest trying to keep it professional, Odin has an amazing monologue taken from the best of the overworked Captains, and Throg (a frog with the power of Thor and all of my undying love) plays the forensics guy. The Thors are summoned to a grisly murder, then trace the clues back to a serial killing of a half-dozen variations of the same woman, a woman guaranteed to raise the eyebrows of even the most casual Thor fan.

If this had been a typical Thor story, all wringing hands and vows of vengeance and thee and thou, I would have been mildly amused. But Jason Aaron has written a cop story that would be magnetic even without the source material. His grasp of the procedural stock characters is firm enough to prove he knows what he’s doing, but original enough to delight and draw the reader in. There’s some humor in seeing your detective with a Thor helmet, elevating this from the grim but dull mystery of Armor Wars, but the gravity of the plot makes this that much better than some of the excellent humor books Secret Wars has seen published. I daresay this book would even be fun for someone who isn’t following the main crossover.

I started this week missing the solo adventures of the female Thor. Tonight, I am hoping she might be okay sharing the spotlight once this War is over.

Honorable Mentions:

Old Man Logan 2, for giving Andrea Sorrentino a chance to draw a naked Wolverine fighting a tiger. I love comic books.

Runaways 1, for Noelle Stevenson’s use of Battleworld Pixie to show how easy it is to raise bisexual visibility in a casual, natural manner.

Ms. Marvel 16, because when you are an adorable heartbroken nondrinking teenager, you drown your sorrows in street cart hot dogs and eventually get cut off.

Catch up on previous Picks here!

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