This is almost the perfect comic. Jason Aaron’s story delivers a fantastic, logical reveal, and prefaces it with some wonderful high-octane action. Russell Dauterman has somehow become one of my favorite artists, and his portrayal of the ladies of the Marvel U taking on the Destroyer is absolutely gorgeous. I read this comic sitting in my work’s parking lot, something I haven’t done in 10 years or so, but that is how excited I was to find out the new Thor’s secret identity. And thanks to the well-choreographed action that opened the issue, I had a smile on my face the whole time.
I’m not going to give it away here, but Aaron swerved me with the obvious choice over the last few months. I read this book with my daughters (we all love it) and while my 7-year-old was with me with the obvious suspect, my 10-year-old didn’t buy it. She told me that “they wouldn’t just give it away that easily.” I will say that they were both happy about the reveal, although my younger daughter especially was immediately overcome with concern for this character. It was pretty great to get to tell her “this is a comic book, buddy, I’m sure the writer has a plan in mind.” Jason Aaron has repeatedly proven himself to be one of the best writers in comics and this is just another piece of evidence building that case.
But Russell Dauterman. I didn’t know this guy at all, and he has impressed the hell out of me. The character work on all these guest-stars is stunning. Karnilla the Norn Queen became one of my favorite characters in the span of two pages! (I thought she resembled the singer St. Vincent, anyone else get that vibe?) In any case, my younger daughter immediately declared that she wants to try to get an artist to draw Karnilla at the next comicon she attends. (It’s good to have a plan, right?)
Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, Captain Marvel, Lady Sif, Freyja, Angela, Karnilla, Valkyrie, and the new-to-me Hildegard. What a fantastic lineup of suspected Thors and guest stars. And throughout all of this, Aaron and Dauterman keep “regular Thor” as an integral part of the story. This has become a team-up book featuring the two Thors and I love it.
I said this was almost the perfect comic. And I meant it. It is EXCELLENT. This is Marvel Comics done right, folks.
(FYI: The perfect comic book will never exist because it would be a team-up of all my favorite b-tier Justice Leaguers and Avengers.)