Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pull List Review: Thor: God of Thunder #8

This book continues to be fantastic. Jason Aaron seems to feel the same way about Thor as I do: go big or go home. His top priority, far as I can tell, is making this story as epic and grandiose as possible, and it is definitely working for him. A bomb made of destroyed moons, planets, and stars that can kill every god in existence isn't even the most insane bit of badassery in this issue. No, that would be young Thor smacking current Thor in the face with a space shark. Right there, that's worth the cost of admission alone.
     Aaron is having fun with the character, even in the midst of a dark tale about a merciless butcher of immortals. The interplay between the three different Thors continues to be smooth and contain a lot of heart and humor, and each of them has a distinct voice and attitude. I also liked how the narration called them "Thor Odinson of the Viking Age," "Thor the Avenger," and "King Thor." It's nice wording, with the youngest Thor defined by his age, the middle one his job, and the last his status. The third-person narrator had a lot of smart, well-chosen wording, even if one or two places might've gone a shade too purple with the prose. In general, the narrative captions only deepened the sense of how important and, again, downright epic this story is.
     This issue's main goal, plot-wise, was to bring young Thor together with his future selves. But it did so by having him first do something characteristically brave, dangerous, and heroic. He attacks the godbomb, expecting to sacrifice himself in the process, and in order to pull that off he first summons a powerful storm on Gorr's world, something which previously seemed impossible. Even without his hammer or the experience of age, Thor is portrayed as one of the boldest and mightiest of gods. Yet all he's doing is lashing back against an enemy who's already defeated and captured him. Gorr remains as imposing and impressive a villain as ever, even though he doesn't actually do or even appear much this issue. His brainwashed child, the crucifixion of innumerable gods, and the plan of the godbomb itself all represent the scope of his evil and madness, so he doesn't need to appear on the page for his presence to permeate the issue.
     Esad Ribic is still the perfect choice for this title, because of the very epicness I keep referring to. He does grand scale action better than most, and his Thors are properly looming and muscular and regal in their manner. He adds a lot of nice, almost hidden detail to the many other gods he draws this issue, too. And there are a lot of memorable panels, but the single best has got to be the half-page of Thor wiping out Gorr's minions with a literal rain of lighting. You can almost feel it, and it's an image that captures the essence of Thor as a character as well as everything I am loving about this run.
     I have said this before, but there are times when Ribic's faces bother me. The eyes and mouths have a tendency to take on a fishlike quality in moments of great excitement, shock, or anger. And that's true here, more than once, but I am trying to learn to look past it as much as possible. It is only a tiny quibble, and it's not as if it makes the pictures significantly worse or inaccurate, even, necessarily. Just not my style, and I notice it every time.
     But otherwise, I have no major complaints about Ribic's artwork. He's been a reliably fitting artist for this title since its launch, and colorist Ive Svorcina has done a damn good job coloring his work since issue #2. This issue, the colors are particularly well-done in the scene of the gods meeting around a fire. The way Svorcina does the wash of orange light over everything is obvious and simple, but deceptively nuanced, too, for the sake of realism. The atmospheric mood is key to that scene's success, and Svorcina is the one who delivers it.
     Very fine work from everyone involved, which has been the norm for Thor: God of Thunder. Probably time for me to stop reviewing it until I have something to say other than, "This rocks!" But it fucking rocks, y'all.

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