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The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/05/07
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Thor #1
writer: J. Michael Straczynski
artists: Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales

How long has it been - three years? When last we saw the one true God of Thunder, he had ascended the throne of Asgard, blinded himself in search of wisdom and finally brought about the finality of Ragnarok. No longer would the gods be slaves to a higher ill-defined force that made them enact the same patterns over and over. This time, when they died, they'd be truly gone.

So Thor missed Avengers Disassembled. He missed House of M and Civil War and the jury's still out on whether or not he'll have anything to do with World War Hulk. In the meantime, Marvel teased us with the Asgardian, a member of the Young Avengers created at a time when rumors flew that Thor would come back as a teen.

Then they gave us a mysterious man with a satchel who casually picked up Mjolnir, Thor's enchanted hammer, and walked away. That was almost two years ago. Of course, then came Clor, a cloned android of Thor that killed Black Goliath during the Civil War, an effective weapon for the forces of registration until Hercules smashed his brains out.

That's a long time and a lot of teasing, and if it seems like I'm meandering to get to this review of Thor #1, that's because that's pretty much what the book does.

If you're a Thor fan, you probably won't mind. Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales deliver sumptuous splash pages illustrating J. Michael Straczynski's almost poetic summation of who Thor should be. The first third of the book doesn't just rehash the last few years; with the artwork, it reminds you of how glorious Thor and his world can be.

But it's also not particularly going anywhere. The middle of the book turns into a debate between Thor and Dr. Donald Blake as to how they're going to return to life, because they're both stuck in the void. Try not to pay attention to the likelihood that Blake has been walking around on Earth before this. It's a vague but sporadically moving reflection on whether or not we even need a Thor.

This just in from Marvel's marketing department, looking forward to the movie adaptation: Yes. Yes, we do.

Finally, Straczynski sets up a new base of operations, and perhaps the promise of more Asgardians. With his talent, this should be better than the "Lost Asgardians" series a few years ago. Yet the intrigue built here comes more from knowing the track record of the creative talent, not because of anything that actually happens. For all this, and it has its moments, Straczynski doesn't build any particular intrigue.

As fans, we can extrapolate that yeah, once Thor gets his bearings he's likely to be pretty ticked off at Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic for the whole clone thing. Knowing the past as we do, it's also only a matter of time before Loki shows up to bug the crap out of his brother and cause a lot of mayhem. For all we know, Thor might even start a cult out in the Midwest.

Yet that's our imaginations at work. The creative team has done none of it, and really, the ball should be in their court. As happens too often, Thor #1 seems designed to read a whole lot better when you have the next five issues all in hand in one beautiful hardbound collection.

You've waited this long. What's one year more?


Sorry about the compression of all this, but due to family fun on the 4th, Westercon and unexpected computer problems, my deadline's tight today. Heck, I'm already late. But let me point out a few joys on the stand today…

All-Star Superman #8: Grant Morrison puts his spin on Bizarro. It am no make my head hurt so sweetly.

Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness #5: Even two-dimensional Bruce Campbell makes everything better.

The New Avengers and the Transformers #1: If someone asks where it fits in continuity, just shove your metallic boot up their trunk. Relying on the ever-popular "alien influence" makes everybody act like jerks, the story drops the Robots in Disguise into something sort of resembling the Marvel Universe of about two years ago. Hey, these things take time.

Runaways #27: The team goes back in time to encounter Marvel's steampunk age. If Joss Whedon is bucking for the shot at creating a new series for Marvel, let us all raise our hands in support for him. It's an awesome concept.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw


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