This issue sees the excellent ‘The Accursed’ storyline come to an end, and Jason Aaron wraps things up very well indeed, with more than a few surprises and some cool teasers for the future.
The story picks up in the heat of battle, as Malekith attacks the Dark Elf high council, as Thor struggles against the creepy centipede that Malekith had planted inside him, that had made him the mole all along. Malekith taunts Thor and Warizia about how he fooled them all, and how he tricked Thor into killing Ud The Troll for nothing. Except, that Malekith is really the one who’s been fooled, as Ud isn’t dead, and the rest of the League Of Realms arrives to save the day. It turns out that, rather than kill Ud last issue, Thor had actually performed a spell and sent him away elsewhere, with a note strapped to his back to inform the other two League members about his plan. I’m not sure I really buy Thor as being able to cast spells like this, but Aaron explains it by saying that a person can’t be related to Loki for 1000s of years without picking up a few tricks, and I suppose that’s true.
The fight between The League and Malekith’s army was, as is usual for this title, very good indeed, it was hard-hitting, and had plenty of cool moments, and allowed each character to get their own chance to shine. I especially liked Ud’s solution to freeing the Dwarf from being stuck against the wall… to just chop his hand off, such great teamwork! Emanuela Lupacchino’s artwork also reaches new heights in these scenes, reminding me almost of Phil Noto, which is very high praise. It’s a shame that Ron Garney couldn’t do this whole story (although he does return for the final few pages), but Lupacchino is a great replacement, and I’d love to see her stick around on this book.
Of course, the battle really comes down to Thor Vs Malekith, but before the Thunder God can strike the final blow, he is interrupted by the Dark Elf Council, who have madder their decision about who will lead them and, it’s Malekith. Thor is shocked at this, but Warizia explains that in Dark Elf culture, they want to be ruled by the person who scares them the most, and after all the events of the last few issues, there is no Elf more terrifying than Malekith. It turns out that, as well as ‘bugging’ Thor from the start, Malekith set all of this up, using Thor to get into power, so yeah, when I said Malekith was the one who’s been fooled, I was wrong. The All-Mother tries to find away around this, by saying that Malekith can become King, but only after he serves the rest of his 1000-year prison sentence, but, in another surprising moment, Warizia volunteers to serve as his proxy. This is an odd decision from Thor’s perspective, but I think Aaron has done a very good job at showing how different Dark Elf culture is, and how their minds work.
So yeah, basically, it looks like this whole adventure was a bust for Thor, but really, it wasn’t, he actually has managed to create a League Of Realms, and from the narration, it seems like they’ll be sticking around (I loved the panels comparing The League with The Warriors Three, very funny), so even if Svartalfheim is more dangerous than ever, the rest of the Realms will be much more of a united front against them. Although, as the epilogue teases, Malekith may have a League of his own, and I don’t mean Madonna and Geena Davis, he’s working with the Frost Giants and heading to Muspelheim…
This was a great ending to a great story, and I very much like the look of where Jason Aaron is headed. Because the God Butcher stuff was all time-travely and confusing, it didn’t leave much of an aftermath, but here, there’s loads, and it’s all very exciting.