It's Atlantean King vs. Asgardian Prince! Which book will reign supreme?
It's a royal rumble as Marvel's resident Asgardian prince takes on DC's King of Atlantis! Who will take the crown from his opponent? It's The Mighty Thor #8 vs. Aquaman #3!
Red Book: The Mighty Thor #8 (Matt Fraction, Pasqual Ferry)
There's a new god of thunder in town! Who is Tanarus, and why does no one seem to remember Thor?
The conflict is established clearly and the way this will be dealt with is going to be interesting. It's also kind of fun to see Loki acting as a good guy, at least for the time being. Asgard's rebuilding and redefining should be a good source of story and conflict for a while and it's also something that can be drawn out as long as necessary. Whether the writers/publishers/planners thought that far forward or not, it's still pretty cool.
The style of art in this issue is very cool. It has a unique "Space-Viking-God" vibe. There's a sleek, sci-fi style. It makes me think of a more shaped version of the art for DC's Savage Hawkman (I get that Thor's been around longer, it's just a point of reference for me). The characters look very mythical, the goblins are both comedic and gross, and Tanarus' design is appropriate for a "new" thunder god. It's similar to Thor's look, but different enough to make him a unique figure.
Probably the biggest qualm I have with the Thor books is the fact that they use "medieval speak". I understand why it's done and appreciate that, but there are times when it makes things difficult to understand. The story isn't exactly easy to get into. It's a jumping on point, to be sure. However, there's a "New Hope" style block of text at the beginning of the book. It explains what's happened until now, it just does so in a rather confusing manner.
It's also a little confusing about what's currently happening. There are a couple of odd jump cuts that don't make much sense, one character simply appears from nowhere, and another character appears to transform into another when they probably shouldn't. Others do have such transformations, but they're more deliberately shown.
While all of the characters look mythical, they also kind of look alike. It's hard to identify the characters based on appearances. I think there's one point where a speech balloon is coming from somewhere it shouldn't be. There's not much to point out negatively about this book's art. The color palette is a bit strange for my taste, but that's part of the sci-fi tone of the series.
Blue Book: Aquaman #3 (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado)
Aquaman decides to investigate the new threat facing his world. How will this new information be to his advantage?
Geoff Johns is doing a great job rebooting this classic hero. Until recently he's been the butt of many a joke, but now Aquaman's a force to be reckoned with. The mix of meta-context and character definition are great, the action is more than sufficiently action-y, and I even found myself learning in this particular issue. This issue is very much the middle of the story, but it still keeps you interested. Sometimes the middle part can be like the second story in a three-feature show (see the "Three Kings" episode of Family Guy for better joke). Here it works pretty well to keep the story moving forward.
Reis just gets Geoff Johns as a writer, it seems. The presence Aquaman has actually comes across as "regal". The update of the suit is a nice touch as well. Mera and the other characters look good, the baddies are very sinister and monsterish, and the color choices are spot on. Very, very nice looking book.
The action comes and goes pretty early, so this issue is a little on the slow side. It's a little disappointing to follow up such a cool action scene from the previous issue with so much exposition. I understand that it's the logical progression of the story, but it doesn't really decelerate, it kind of just stops from the action and then starts something else. It's a bit of an awkward shift. Also, our newly introduced character's motives and relationship with Arthur could be a little clearer. I get the intention of mystery, but it's kind of confusing right now.
I've tried, but I cannot honestly find anything to complain about with the art in this series. I'm serious, the only flaws that I could find are almost not worth pointing out. I guess the primary thing that bothers me is how FREAKING SCARY the baddies are. I know I'm not going swimming in the ocean anytime soon.
Winner of the Week:
Closing thoughts- Thor is a book that has never been too high on my radar. Nothing against him, he does have a great appeal (being a space-Viking-god-man), but it's just not something that fits me very well. This is kind of ironic considering how I love the Elder Scrolls games. In the end, though, it comes down to the fact that I've been wanting to get into Aquaman for a while. I'm very happy with what Geoff Johns is doing with this series and I hope his run with it remains high quality. Thor's got a good jumping on point (I'm assuming), so if you wanted to do so, go for it. Me, I'm going back to the depths. Onward for great justice!
Written or Contributed by: Veggieleezy