Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tradio #24 - Thor: The Mighty Avenger

Welcome back to all-ages month on Tradio!  This week we look at a criminally underrated both that was cancelled way before it’s time.  This week we review Volume One of Thor: The Mighty Avenger by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee, published by Marvel Comics.

Thor: The Mighty Avenger is a bit of a throwback book and I think that was where it was doomed from the start.  Self-contained, one-and-done issues with a broader, overarching story that doesn’t tie into any other book and is light and airy and not at all dark or brooding.  Why would anyone want to read something like that?  The question should be, “Why wouldn’t you want to read that?!?!”  Telling the tale of Thor returning to Earth and his struggle to find his place, the book gives a fresh take on the core of the character without all the baggage of years of continuity.  You see the god of thunder develop as a person and see his relationship with a young, bright Jane Foster develop from the beginning.  Through his day-to-day interactions with a new, exciting world, his run-ins with super-powered villains, and even a night out with the boys, we get to see a side of Thor that is all too often overlooked in the main Marvel Thor title.  Overall, a fun romp within a reimagined Marvel Universe.

But was it good?  Verily! Langridge has a good grip on the core of the character and his ability to write well developed, fast paced stories that help to build a running overall narrative between issues is some of the best I have seen and very refreshing in comic book world that is overly focused decompressed stories full of talking heads that drag on for issues on end.  Then there is Chris Samnee.  Dynamic, kinetic, expressive, and just plain good; his ability to render characters and expressions harkens back to an earlier time in comics and definitely pays some dues to the Kirby reprints in the back of the volume.  He is nothing short of amazing and why he is not on a regular book right now, making a huge paycheck, I have no idea.  There are only two volumes of Thor: The Might Avenger and you owe it to yourself to buy them, read them, and share them to the people that you love.  Like I said, the series as a whole never got the fair shake that it deserves, but that doesn’t take away from the shear joy that is can give you now.  The world is a better place with this series in it and we need more fun, engaging works like this in our lives.

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