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Casual Saturdays: Where Things Stand… September 27, 2008

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Wow, three months goes by fast! Let’s once again take a look at where things stand in the Marvel Universe.

Secret Invasion – It’s rapidly approaching its end, and six issues, three big Skrull reveals, and countless tie-ins later, it is a great story, while at the same time being a little unsatisfying. For the most part, I have enjoyed the goings-on in the main series, but many of the tie-ins have been disappointing. While this has almost as many tie-ins as Civil War did, Civil War was much better at being able to carry the story of each particular character or group of characters coping with the SHRA. In this case, most tie-ins simply feature a character or group of characters participating in an issues-long brawl with the Skrulls. As epic as this story has been, I will be happy when it is over.

Fantastic Four – I’ve loved Millar’s take on the FF, even if it is a little slow at times, but it seems that many do not share my enthusiasm. Sure, his take on the individual members may not be completely orthodox, but this departure from the norm has been what has made most of it fun. So while I’ll enjoy his sixteen issue run, I wouldn’t want him to take the helm for the next several years. (And I do hope they find someone great to do so, FF really does need a shot in the arm that will carry it forward.) In the meantime, regardless whether or not you are a fan of Millar’s handling of the team, you should definitely check out the Fantastic Four: True Story mini-series that is going on. The story might be slightly absurd, but I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve reviewed the first two issues of it at WCBR here and here, and I’ll soon post the link here to my review of the third.

Silver Surfer – We haven’t seen hide nor hair (that is, if he had hair) of him since Nova 15, and as far as I know, it looks to stay that way. I really wish Marvel would do another mini. 😦 (Or, heck, even an ongoing!) But, with the “War of Kings” that’s supposed to tear through Marvel’s cosmic line next year, maybe they’ll find a place to tell a story about good old Norrin. Until then, I plan to write a review of one of my favorite Surfer tales, Silver Surfer: Requiem for WCBR sometime this week, and I’ll post a link here when it is available.

Amazing Spider-Man – It sure has come a long way from the atrocious One More Day fiasco. New Ways to Die has been every bit the fantastic story we were promised it would be and while I’m still upset with the dissolution of the marriage, I won’t lie that I’m looking forward to what the “Braintrust” will bring us next. Especially the courtroom story hinted at in the “Extra!” one shot a while back. Also, the first issue of ASM Family was decent, and I was disappointed at first when it sounded as though they wouldn’t be including further “Mr. and Mrs. Spider-Man” stories, but the solicits for future issues makes it appear they will. Expect reactions to issue two in two weeks.

New Avengers – This title is severely lacking from its title characters, namely the Avengers. I’ve not hidden my dislike for the fact that Bendis is using these two books he’s in charge of to write Secret Invasion back-up tales (some of which haven’t even been that important) despite the fact that they rarely involve the Avengers. I really wish he’d done a Secret Invasion: Origins mini-series for these stories, or something of the like, and just given us more Avengers adventures. Though I won’t lie, rumors running around of the possible upcoming fourth Avengers ongoing (Dark Avengers) has me excited.

Mighty Avengers – See above.

Avengers: The Initiative – Where its two “Avengers brethren” have suffered from “Secret Invasion overdose,” Avengers: The Initiative has flourished. Dan Slott and Christos Gage continue to put out spectacular, character driven stories proving that you can pull characters from the “nobody’s ever heard of these random Marvel superheroes” list, and still have one of the best comic books on the market. Yes, I still miss Cloud 9, my favorite character to come out of this series, but team Slott and Gage haven’t steered us wrong yet, and I’m sure we’ll see her before too long.

Captain America – With Ed Brubaker’s long awaited conclusion to the “Death of the Dream” “mega-arc” that came out this week, Brubaker proves that he can leave you satisfied and begging for more at the same time. With almost complete resolution on the good guy side of the equation, and almost none on the bad guy side, Brubaker has made me a permanent fan of Captain America. Don’t expect to see this series leaving my must-read list anytime soon.

Thor – This, in my opinion, is still probably the best comic book series on the market. J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel continue to give us this slow-churning epic infused with humor and suspense. What is Loki’s true plan? What does it have to do with Dr. Doom? How does she intend to gain the allegiance of Balder, one of Thor’s longest friends? How will her actions affect Midgard? When JMS’ run on Thor is finally over (which I hope never happens), this will likely be one of my favorite graphic format stories told. (This honor currently belongs to Bone by Jeff Smith, and yes, I have read Watchmen, I still think Bone is better.)

Invincible Iron Man – One year ago, I never would have guessed that I’d be reading an Iron Man series. I loathed him for his actions during Civil War and, along with many fans and much of the actual Marvel Universe, blamed him for Captain America’s death. My appreciation for him, unknowingly, actually began when I started reading Avengers: The Initiative. As I began to see more and more the benefits of the SHRA, I began to understand Tony’s actions. I didn’t necessarily like him, but I no longer hated him. Then, of course, the Iron Man movie came out. I was completely blown away. I needed more Tony Stark, and I needed it IMMEDIATELY. Luckily, Marvel was wise enough to start a new Invincible Iron Man ongoing series just days after the release of the movie. And, luckier still, the series has maintained much of the flavor of the movie. IIM has become one of my favorite monthly reads, and one that I recommend to everyone I talk to who loved the movie (especially non-comic book readers, what better way to introduce them to the medium?)

Uncanny X-Men – With the authors of the already legendary Captain America series and the breakaway Invincible Iron Man ongoing at the helm of the world’s best selling super-team, this should have been an easy success. Unfortunately, something has gone wrong. Ever since Messiah Complex, Uncanny has taken a turn for the mediocre. Luckily, it had the beautiful artwork of Mike Choi to make us survive through the awful hippie story. Now we’re just getting an ever-increasing focus on the ever-increasingly annoying character Pixie, as rendered by the horrible artist Greg Land. I don’t know what needs to happen to fix this title, but Brubaker and Fraction but figure it out fast. (And firing Greg Land from the comic book medium would be a good start, especially when he pulls off crap like this.)

Astonishing X-Men – Who’d’ve guessed that this series would still be plagued with delays after the departure of Whedon and Cassaday? I dunno, but with the upcoming Ender’s Game comic book adaptation (discussed below), I’ve decided to drop this in favor of that. Don’t get me wrong, the story seems interesting enough, and the artwork is wonderful, but I feel this isn’t really an essential part of my reading list. I will, however, still review issues of this from time to time on WCBR.

Ender’s Game – Finally. One of my all-time-favorite novels is getting the comic book treatment. I’ve never looked forward to the release of a comic book as much as I am Ender’s Game #1 on October 8th. If you’ve never read the book, first off, shame on you! But secondly, you definitely better read the comic, because it’s gonna be epic! In fact, next week, Casual Saturdays will be all about why you should read it, so if you aren’t planning to, you better check back then!

So what do you guys think of the Marvel Universe as it is now? Share your thoughts if you feel like it.

-LOTRKing

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Review of Secret Invasion: Thor 2 (3.5 stars) September 23, 2008

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Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Yup, you guessed it! Marvel Subscriptions is still in the middle of an EPIC FAIL. So until said failure ends, here is yet another link to WCBR review of mine. (Trust me, I’m just as tired of this as you are!)

-LOTRKing

Review of Secret Invasion: Thor 1 (4 stars) August 22, 2008

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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tired of posting “sorry guys and gals, nothing to new review, so no post today” when I run out of my main material, I’ve decided to provide a link to something I reviewed of Weekly Comic Book Review, but did not review here or link earlier. This will only be done when I run out of stuff to review, and because I link to a specific issue does not mean I will link to the next issue. Likewise, regular linkage when I am too busy to write a review will continue (though I’ll continue to do this as little as I possibly can, my goal being once a week or less.) That said, here is the link to this review.

-LOTRKing

Review of Thor 10 (4 stars) August 5, 2008

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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After four straight issues of a 4.5 rating, Thor 10 takes a quick break from “insane awesomeness.” While this issue may have been a tad bit slower than the last few, it still provided for a very entertaining read. Before I dive into the specifics of the story, I need to point out what may or may not be a significant clue. Throughout the entire first page, every panel features the same sparrow traveling along. The last time JMS did something similar to this was the bird that was seen throughout One More Day that turned out to be Mephisto. Now I’m not saying that this bird is Mephisto, especially because he wasn’t a sparrow in OMD (and I certainly hope JMS doesn’t use Mephisto any more, as far as I’m concerned, I’d be happy to never see that character again), but unless he randomly wanted Coipel to show a bird, this could be significant. It can’t be Loki either as she is later seen in Asgard in the same scene. So I really don’t know what to think. Anyone else out there have any ideas/theories?

Anyway, moving on, Balder at first is in disbelief at Loki’s statement of his true heritage, but as Loki relates the story we learn that Balder’s mother, Frigga, won the affections of Odin at a feast. When she bore him a son, this should have been a time of celebration, but because Odin had been fraught with ill-omened dreams, he decided to seek answers. On his quest, he learns (after accidentally causing the birth of vampires, of all things!) that Balder will assure the continuance of Asgard and Odin’s line as long as he always dies during Ragnarok, but if he is killed before Ragnarok, then Asgard will be lost and Odin’s line broken. Of course, Odin then decided to keep Balder’s true nature a secret to protect both Balder and Asgard.

As Loki surely hoped, this leads to a confrontation between Balder and Thor when Balder wishes to know why he was not told the truth when Ragnarok was no longer possible. Thor, failing to find a sufficient answer, asks forgiveness and assures Balder that everything was done with his best interest in mind. While Balder forgives him, this has likely driven a small wedge into their relationship, which I’m assuming was Loki’s original intent. Whatever her plan is, she also “tricks” Thor into telling everyone about Balder’s true nature by throwing a celebration to recognize his heritage. I’m guessing that Loki’s plan will likely involve usurping Thor’s throne. One, because she has presented a second heir, and two, she has been sowing seeds of doubt amongst the Asgardians of Thor’s leadership capabilities. How far away can a coup be, I wonder? Loki’s plan may be slowly building, but I am more than content to wait and see all the little facets develop.

-LOTRKing

Casual Saturdays: Where Things Stand June 28, 2008

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Well, the year’s (almost) half over, and seeing as how it’s been a few months since I did one of these posts, I thought I’d take the time to assess my current views on the Marvel Universe. Sometime this week (assuming I have time) I’m going to send an email to Marvel letting them know what I think, it will essentially say the same, or similar things in this post. (I will also ask for subscriptions to be available for Avengers: The Initiative!)

Secret Invasion: Three issues in, and we’ve had three big reveals: Spider-Woman, Yellowjacket, and Jarvis are all Skrulls! Bendis has been handling the story extremely well, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with it. Surprising to myself, I’ve also actually enjoyed Yu’s art in SI (though it still needs improvement). Who else might be a Skrull? Luke Cage, but I’m guessing he doesn’t know it, and will be heart broken when he finds out.

Fantastic Four: Millar/Hitch’s first arc was more than satisfying, and judging by the first issue of their second arc, it looks to be ten times more awesome! I love that Millar makes this series about the characters, not their adventures. And I love the way the Hitch draws Sue! What is there not to be happy about? 😉 Fantastic Four is one of favorite monthlies, and one of my three “must reads.” (In other words, if you’re not reading it, pick it up immediately!)

Silver Surfer/Nova: I’m reading the current arc of Nova, simply because is features ol’ Norrin Radd, and boy is it spectacular. (Reviews can be found here and here, the second review isn’t mine though.) I’m hoping what with the success of SS: Requiem and SS: In Thy Name, that if these three issues of Nova see a spike in readers, Marvel may consider giving Norrin his own ongoing again (finally!), or at least another mini-series (which could then lead to an ongoing). What with both Annihilation events, Nova, and Guardians of the Galaxy reinvigorating Marvel’s cosmic line, what better way to add to this corner of the MU by launching an ongoing for Marvel’s most famous Sentinel of the Spaceways?

Amazing Spider-Man: This is the most disappointing series that I am currently reading. Occasionally we get a glimpse of an issue that is wonderful, but it seems that the next is always a let down. Also, any regular readers know that I am very opposed to the dissolution of the marriage, and I still think that it can be reinstated, and we could still have spectacular Spidey stories. If Marvel has a greatest flaw right now, this is it. (Though I won’t lie, the upcoming “New Ways to Die” arc looks awesome.)

Mighty Avengers and New Avengers: This should be two groups, but seeing as how these two are simply telling back stories of Secret Invasion right now, these series serve the same purpose. While I enjoy the stories that have been presented thus far, I really wish Bendis would have made them a separate mini-series, like Secret Invasion: Origins, or something. One, that would let casual readers know that these stories are essential to Secret Invasion, and not “just another tie-in.” I mean, the Skrull queen posing as Spider-Woman was revealed in an issue of New Avengers, for goodness sake! These things are really too important to leave out of Secret Invasion. Likewise, I really want a good Avengers story fix. Mighty Avengers only gave us two quick arcs to meet the team, before diving straight into SI, and as enjoyable as SI is, I really want these series to get back to more adventures of their perspective teams ASAP.

Avengers: The Initiative: I think yesterday’s review of issue 14 sums up my feelings on this series. This is another one of my three must reads. Pick it up as soon as you get the chance (and ask Marvel to offer subscriptions to it!)

Captain America: Brubaker continues to weave a web of genius plot lines. With last month’s reveal of who the “Bad Cap” is and next month looking to have the “New Cap” vs. “Bad Cap” fight, along with the promise of a conclusion in September, this series continues to be an extremely entertaining read, and I can’t wait to see what Brubaker does with James after the conclusion of this monumental story line.

Thor: First, I have to admit to slight disappointment, as this series seems to have slipped onto a bimonthly schedule. Still, it is worth the wait. Thor is mythic stories infused with humor, and packed with a surprising amount of characterizations as only J. Michael Straczynski can do. Thor might just be Marvel’s best ongoing, and therefore is the final one of my three must reads. If you aren’t reading this, you are missing out, big time.

Invincible Iron Man: Two issues in, and I’m loving it! Matt Fraction is doing a brilliant job introducing new Iron Man fans to his current status quo, and keeping it plenty entertaining for regular comic book readers. My hope is that Fraction can reinvigorate this character like Brubaker with Cap or JMS with Thor, and if the first two issues are any indication, he just may succeed. If you loved the movie, you should probably be reading this.

Uncanny X-Men: Messiah Complex: Awesome. Divided We Stand: Mehh. Manifest Destiny: ??? While this last storyarc has been a bit underwhelming (note to future comic book writers: don’t use hippies), the dream team of Brubaker, Fraction, and Cary, along with the monumental issue 500 leaves me with high hopes for what is coming next.

Well, those are my current opinions, we’ll check back with another “Where Things Stand” in a few months! See you on Monday with a Flashback!

-LOTRKing

Review of Thor 9 (4.5 stars) June 3, 2008

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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Despite this being a mainly supporting cast issue, this might be the best one so far. This isn’t to say that Thor’s friends are more interesting than him, quite the contrary, rather that JMS’ writing is so strong that he can produce a spectacular issue even without his title character. In fact, the opening panel shows Thor just as he is leaving (perhaps to make his appearance in Invincible Iron Man 2 😉 ) and Loki approaches Balder. Balder, like most of Asgard, still does not trust Loki and he does his best to ignore her, but like any good fantasy villain, her treachery comes not from her powers or strength, but her venomous words that poison our heroes be degrees. Of course, there are some that see right through her trickery, as Fandral rejects her words with a witty remark.

Eventually, Balder sees some wisdom (though false) in her words, and goes to engage some loose Frost Giants that Loki has notified him about. (Of course, said Frost Giants are actually working for Loki.) Next, we get a lot of humor as “Little Bill” finally decides to take Kelda up on her offer to visit Asgard. I’m not sure what cracked me up more, Bill’s attempt at his “floral delivery,” or the Asgardians’ attempts to understand basketball. Nonetheless, JMS provides us with more of the society-clashing hilarity that I have come to love from this book.

Finally, we see the ramifications of Balder’s and Loki’s Frost Giant battle, as the authorities intervene and laws of the gods clash with the laws of men. Eventually it takes Thor to clear everything up with the “mortals,” as he states his displeasure with Balder’s hastiness and reminds him that the laws of mortals must be better understood before there are major interactions with their world. Of course, Balder hears more excuse to take away his supposed freedom, and therefore is more inclined to believe Loki. At the end, we get a big reveal as Loki informs Balder that he is really the son of Odin and half-brother of Thor, and has just as much right to the throne. All I can say is that Loki is one talented schemer. JMS excels at giving this series a classical mythological feel while maintaining the elements of a modern day superhero comic, and most importantly, being downright entertaining. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: anyone who is not already reading this series needs to at least look into it, as this is quite possibly Marvel’s best ongoing. (Also, apologies if this post sounds somewhat less coherent than normal, I am very tired as I write this.)

-LOTRKing

Review of Thor 8 (4.5 stars) May 12, 2008

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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sorry for this much delayed review (I was much delayed in getting this issue), but in terms of this issue, the wait was definitely worth it. Straczynski has proved once again that Thor might just be Marvel’s best ongoing. The story starts exactly where it left off with Odin telling his history to Thor. Here we learn Loki’s true origin: he was the son of a slain frost giant who Odin raised as his own in order to stop being haunted by Bor. Being new to Thor, I’m not sure if this was already known, I knew that Loki was only Thor’s half-brother, and that he was part frost giant, I’d just always assumed that Odin had had a “fling” with a frost giantess, but apparently not. As always, I’m not sure how much of this is pulled from Norse mythology and how much is modern, but Straczynski is able to craft a perfect merger of the two.

Next we see Donald in New York who has found Jane Foster. She had divorced when she heard rumors that Don was again among the living, and is insulted when Don’s first questions for her are about Sif. Later, they are able to reconcile, and we see that Jane is not the host of Sif’s spirit, and Don promises to return for Jane one day. We then learn the Sif has bonded with a frail dying woman on Jane’s floor, who is being kept hidden by Loki. (Argh! A knife in my hopeless romantic heart! I can’t wait until Thor finds out and beats the crap out of Loki. I also wonder whether this is part of Loki’s master plan with Dr. Doom, or a simple act of hatred toward Thor.)

The story cuts back to the netherworld where Odin informs Thor that the only thing keeping Surtur from returning to life is the eternal battle that Odin wages to keep him in the netherworld, therefore Odin, appreciative of Thor’s offer to return him to the world of the living, decides to remain fighting for eternity in order to protect the kingdom that Thor has rebuilt. On this day, Odin and Thor fight side by side to hold back Surtur and Thor finally comes to peace with the sacrifice of his father. Thor awakens from the Odinsleep, thus recalling Donald, and promises the Asgardians to work toward a better future. All in all, Straczynski and Djurdjevic have put together what I would call a masterpiece. This two part arc has been able to maintain an epic Norse flavor despite taking place in modern times. Of course, it helps the Djurdjevic is perfect in conveying all the flashback scenes, this man needs to illustrate some more epics. So I will definitely miss him come next issue, but I am also looking forward to Coipel’s return.

-LOTRKing

Reivew of Thor 7 (4.5 stars) March 24, 2008

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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Another insanely awesome issue for Thor! This issue picks up shortly after the last one left off; the Asgardians have found Thor in his weakened state, and are quickly rushing him into the heart of Asgard. Fandral seeks Falki who brings something that looks like a enchanted stone coffin, into which Thor plans to enter. Within, Thor can enter the “Odinsleep,” a state between life and death which will restore his strength, the only catch is that the amount of time this will take is unknown, and the “coffin” can only be opened from the inside. Right before Thor enters, he leaves Balder in charge. As the door shuts, the real surprise begins, as Donald Blake appears. The explanation is that since Thor is neither alive nor dead, Donald can now exist separate from him, similar to when Thor was in “the Void.”

Donald travels to New York, to meet someone who can help him find Jane Foster. It never shows who he meets, at first it sounded like Tony Stark (who else would be caught somewhere “without trousers”?), but then I realized that Stark knows who Donald Blake is, and that Asgard is in Oklahoma. Perhaps Wolverine? (Another likely trouser-less candidate.) The real question is, who is this Jane Foster, and why does Don think that she can help Thor? Perhaps she is the mortal that Sif was bonded to? If so, what would make Don realize this only after Thor had entered the Odinsleep? Seeing as this is only a two-part arc, I’m hoping we’ll find out next issue.

Meanwhile in the Odinsleep, Thor confronts his father’s ravens who question why Thor did not seek out Odin earlier. The ravens point Thor to a valley, in which Odin is locked in a seemingly eternal battle with Surtur. Odin slays Surtur, while sustaining heavy wounds himself, only to tell Thor that the wounds would be gone and Surtur would return come morning. Odin poses the same question to Thor as the ravens, and calls Thor’s answer an excuse. Odin then goes on to tell a story explaining why Thor’s actions are understandable. I know a bit about Norse mythology, but not too much, so I don’t know how much of Odin’s “origin story” is actual myth and how much is Straczynski, but not only is it a tragic story, it is also a beautiful one. Even if JMS pulled this whole thing from a mythology encyclopedia, it was a wonderfully written retelling, and if it was mostly his imagination, he is all the more a better writer in my book. Likewise, Djurdjevic’s art was perfect in its storytelling. As much as Coipel’s art is beautiful, Djurdjevic’s art is epic. I would really love to see these two take turns as Thor’s penciler. Odin’s entire story was insanely well drawn, I’d love to see Djurdjevic draw something like “Marvel Illustrated: Beowulf.” (Hint, hint Marvel! 😉 ) The issue ends with the end of Odin’s tale, so we will have to wait for Thor’s reaction and decisions next issue, and personally, I can’t wait!

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

Where things stand….. March 22, 2008

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Well, last week when I said I’d have comments for two weeks straight, I figured in the review for New Avengers 39, which I still haven’t gotten. (Durn Marvel subs!) So, I figured that this would be a good time to have a “wrap up” post for the past two weeks by just taking a quick look at where I think things stand in the Marvel Universe.

Fantastic Four: The Millar/Hitch team isn’t quite as insanely awesome as I thought it would be, but it is still good so far, and early in the run, so I still have very high hopes for this team. I also think that despite their legit appearance, the Earth Trust is a sinister group.

Silver Surfer: The last we saw of him was in the Silver Surfer: In Thy Name mini, and he is apparently going to play a big role in an upcoming arc of Nova, so I will likely pick that up (just for that arc). However, I still really think he deserves his own ongoing! So, next time you write another One More Day protest letter to Marvel, be sure to include as a side note that you want an ongoing Silver Surfer! (I know I will! 😉 )

Amazing Spider-Man: …..still hasn’t gone back. 😦 (It is going to take awhile of course for them to undo their mistake, and I realize this, I’ve just never been patient. 😉 ) I won’t lie though, I’ve read through a few of the recent issues, and some of them aren’t bad, but even if they were insanely awesome, the marriage was one of my favorite parts of the series, and it will never feel the same without it. They can keep this retconned “Brand New World” if they want, just bring back the marriage. They don’t even have to restore the previous marriage, just have them get married again! (Okay, getting off my soapbox now.)

Mighty Avengers: Looking at some other people’s reactions, it seemed that most people enjoyed the last issue more than I (though I still thought it was a good issue, just not the best), and more people it seems are going to give this series a second chance and/or jump on the boat. Good! I’m loving this series right now, and I think it has enormous potential. So until the Sentry goes crazy and causes Mighty Avengers Disassembled, Make Mine Mighty! 😉

Captain America: Brubaker is a genius. ‘Nuff said.

New Avengers: As mentioned earlier, I still don’t have the new issue. The last few issues have been good as single issues, but overall the story is a little slow, obviously once we hit Secret Invasion the story will pick up, but if I didn’t know that, this title might have been in danger of being dropped. I’ll wait and see. (Besides, as mentioned above, Mighty is better.) Edit: I just found out that right before NA39 was supposed to be released, its publication date was pushed back two weeks, so it will now come out this Wednesday. I should have a review for it sometime this week.

Avengers: The Initiative: I’m still catching up, and am currently on issue 9, and so far this series is awesome! It could easily be the best ongoing that Marvel is putting out! (That’s right: Thor and Captain America have a rival!) As soon as I finished 9, I was sad that I didn’t pick up 10 while at my LCS last time, now I have to wait another week and a half! Garg! I’m glad that I didn’t pick up this series sooner, because I couldn’t imagine having to wait a month for issue 10! (And now I feel like an old school Marvel mag for ending every sentence with an exclamation point! Next thing you know, I’ll be advertising for the M.M.M.S.!)

Uncanny X-Men: Brubaker’s genius isn’t quite apparent here, but the storyline is still interesting, and I’m going to continue it. Besides, issue 500 is surely going to do something insanely awesome, so I can’t wait to see what happens!

Daredevil: See description for Captain America.

Thor: I still haven’t got issue 7, but so far this series has been great, and is definitely one of Marvel’s top titles. J. Michael Straczynski is a godsend for Thor (pun totally intended), and I hope he continues to write this for a very long time, as Thor has become one of my favorite characters.

The Twelve: While not as good as Thor, this series is certainly intriguing; JMS really knows how to spin a good yarn. I still think Electro is going to play a huge part in the future, and he may in fact be the Blue Blade’s killer. As always we’ll wait and see…..

Well, as soon as I get and read New Avengers 39 and Thor 7, I’ll be sure to post a review, so check back here often! And please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

Reivew of Thor 6 (4.5 stars) March 11, 2008

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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Straczynski and Coipel do not cease to entertain in this issue of Thor. The story opens at the now familiar Bill’s Diner, but cuts away to different flashback scenes. The first shows the first town meeting with the Asgardians present, and as always the clash between small town Oklahomans and ancient Asgardians is hilarious. The next flashback features a father and his son attempting to repair a flat tire in the middle of the road, only to be greeted and helped by Hogun (and leaves us with the odd mental picture of imagining an Asgardian with a tan). This may sound odd, but all the humorous collisions between Asgardians and Oklahomans make Thor likely to be the funniest comic book I am reading right now. Let me let that sink in: Thor is funny. This of course is not a bad thing, the book is not all humorous, when it is not funny it is epic, and Straczynski’s writing is flawless. Take the next flashback for example, this one involving Bill’s first encounter of an Asgardian. It is beautifully written, but perhaps more importantly, beautifully drawn. Coipel has the Norse/Asgardian look down perfectly. The shape of Kelda’s face, her hairstyle, her arm jewelry, and her attire (and lack thereof in certain areas) couldn’t look more Norse if it had been a statue pulled from Viking artifacts; completely ignoring how Kelda looked as a woman, as a piece of Coipel’s artwork, she was beautiful.

From here, the second half of the story focuses on Thor’s inner struggle to release all of the Asgardians, including those whom he would rather not. Donald reminds of him of how much time is being lost by being careful, and Thor knows his carefulness hasn’t been too effective anyway, so Thor finally decides he is willing to risk it all, especially if it means freeing Sif from her mortal bonds. We then get several more pages of gorgeous artwork from Coipel, first a great composite image of Donald and Thor, then more stunning artwork of Asgard’s interior, then finally several wonderful weather/space pieces as Thor focuses the entirety of his power to summon forth all of the Asgardians at once, knowing full well that it might cause his demise (even though we know it won’t simply because this is an ongoing series, and not a mini). All in all, another great issue of Thor; it is easily one of the best books that Marvel is putting out right now. I can’t wait until next issue to see Djurdjevic’s take on the God of Thunder, and I’m sure it will be simply amazing! (Though I certainly won’t be sad to see Coipel return two months later).

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-LOTRKing