Big Ole Floppy: The Mighty Thor Volume 1 Review
- Written and Art By: Walt Simonson
- Colorist: Steve Oliff
- Price: $24.99
- Release Date: August 2017
- Collects THOR (1966) #337-345
- Publisher: Marvel Comics
Few people have ever left their mark on one character quite the way Walter Simonson has. His work on the Mighty Thor swept the Norse God of Thunder to heights never before seen and rarely achieved in his wake. Spanning epic tales of heroism and treachery, love and war, Simonson’s work is often considered the definitive Thor. From the majesty and mystery of fabled Asgard to the gritty streets of New York City, Thor was never the same. That is the mark of a true visionary. This first volume begins the collection of Simonson’s epic run.
- Striking Colors – The book makes use of every part of the page, panels that flows, colors that pop, filling the gutters with transitional dialog, Simonson makes everything look effortless. During the entire trade, we see hints of a weapon being forged, and in these pages we see perhaps the most striking art of the book. The use of darker lighting and only shades of red and yellow really pop not only on the page, but in the book. DOOM!
- Designed by Gods – The story takes place on Earth, in Asgard, in space, on a ship, there are aliens, there are gods, there are humans and there is Thor and through it all there’s a sense of uniformity allowing nothing to really stands out as being too foreign to this book. The ability to create this cohesive world while exploring a depth roster of cultures, characters and environments is one of the true charms of the first volume.
- Ballad of Background Players – Thor is our hero, of that there is no doubt, but the spotlight is given to his father, Odin, his brother, Loki, Balder the Brave, Beta Ray Bill, Sif, Lorelei and countless other supporting characters. Effortless seems to be the word of this review, but again Simonson just has a knack for knowing when to check-in on characters and when to refocus the story on Thor and his adventures. I will honestly say didn’t know many of these characters when I started reading, but now I need to know more about them all.
- The Thunderer – Each of the characters are given clear and distinct voices. I found the most impressive part of that being that Thor, Donald Blake and Sigurd all sound different on page even though underneath it all various versions of Thor.
- Lucky In Love – Thor is making a new identity for himself, dealing with another being worthy enough to wield Mjölnir, unbeknownst to him forces behind the scene are plotting his demise, he is being summoned by a Viking call, and is romance brewing? The trade packs a ton of stories in here, and it is all interwoven so neatly that you just breeze from location to location, story to story and you don’t realize the journey you’ve been on by the end because it seems so seamless.
- Thor vs Space Dragons – For a book with grand ideas, you need big action to match and this book delivers in spade. Not only do we get epic fights between Thor and Beta Ray Bill, a team-up with the two, but also Thor taking on Fafnir. But here’s the thing aside from the fights looking pretty, they are built up, they feel different and they have genuine stakes applied to them. The final encounter with Fafnir has some real heart-wrenching moments included and it seems cliched, but played so well that again you believe in the moment when it occurs.
- The Trickster God – One of the book’s stronger element is its humor, which isn’t really devised from the usual set-up and punchline, but instead the fact that almost everyone is playing some game of deceit. It’s almost Shakespearian in nature. Thor has dual-identities, Lorelei is trying to seduce him in his civilian disguise. Loki treats Balder in one of the book’s pivotal moments and well the final moments turns out to be one giant fake-out as well. No one is truly who they seem in this book. Though there is one magical moment that is played for laughs with another god-like hero who hides in reading glasses…
Review 7 (Out of 7) – What is there to say, if you’re a fan of Thor read this book. If you aren’t a fan of Thor (like myself to be honest), this book is an amazing starting point. It may leave too many dangled threads for a trade, but I need to know more. Job well done.