Story By: J. Michael Straczynski
Art and Cover By: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Brief Synopsis: So far in the series, after Ragnarok happened (again), Thor has taken over for Odin and has awoken his fellow Asgardians who were trapped in their mortal forms. Most everyone has returned, but some have been radically changed, like Thor's half-brother Loki, who is now a woman. Talk about gender issues.
This issue begins with Loki coming to Balder the Brave to inform him that he is the bastard son of Odin, and thus not only Thor's half-brother, but a true prince of Asgard. Loki tells the tale of an amorous Odin, whom after many a chalice of ale, became interested in a woman named Frigga. Like any true world leader, he pretty much hit it and quit it, thus leaving a bastard child growing in the poor woman's stomach. Seems ol' Odin was a fan of spreading the royal seed around if you know what I mean.
After Balder was born, Odin had visions of a grown Balder dying and 'taking the fate of Asgard with' him. He sought out a prophetess to explain these visions. After giving her some of his blood (man, this guy cannot keep his bodily fluids to himself) she warned Odin that if Balder were killed before Ragnarok, Balder would not return and Odin's lineage would be broken. Since Balder would be a target he was never told who his father was.
Loki goads Balder into asking Thor if the story was true. When confronted, Thor acknowledges the truth and reveals he has known for some time. He also admits, since Ragnarok is no longer a threat to them, that he should have told Balder sooner. Loki continues to pushes buttons and asks for a celebration for the coronation of the new prince of Asgard. Balder informs Loki that while he still does not trust him (or is it her now?) he is willing to give Loki the benefit of the doubt. And thus the door is open...
Pros: The story is finally starting to go somewhere after almost a year of Thor wandering around finding his old friends. There hasn't been a real threat in the relaunched series yet, but the entrance of the Trickster god Loki will be sure to pay dividends over the comings months. I've always thought Thor only worked in the Avengers books and I've never read his solo series before this one, but I think I'm starting to change my mind a bit.
They finally got rid of Ragnarak. I'm not a big fan of having futures and destinies laid out that characters have to strive to reach. While "Days of Future Past" is a great X-Men story, I don't like the fact that sometimes stories are written to reach that story instead of taking a natural course of events. Thor and the Asgardians have always been tied to the eventual fallout from Ragnarok. It finally happened, it's over, and now apparently it can't happen again. Thank God. No pun intended.
I really like Oliver Copiel's art. That's it, nothing more. I like it.
Cons: So far, there has been no real threat to the Asgardians. No frost giants, no demons, no crazy ex-Odin hookups looking for revenge. Nothing. The only real confrontation Thor has had since the relaunch was with Tony Stark. Although it looks like they are going to reestablish Loki as a marquee villain, I still think Thor has to go out there and hit something or somebody.
The pacing of the series has been really slow. They are 10 issues in and other than waking a bunch of gods up from their mortal shells, nothing much has happened. Thor rebuilt Asgard, found his friends and loved ones, and now sits on the throne that his father once used. The pace needs to be picked up if they want people to stay on.
Conclusion: While slow, I'm digging the relaunch. Like I said, I've never read the Thor solo books before so this is all new to me. It might not be for die hards but I'm hoping this series is as satisfying to them as it is to me.
Disagree with my review? Leave me a comment.
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