Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ultimate Thor #3

During the original Stan Lee / Jack Kirby run of The Mighty Thor, each issue included a backup story called "Tales of Asgard," focusing on stories of the Norse Gods from long ago.

It was a great way to learn some of the backstory behind the characters, and lots of fun to see young Thor and Loki in action against assorted giants and monsters.

In Ultimate Thor, we have a similar effect, as the story spills over three different eras: the Asgard of ages ago, when Thor, Loki and Balder were close friends; the Asgard of 1939 when the home of the Gods faces a devastating attack; and the modern day, when doctors are examining a man who claims to be Thor.

In the hands of writer Jonathan Hickman, we're getting a terrific story of life and death, destruction and damnation - and perhaps we'll learn why Thor ended up being analyzed in modern times.

The art by Carlos Pacheco and Dexter Vines is outstanding - they jump from quiet moments to rollicking action sequences effortlessly. They're working on a big canvas and making the most of it.

Hopefully next issue will answer the biggest question of the all: why does his hammer keep changing shapes?

So far, this has been an excellent series and a worthy successor to the Lee / Kirby work. Higher praise than that would be hard to imagine.

Grade: A-


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