Monday, June 11, 2012

The Mighty Thor Annual #1

For a Thor Annual, it sure doesn't feel much like... well, an annual.

That's because Marvel's Annuals were once special summer events, brimming with big stories that made an event out of their once-yearly appearance.

The "real" first Thor Annual in the 1960s featured the first appearance by (and fight with) Hercules, for example.

This one tries very hard to be a big event by squeezing in a number of cosmic characters, including the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Scrier (whoever that is), the Other and a few other mysterious characters.

But even with all the galactic sturm and drang, the fact is, the story could have been told without Thor appearing at all (Hercules would have worked fine). There's nothing wrong with the story by J.M. DeMatteis - it's loaded with deep thoughts and plot twists - but it never really goes anywhere.

The art by Richard Elson is strong, with some impressive splash pages, but never really rises to the cosmic level the script aspires to.

What this issue feels like is a fill-in story, designed to cover for a missed deadline anywhere it was needed.

A proper annual should be so much more. Especially at these prices.

Grade: B-



Glen Davis said...

Did the industry forget how to produce proper annuals?

Chuck said...

Glen, I believe so. When was the last memorable annual?

Glen Davis said...

Maybe the Terminus themed annuals from Marvel, around 1990?

Chuck said...

Those were pretty good. Nothing tops those '60s annuals for me, but a lot of that may be nostalgia. Fantastic Four Annuals 2 and 3, Spider-Man Annual 1 and 2, Thor Annual 1 and 2, the first Avengers Annual - those are burned into my memory. But I am a geezer.