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Mighty Thor #1

Mighty Thor #1

Capsule Review

I liked about half of what is going on here, but as a whole the book fell just short for me. Writer Jason Aaron starts out well, with sensitive if grim insight into the realities of being a cancer patient, and then the book hits the gas when our lady Thor goes into action, with a daring space rescue that so exceeds the ability of lesser heroes that the Avengers are reduced to spectator status. But then the book hits a wall, with a lot of exposition about Asgardian political intrigue, punctuated by an unfortunate sequence where a bunch of senators argue with each other from floating platforms that evokes the most tiresome scenes of the Star Wars prequels. This is a beautiful-looking book — artist Russell Dauterman gives it his all — but he might more easily heft Mjolnir than make a dozen pages of talking-head exposition play, especially one laden with verbal wet noodles like “If the Congress of Worlds will not intervene IMMEDIATELY to stop these atrocities then it has forsaken everything for which it was ever meant to stand …” What’s next on Asgard C-SPAN? How a bill becomes a law? I appreciate the ambition — and the subject is handled with taste — but having cancer at the heart of this story was also a dangerous distraction. Cancer isn’t a radioactive spider — it has struck close to home for far too many of us. Jane Foster can beat her cancer by turning into Thor, but it comes back with a vengeance when she returns to her mortal form. Yet she refuses to remain Thor because the mortal work she has to do is so important that she cannot remain Thor all of the time. That’s not enough. When that bastard cancer has hold of you, you’ll do anything to beat it. Anything. No way do secret identity concerns or political intrigue move the needle when cancer is in the room. I expect I’m missing subtext here, and I do sense that I came in to this saga at the wrong moment — that I should go back and read the well-regarded series that led into this — but this is the jumping-on point for this new series, and it failed to onboard me as a new reader.

Approachability For New Readers

Poor. This was my first experience with Lady Thor — I would have appreciated a bit more insight into how she came to be, and less senatorial thundering about elvish treaty violations. Existing readers might regard this as making mountains out of mole hills, but this is the first issue of a reboot and I hold it to a higher standard.

Read #2?

No, at least not without going back and reading much of what has come before.

Sales Rank

#12 November

Read more about Marvel’s monsters at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

 

Mighty Thor #1

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Doctor Strange #1

DOCTOR STRANGE #1

Capsule Review

Grabbed me right with the first page, which frames the Doctor Strange against delightful panels from the character’s past by artists like Steve Ditko and Gene Colan. But then turn the page, and we are in a new era, with artist Chris Bachalo showing Doctor Strange casting spells and stealing kisses in a world unique for the way Strange sees it — overrun by microscopic monsters and unseen demons. Very nice use of color (and the absence of color!) by Bachalo, as well, although his line work isn’t as clean as in his recent X-Men work (which might have something to do with three inkers being credited on this book). Author Jason Aaron jumps right in and makes Doctor Strange his own, knitting him together with other Marvel sorcerers in a secret club, and hinting that a reckoning is coming for Strange’s reckless ways. The monster at the end of the story is genuinely creepy … and I would have left it there, because the little five-page backup story explains maybe too much, stepping on the mood of the main feature. Strange would have benefitted from a bit of internal conflict, but this is a quibble. Among the strongest books of Marvel’s new line.

Approachability For New Readers

Great! I can’t imagine a better reintroduction for this old favorite.

Read #2?

Absolutely.

Sales Rank

#5 October

Read more about Doctor Strange at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

 

Doctor Strange #1

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