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Comic Review: Thor #1 lays our man low, merely hints at our new woman

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

girl Thor #1 mjolnir
All the taglines for Thor #1 have gleefully teased who she might be, but you’ll get no concrete answers in this issue.

The hotly-anticipated new take on the god(ess?) of thunder only starts down the path with its new heroine in this issue. The bulk of the story is devoted to male Thor, who has suddenly become unworthy after Nick Fury whispered something in his ear during the events of Original Sin.
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Comic Review: Avengers #2

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Avengers #2 2012 Vol. 5 Ex Nihilo Hickman Opena Marvel NOW! Thor Iron Man Hulk Hawkeye

Join the Avengers. We have beer.

Avengers #2 takes the grand narrative skeleton displayed in the first issue and starts adding meat to the bone to offer up a must-read for Marvel fans.

In the last issue, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark talked about getting bigger; in this issue, Captain America and Iron Man pound the pavement to recruit the individuals they need to do just that. There are great one-line exchanges with the likes of Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel, and some great sell jobs for Spider-Woman, Sunspot, and Manifold.

There are more names on the roster than that, but you don’t need me to list them: this issue includes a gorgeous schematic of each hero’s symbol in a chain of command so you can visually see how the new team breaks down.

We also get to see what Ex Nihilo’s origin bombs are all about. He was lobbing them at Earth is issue #1; now, you get to see them close up.

Writer Jonathan Hickman takes the time in this issue to build up both sides of the massive conflict he has set up. Hickman jumps back in time to tell a mythic origin story for the creation-obsessed villain Ex Nihilo, his psychic sister Abyss, and their deadly robot companion, Aleph. Jerome Opena’s art stays right in step with Hickman’s tone, as his illustration of newly-hatched babies Ex Nihilo and Abyss looks plucked right out of mythology.

Hickman and Opena masterfully present the Avengers as a well-built machine ready to deal with the chaotic alien life Ex Nihilo is bringing to Earth, and there’s one panel in particular that showcases this. There’s a marvelous image of Captain America and Wolverine overlooking the quinjet hangar bay while the rest of the newly-assembled Avengers prep a ship for battle. Meanwhile, Cap’s monologue talks about the Avengers as a machine made up of various parts working in concert. It’s a perfect contrast to the Ex Nihilo and Abyss image.

Hickman’s vision for this storyline is clear: the Avengers are a mechanism of order, while Ex Nihilo is an agent of chaos and out-of-control evolution.

The traditional Avengers cast is still wrapped up on Mars, but Hickman’s storytelling loses none of its power by relying on secondary Avengers. This comic is, in itself, a well-oiled machine: every component serves its purpose to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.

9.5 out of 10