Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thor #80-85: Ragnarok - Review

I've always been one who liked to read the book before seeing the movie so when I saw that Marvel intends to release
Thor: Ragnarok in 2017 I was intrigued but figured I'd just have to wait and see. However while reading the Civil War story arc I stumbled onto a brief mention of Ragnarok again and followed the connection via my Marvel Unlimited account to see what I could find. Boy was I surprised. Now don't take it as this story is what will take place in the final Thor movie, since there is, in fact, another Ragnarok in the Marvel Universe.

The story arc falls over six issues Thor #80-85 and was published in 2004 so it's a little old. It was written by Michael Avo Oemin, drawn by Andrea Di Vito and inked by  Laura Villari. This might be a bit of an odd review since I'm actually only presenting on the last chapter of a very long story but we'll see how it goes

If you're a writer or just an avid reader reading this and about to check out I encourage you not to. Comics are an amazing art form of story telling. They have to have continuity over months, years and various writers. And most have learned to do it really well. Give them a read and you might be surprised that they're not just silly fluff any more.  

Naturally, the story follows Thor and his friends (some of which are too ridiculous to even comment on) as they face Ragnarok--the Norse version of the end of the world. Things open with a history of Thor's hammer, how it was made and what it can do. Enter our favorite villain Loki and things rapidly descend into bloody chaos.


Over all the story is well written, and I chewed through the entire arc very quickly. The language is funny with an air of epic-fantasy-characters-must-talk-like-the-King-James-Bible, which I found a too droll. Another short coming was some plot jumps that were disorienting, but never so much that I wanted to stop reading and perhaps they are simply the result of the media itself. There's also some really predictable this-is-what-happens-in-epic-stories moments, but they're offset by some insane twists, cleaver lines and enough character deaths to choke a river.

The visual style of Thor is a little silly for my tastes (one of the reasons that the movies were so shockingly cool to me), but it's well done. Specifically some of the mass battles and aftermath panels pulled me in, so that I found myself lingering on them, relishing all the detail. A number of the female characters are so utterly and absurdly dressed as to make a stripper blush. I don't know how comics are so often allowed to portray women in such a tasteless manner but there you have it.

What to know: the story arc is pretty dark (hey, it's the end of the world). There is lots of violence--including some gory imagery--talk of "lovers" and several of the afore mentioned women appear in costumes that leave little to the imagination. These things make Thor: Ragnarok a story that isn't quite appropriate for younger teens in my opinion.

You can still pick up Thor: Ragnarok on Amazon, Marvel Unlimited, and of course your local comic store.

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~SJA