Usually I don’t agree with the Marvel Comics’ tactics when it comes to their absurd numbering schemes. It seems that whenever given a chance, whether it be a new movie (like this summer’s blockbuster hit Thor), a milestone number (Captain America # 600) or seemingly for no reason at all (this past month’s Moon Knight # 1) the publishing giant has not been to shy to pull the trigger on changing the number of a current series as if to say, “What the heck? Nobody looks at the number anyway!” The changes in tone and style in the new The Mighty Thor book however make the change in numbering (Thor rebooted last month keeping the original numbering with new/really old title Journey into Mystery) actually almost, almost make sense.
The Mighty Thor # 2, from comic scribe extraordinaire Matt Fraction (Uncanny X-Men) and recurring Thor artist Olivier Coipel (House of M), is another fantastic addition to the mythical/sci-fi fusion-styled issues that Fraction has penned since joining the series in Thor # 615 (September, 2010).
The issue starts off with a fantastic, yet nonsensical training exercise where Thor unleashes a giant rock colossus on the rag-tag, newly formed Brigade of Realms. The Brigade of Realms, which consists of refugee warriors from the Nine Realms and child-Loki (who will henceforth be referred to as lil Loki), proceed to fight the stone beast for about five seconds before papa Thor gets bored and destroys the thing himself. Not much depth to the fight, but I’ll be damned if the art work wasn’t cool as bones. Then we proceed to get a cool little scene with Odin and Heimdall which begs the question, “Has Odin always been this much of a dick? Or did somebody just wake him up in the wrong cycle of his Odin-Sleep?” My bet is on the latter.
Finally, about half way through the issue, we get to the Silver Surfer which was where, inquisitive minds will remember, we left of with at the end of The Mighty Thor # 1. The Surfer cruises around Broxton, Oklahoma (the U.S. home of Earth-Asgard) messing fools up and breaking windows and eventually gets to the Asgardian ruins to deliver to Odin Galactus’ old-school WWF-style ultimatum. All pretty cool stuff.
The action of this issue is pretty well paced, except for the fact that we don’t get to the Silver Surfer part until the end of the issue (dang, for a guy who can fly through the cosmos at light speed dude sure takes his time getting around on Earth). Sure the fight with the rock colossus at the beginning doesn’t really make any sense, but who cares? The people crave blood! And I’m sure that a creative mind like Fraction’s isn’t going to give us something that has no bearing on the story moving forward. At any rate, Coipel’s beautiful artwork makes reading the book, even if you’re just going to look at the pictures as I occasionally do, totally worth it.
The Surfer scene also played out very nicely. The confrontation between Odin and the Silver Surfer had all the anticipation of a heavyweight bout and sets the ground for the battle between the eye-patched All-Father and the foreboding Devourer of Worlds. Of course, in the midst of all this shit talk, Thor—notorious hothead and Australian Dancing With The Stars finalist (oh wait, that’s the movie Thor)—was not just going to stand idly by while the king of the gods was being talked down to by a naked glittery errand boy. So the sucker punch that Thor delivers at the end of the issue shouldn’t surprise anybody but does thoroughly get the blood pumping for the melee that should ensue in The Mighty Thor # 3.
If there is one thing I can complain about with Fraction’s Thor run however, it’s that he takes way too long to get to the bloody action! In the previous “World Eaters” storyline (Thor # 618 – 621) I don’t think the bad guys even showed up until two or three issues in. Plus when they did show up they kind of got punked. Poor show World Eaters, poor show. I believe in building the anticipation but I don’t think, in that case anyway, that the fight scene was epic enough to pay-off the setting-up of the confrontation. In any case, this fight IS about to kick off, (I can feel it in my junk), and it should be a hoot. I’ve honestly never, ever, wondered what a fight between Odin and Galactus might turn out. But now that Fraction has opened my mind to this awesomely foreign concept I find myself tingling with anticipation. And before you ask, no, not in my junk.