It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, Thor was one of the hottest books on the stands, with Straczynski and Coipel crafting a Thor epic unlike those told in the past, forging a new future for the Thunder god in the wake of his rebirth after his death during Avengers Disassembled.And yet in the intervening years, that creative team left the book behind, and Thor and his world have been the lesser for it, with Siege destroying Asgard, and since then its status quo has been tumultuous, and, frankly, not enjoyable.Fear Itself didn`t do Thor and his ilk and favors, and as a result we have this horrible storyline running through Mighty Thor, as Thor finds himself in another realm, about to be devoured by a cosmic deity, as back on Earth Tanarus threatens the safety of the realm in a ploy by Karnilla and Trolls.Nothing about this storyline has really been engaging or interesting, it has just kind of happened, and not only is it unintenteresting, but it also manages to drag itself out at such a painful and interminable pace.
Fraction’s writing on Thor in general has not been all that interesting since he first came aboard the character, and unfortunately it doesn’t show any possibility of improving or getting better.The three most interesting characters in this book are the best written, but even then their portrayal pales in comparison to how they are written elsewhere and by other writers.I am, of course, referring to Bill Cobb from Broxton, Kid Loki, and Volstagg, with Kid Loki in particular being far better written and utilized over in Journey Into Mystery, which is ostensibly his solo title.Silver Surfer continues to appear in this arc, and although I find Fraction’s portrayal of the fallen Surfer somewhat intriguing, the somewhat offbeat nature of the portrayal doesn’t feel like it fits with the tenor of this book, and thus is out of place.It also serves as a reminder of how the first arc of this book was a jumbled mess, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and changed Silver Surfer’s status quo in quite a willy nilly fashion.
The artwork in this issue is handled by Larraz, who thankfully takes care of the art chores instead of Pasqual Ferry.Pasqual Ferry’s artistic style is quite unique looking, but it’s also an art style which either fits or it doesn’t, with no real middle-ground, and his portrayal of Thor and his world has never worked for me.Sadly Larraz doesn’t fare much better, as the artwork almost appears to try and mimic Ferry’s visual style.
This book is definitely the weakest a Thor title has been in quite some time, with stories that are unimaginative, characters that aren’t relatable or engaging to read about, and substandard artwork month in and month out. At least the first arc of this book featured Coipel, who has now left for better books and assignments, and left the reader of this title eternally frustrated with substandard artwork.