Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist(s): Chris Sprouse, Goran Sudzuka
Release Date: 2nd September, 2015
Okay, cards on the table, Marvel’s whole ‘Secret Wars’ thing has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. One one hand, the whole thing feels more than a little ‘gimmicky’, with random (and inevitably fleeting) premises and character mash-ups doing their best to convince – or should that be trick? – readers into parting with their hard-earned money.
On the other hand, however, there are comics like this one.
Over the last few years, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that Jason Aaron has cemented himself as one of the all-time great Thor writers. As such, the idea behind this particular series – essentially a police procedural comic with a department made up of Thors from every domain – is absolutely tailor made for his abilities.
Flitting between dry humour and almost noir-ish sensibilities (albeit noir with a lot of magic hammers), Thors gripped me from the very first issue with its inventive concept and skilful execution. The story so far has revolved around an unsolved case where someone is murdering the same woman – Jane Foster, no less – from all different domains, and with a glorious ending to the previous issue that saw Loki enter the fray as a potential witness-slash-suspect, the table has been set for another stellar issue here.
The bulk of the issue is based around an interview room interrogation between Thorlief (that’s “Ultimate Thor” to you) and Loki, with the former’s obvious desperation serving as a stark contrast to the latter’s calm, ‘I know something youuuuu don’t know’ demeanor. Interestingly, we’re actually in the same position as Loki during in this exchange; we know why just saying the name Jane Foster has such an unusual effect on him, even if Thorlief himself doesn’t. It’s an interesting power dynamic, featuring some typically stellar dialogue from Aaron and some wonderfully revealing facial expressions from Sprouse and Sudzuka.
Without delving into spoilers, things get extremely interesting in the closing pages of this issue, and with the story set to reach its conclusion next month, Aaron and co. have set the table for what should be an epic finale.
While I’m still somewhat against the whole ‘Secret Wars’ idea in principle, if it means I get to read some truly inventive comics like this one, then I guess I can’t be too mad. Aaron, Sprouse and Sudzuka have put together a wonderfully original concept here, combining the world of gritty, street-level policework with the familiar Asgardian grandeur. Highly recommended.