Review – Ragnarok Vol 1: Last God Standing (IDW Publishing)


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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer/Artist: Walter Simonson
Release Date: 18th November, 2015


Walter Simonson returns to familiar ground with Ragnarok, although this series offers a fresh and more interesting take on the Thor character. While the Marvel character is fine and all, he has nothing on this Thor – who is a decomposed, vengeful bad ass. Think more Norse God than superhero. It’s a fresh, edgier take on the character and the comparisons to Simonson’s Marvel work are few.

Here, the God of Thunder has been dormant for over 300 years, but after a botched assassination attempt from a dark elf named Brynja and her hired inept goons, he is awoken. But it is not the world he knew before; the old Gods are dead and this new unfamiliar world is a post-Apocalyptic warzone ruled by tyranny. Once he sees the state of things and learns of the death of those close to him, there is only one goal in mind: revenge.

I’m not an expert of Norse mythology, therefore I have no idea how authentically this relates to it. But as a bulk of entertainment it’s more than passable. Simonson has crafted a magnificent, dark world inhabited by an array of horrors and beings from legend. As a fantasy adventure, it triumphs in the scope of its storytelling. There is action aplenty, and the subplots we’re introduced to only enhance the story, with each of them being connected to the big picture.

However, Ragnarok is not without its flaws. My major gripe was the sloppy beginning; it felt rushed. As if it couldn’t wait to skip ahead to certain points, without the appropriate introductions and exposition. For a while, I felt like I was playing catch-up as the story was rushing ahead. But, it’s brief, and once I was caught up I was all in and having a blast with it. Another issue I had was with some of the lettering, because it wasn’t always clear to read. Aside from those brief distractions, it’s a masterful work.

Overall, this is an entertaining read fans of fantasy epics are sure to get a kick out of. It’s absolutely stunning to look at, the story is grandiose and the characters are well drawn and all serve a purpose. Despite a sluggish start, it all comes together nicely and sets the next series to hit the ground running.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_

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