Friday, 19 August 2011

What You're Missing - Thor, the Mighty Avenger

The comic book business can be a cruel one. While we'd love to believe that quality will win out, unfortunately, no matter how critically acclaimed a series may be, it's the amount of money the book brings in that determines its survival.

I am ashamed to say that I waited too long to try out what turned out to be one of my favourite titles ever.

Thor, the Mighty Avenger, is not only one of the best Thor comics I've ever read, it's one of the best comics I've read, period.  The book is not set in continuity, but rather is a stand-alone re-telling of Thor's first days on earth.  Some details have changed; for example, Jane Foster is not a nurse-turned-doctor, but works as a museum curator.  But other things stay the same; Thor is banished from Asgard by his father and cannot return, as has been the case before.

The action is secondary in this title, though it is certainly there, as the main crux of the story is about the relationship between Jane and Thor.  This is perhaps the most charming and happiest Thor I've ever seen, and it is very refreshing.

In solicitations, the art was a turn-off for me.  But once I actually read a single issue I was completely turned around on that front.  Is is the kind of art I would want on the main Thor title, or any other front-and-center title?  No, it's not.  But I don't know if I've ever seen such a perfect blend of art and story as this.

So why did such an awesome book die?  It was a multitude of factors, and I pretty much blame Marvel for all of them.

The book was advertised as a second Thor on-going tittle, but a quick look at the previews for it left readers wondering if it was in continuity or not.  Maybe an interview somewhere cleared that up, but readers should not have to do research to find out something this simple.

At the time this book launched, Marvel was launching a multitude of Thor mini-series and special projects to have an ample supply of trade paperbacks available when the movie came out earlier  this year.  As a Thor fan, I was forced to pick and choose what I would pick up because I did not want to spend the cash on so many books.  Even projects that I really wanted to pick up, like the Warriors Three mini-series, I had to leave on the shelf (though I will get it as a tpb at some point).  Therefore, a new on-going with clearly not "mainstream" art was bumped down a lot of Thor fans lists.

Finally, Marvel didn't really give the book a chance.  The book was getting critical acclaim, and it was around the time #6 came out that fans were starting to take notice.  Unfortunately, by the time I got to my store to support the book around #8, it was too late, the plug had been pulled.

I had picked up #1 out of the overstock bins, since it was $1 for the issue.  I had heard how good the series was so I thought I'd finally bite the bullet and check it out.  I went back after reading that one issue and bought the rest of the series, some from the $1 overstock and the rest from the shelf at full price.  I had hoped by picking up #8 I was helping the cause, but it was too late.

The creators had a full 12 issue arc planned out that would have wrapped a lot of things up, and it's a shame that such a wonderful series is left hanging for a conclusion.  Marvel threw readers a bone with the Captain America/Thor, The Mighty Fighting Avengers issue in their Free Comic Book Day 2011 line-up, though in a way it was an odd choice because if you weren't familiar with Thor the Mighty Avenger you were probably pretty confused.

You will be doing yourself a favour if you track this series down in the back issue bins or as tpbs.  Then let Marvel know that you want the final four issues of this landmark series.

Taken from

1 comment:

  1. Too true. I hopped on with #4, caught up on the earlier issues, and kept reading till the end. This was a real treasure of a book - exactly what I want from superhero comics.