Marvel Monday

Marvel Monday: The Definitive Thor

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of ... THOR"

The Marvel Platinum series is designed to give new readers (such as myself) an overview of a character's origin and important stories in their lifetime.

[A note on SPOILERS: There won't be any as long as you don't consider mentioning the names of Thor, The Avengers or other Asgardians]

The Cast

Thor is the main character throughout but anyone who has watched the Marvel films will also recognise Odin, Loki, Volstagg (the Vast), The Lady Sif, Hogun and Fandral. There are also appearances by The Avengers and other Asgardians (above).

The Art

The artwork in this book spans the whole history of Thor and so the earlier comics are not as high quality as you'd expect today or in a good graphic novel. The depictions of Thor and his allies/foes definitely improve throughout the book but by the time you reach the more recent comics the quality is top notch :)

The Writing It's nice to see such a cross-section of comic history. You can see how the writing style changes (the early Thor comics do seem a little childish). One noticeable change in the writing style comes when Thor's speech is made more accessible (if you thought he talked strangely in the films wait 'til you read the earlier comics!).

The later stories are superbly written and the characters seem vivid and exciting. There's a brilliant bit where Thor is given a stern talking down for his actions.

The Stories

The first two stories cover Thor's origins (one from the first comic and another one with more detail from later on). From then on we see the God of Thunder dealing with many different foes including some you'll recognise from the films (with the aid of The Avengers). It's hard to discuss any of this further without spoilers but some of the story arcs in this collection are excellent and a must read for fans of the films.

The Conclusion

This is a great overview of a character I didn't know much about until the films came out. I've learnt lots and enjoyed the ride :)

Next time on Marvel Monday - Uncanny X-men 1!

Tom out! :)

The Link

Marvel Monday: Astonishing X-Men

I was going to start off my new blog incarnation by reviewing the Avengers. However, I figured that has a) been done to death and b) any geek worth their salt should have seen it by now. In short - it is excellent, go and see it. The 3D doesn't detract from but also doesn't improve the film really. Anyway onto this review...

"They're Gifted. They're Dangerous. They're Torn. They're Unstoppable" ... and they definitely astonish!

Astonishing X-Men is a hardcover omnibus which covers Joss Whedon's full run behind the wheel of the comic. There's 672 full colour pages of awesomeness contained within.

[A note on SPOILERS: There won't be any as long as you don't consider mentioning the names of X-men a spoiler (they are on the cover after all) or vague allusions to awesomeness]

The Cast

The main cast features Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Kitty Pryde & Colossus (see cover & pic above). There's also your usual Marvel background organisations around (S.H.I.E.L.D. etc.) and a new main villain introduced early in the story :)

Personally my favourites have to be Wolverine, Kitty and Emma. They have the best humourous lines and scenes in the comic. Emma Frost is still the catty queen of put-downs and well Kitty can phase through walls with sometimes hilarious consequences.

The Art The artwork is second to none when it comes to quality and equally has a sense of humour with some of the best humourous facial expressions I've seen (see this individual comic cover which cracked me up ->).

Also the characters are all reasonably presented - no impossible curves or muscles. I think I prefer the characters like this but that's a personal choice. Although Beast does look more like a cat than usual which is a little odd.

The Writing If you've seen anything by Joss Whedon you should be expecting excellent writing and he doesn't disappoint! There is humour, darkness and some surprises in store. I laughed out loud several times while reading this series and couldn't put it down :)

The Awesomeness Pretty much every page - some of the double page artwork blew me away. As did most of the dialog!

The Conclusion If you do read comics - this is definitely a read you will enjoy.

If you don't read comics - I would definitely suggest this as a way to get into them - it's excellent!

Next week on Marvel Monday - The Definitive Thor!

Tom out! :)

The Link