Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thor: Ages of Thunder One-Shot

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: Patrick Zircher, Khari Evans
Colorists: June Chung, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic
Publisher: Marvel
Published: April 2008

Major Spoiler Alert!

This is the way Marvel should have been writing Thor! Here's the true Norse God. The angry, dangerous, murderous, arrogant, conceited Thor. And the Gods are no longer shadow reflections of themselves. These are the greedy, lying, ungrateful gods of yesteryear. Oh how glorious to finally see the Marvel method applied to the true Norse myths.

Ages of Thunder opens with Asgard under attack by Frost Giants. Thor is leading the Asgardians in bloody combat. The battle ends with Thor killing the last Frost Giant. As the slayed giant falls he destroys a section of the surrounding wall of the castle. After the battle, Loki and Odin are surveying the damage. A meager tradesman approaches them and proposes a deal: he will rebuild the wall in a years time and his reward will be the hand of Iduna (in the Marvel Universe this would be the Enchantress). The Gods are outraged, but Loki, ever the schemer decides this deal is worth the risk. Odin agrees to the deal and the tradesman gets to work. Time flies by, and the wall is steadily rebuilt. The Gods are furious at the looming outcome of the deal, so Odin orders Loki to 'solve' the problem. Loki, being the God of Mischief, transforms himself into a mare and seduces the tradesman horse. Without the help of his horse, the tradesman fails at his task of completing the wall before a years time. The tradesman believes trickery was at play, and reveals his true form: a Frost Giant! He begins to attack the Gods, but Thor is quick to levy the giant with a blow to the head from Mjollnir. Thor looks on the scene with disgust and orders Loki to clean his mess up. End Part 1

Part 2 opens with Loki banished for the mess he made. While wandering he is met by a hawk who promises to return Loki to his home, but only if Loki will provide the hawk a bride - yep you guessed it - Iduna! Poor lady....anyway, Loki agrees, and is returned home. He tricks Iduna and leads her to the hawks lair. By this point we have learned that the hawk was a Giant in disguise. Loki returns home, with the gods none the wiser. As time goes by the Gods take notice (it involves very important golden apples, which I'm not going to get into). The Gods find out about Lokis treatchery, and Thor is sent to clean up the situation, the Thor way! And by this I mean he explodes through the Giants head. Ouch! Once again, Thor looks on the situation with dissatisfaction. End Part 2

This is a great comic, but not solely because this is an unexplored Thor in the Marvel Universe. It is because Ages of Thunder is relying on the original myths of Thor and the Norse gods. Part 1 of Ages of Thunder is directly taken from the story, The Building of the Citidal (this is why I have no bones about sharing the entire plot of this issue). As for part 2, that heavily references, Idunn and the Golden Apples. Fraction and company are able to take the stories from the myths, blend them with the Marvel magic, and create something genuinely original, yet never once new. Bravo!

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