THOR #612 REVIEW
Size: 32 Pages
How you approach a situation like this shows the character of the writer more so then anything. When JMS ran away from the book he helped reinvent because he doesn’t like writing crossover tie-in’s Kieran Gillen was brought in to handle the character. He had a wonderful first arc, trudged through Siege best he could and was then told he was leaving and in his place would be Matt Fraction.
Since then Gillen’s departure has been halted. He had been granted a few extra months on Thor and given time for one last, last minute story arc. Now some writers would have blamed the lack of warning before being asked to stay on and would have pushed Thor and co through a boring post Siege, “ohhh we are so sad we need to grieve” tenure –something I expect Fraction to do as soon as he jumps on the book – but instead he is going out in a blaze of fire. Hellfire to be exact!
As we near the finale of both his short lived, but enjoyable, run on Thor and his final arc – it demonstrates both the writer’s flaws and strengths. There is a lot going on. People are descending from the mortal realm into Hell and Hel. Some crazy cursed women need to eat Asgardian’s souls and Hella has been tricked and Mephisto is being as creepy, yet elusive as ever… the whole thing is very overwhelming. Yet somehow the story is so grand in its scale, leaving behind the melancholy attitude that this sort of post-event would usually bring and instead brings about an engrossing and endearing tale, something that you have to respect Gillen for pulling off right before he hands over the reigns.
Luckily his tale is supported by some wonderful art. Braithwait has outdone himself; you can literally feel the sadness in the eyes of Thor and the other Asgardian’s as they see not only their home, but afterlife too in ruins. The art is both extremely detailed, yet it has a painting like flow – I can’t wait for the team to sink their teeth into images of hell next issue. It is going to be a real spectacle if this is anything to go by.
So what can I say – is this the last grand tale Thor will participate in before Fraction rolls in and makes it like an episode of Jerry Springer crossed with Eastenders? Maybe, for now we will have to make do with a brilliant arc from an underappreciated writer, one who has not only proved himself capable of big books … but one who wholly deserves another shot.
-Josh “Dredd” West