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Ragnarok Volume 1: Last God Standing Hardcover – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
Over the course of his career, Walter Simonson has written and drawn nearly every major character from both Marvel and DC Comics. Notable works include an adaptation of Alien, once again with his Manhunter collaborator and close friend, Archie Goodwin, Star Wars, The Fantastic Four, Orion and Elric. In the 1980s and 1990s Simonson resurrected the concepts from his college thesis, creating an original graphic novel and miniseries featuring the Star Slammers. In 2014 Simonson launched Ragnarok with IDW Publishing, a creator-owned series that once again brings him back to his beloved Norse mythology.
Top customer reviews
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Since he's already proven his mettle on gods before, either old (Thor) or new (Orion), I jumped at the opportunity to see him given free reign to his creative vision, unbridled from existing canon of any established character.
Despite my high expectations and anticipation, the book exceeds my hopes. It's a fascinating tale of a post-Ragnarok world where Thor is in fact (apparently) the only god left "alive" (that term could be debated).
In lesser and more traditional hands, that would be the story right there, Thor's quest for revenge. But this is Walt Simonson unleashed!
The books begin with Dark Elves, interweaving a fascinating family with a unique child. The introduction of Thor doesn't even happen until well into the first issue. Concurrently, there is the architect of the disaster, Surtur, who feels a gnawing dread that something is amiss in his dusky world.
Interspersed between these connected tales are flashbacks to the actual Ragnarok, each succeeding scene revealing more of the happenstance and antagonists of the destruction of the gods.
The story is expertly paced, with quick, clean dialog. The art is classic Simonson, dramatic, electric and eye-popping. His long-time buddy John Workman is along for the lettering, so you can count on those awesome sound effects trademark to great Simonson sagas of the past.
Like any great work, the ending of this book (Issue 6 in the numbering), leaves you thirsty for more of the story. The questions are many, the anticipation is great and the possibilities, especially given the creator, are limitless.
This is a story that all comics and fantasy fans should and need to pick up!
Now Simonson has returned to Thor in a creator-owned book without that limit, and it is glorious.
Before I picked it up I was a little worried Ragnarok would feel like a retread of Simonson's earlier work but he takes Thor in daring new directions that would be impossible in a Disney/Marvel comic. For starters the book is set well after Ragnarok, and Thor is... well... dead.
But you can't keep a good thunder god down!
So if you liked the Thor films (which are filled with touches from Simonson's comics) or Simonson's other work this is a great book to pick up.
I recommend getting the hard cover version! Its printed larger than the average comic and the cover itself is so very nice! As soon as I took my copy out of the package I knew I made a great purchase. The printing is great and the design of the book is excellent.
Even if you are not a fan of the Marvel Thor or have never read it (like myself), I think you will still enjoy this. It is really refreshing to read a creator-owned piece like this. Walt is a great storyteller, writer and illustrator.