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Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus Hardcover – April 27, 2011
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The storyline itself maybe the best run featuring the Mighty Thor ever, only the classic Lee & Kirby run of the 60's compares in quality and length. Simonson pulls out all the stops bringing in old favorites ( Loki, the Executioner, and Surter) while simultaneously creating new ones ( Kurse, Malekith, and Beta Ray Bill). Simonson truly understood the epic scope and grandeur that a Thor comic deserves. His Thor runs reputation is truly deserved and easily stands the test of time for new readers. I could go on and on mentioning specific moments and characters but I think it would only diminish the surprises for the new reader and interfere with the rediscovery of the old time fans.
The Omnibus' presentation is superb to put it mildly. Logging in at almost 1200 pages the book is enormous in size and content. The bonus pages include approximately 50 pages of bonus artwork and pin-ups (this could be why this Omnibus does NOT include the letters pages but that is a minor loss). The original covers are all present but have the sales indicia and logos removed, while some might gripe about this I GREATLY enjoyed a look at the amazing covers without all the unneeded verbiage. The book lays flat and there is very, very minor if any gutter loss when viewing; nice work on the sewn binding!
Now for the most controversial aspect of the book: the recoloring/ remastering process. Please keep in mind that this opinion is coming from someone that owns all the original issues as released and purchased from the newsstand. I have reread these books numerous times and consider myself intimately familiar with the material. With all of that in mind I am happy to say that these books have NEVER looked this good!! It's like upgrading from VHS to Blu Ray and watching it on a 60 inch HD screen. It's that good. The colors burst off the page and the line work remains sharp! What more could you ask??
The only regret I have for this Omnibus is that Amazon will not let me give it 6 stars instead of 5. Job well done Marvel!
I just got into The Mighty Thor recently. I've always been a huge Norse mythology buff, which actually kind of kept me away from the comics -- the purist in me was offended by the fact that Thor was clean-shaven and blond and that Loki was Odin's stepson instead of his blood brother. I am not remotely embarrassed to admit that it's the upcoming Thor film that changed my mind. I've always wanted to see Norse mythology on the big screen, and I decided this was about as close as it was ever going to get to that, so I decided to read the most recent run of the comics, by the ubiquitous J. Michael Straczynski.
Needless to say, they're really good. But they're not quite like the comics in this book.
Ever since I got into Thor, I've been hearing a name murmured with awe amongst the fandom: Walt Simonson. Walt Simonson is to Thor what Frank Miller is to Daredevil. He may not have created the character, but he refined him and created some of his most epic, iconic stories. I knew I couldn't call myself a fan of The Mighty Avenger without reading his work.
I saw this book and decided, what the hell? I know I'll like it.
I was wrong. I love it. Immensely.
First of all, the art -- Walt Simonson is a damn fine artist in addition to his writing credentials, and the way he draws Thor is inimitable. His pencils hit the exact right balance between classic superheroics and classic mythology that make Thor comics so darn fun in the first place. For this Omnibus, they've also gotten a fresh coat of paint courtesy of Steve Oliff and Olyoptics's recoloring job. If you've seen the original colors, they were perfectly serviceable -- the problem is that back in the day, palettes were limited and schedules were tight and they had to make due with what they had, and nowadays they look somewhat dated. The fresh colors bring new life to the art -- the scenes of the cosmos are especially vibrant and vivid. They also highlight exactly how damn fine the original pencils and inks were to begin with.
The stories are, of course, classic. I love the way Walt handles Asgardian dialog -- much of it is hammy and anachronistically Shakespearian, but it's in a loveable, earnest way. The remarkable thing is that Walt never loses touch with who the characters are and they never feel any less real in spite of all the thee's and thou's -- no matter how many exclamation points appear in Balder's speech bubbles, you never stop sympathizing with his predicament. One scene of Balder's in particular (I won't spoil it, honest) nearly had me in tears.
Another thing I really enjoy about this book is how all the editor's notes and hooks for next month have been preserved. I know, that sounds kind of goofy, but I've been reading comics a long time and I miss the days before "writing for the trade" became the status quo. I've been reading it an issue at a time when I can, and sometimes it makes me feel like a kid again, eagerly awaiting when the next issue would be dropped into my mailbox.
At the end of the day, that's the real reason I'm so glad I dropped $70 on this book. It makes me remember why I started to love comic books so much in the first place. Every panel is a joy.
Thor is a god, but he's also a superhero. And, thanks to Mr. Simonson, he's found a place in my heart.
Tearing up a little here.
Alright, that's all for my nostalgia-tinted rant. Bottom line: if you love Thor, you'll be glad you bought this.
If I were to only buy one omnibus, this would be the one-- it is a true Marvel, a beautiful book, full of delightful takes and top notch art. It's an example of everything great about Marvel comics! It's also very accessible, perfect for seasoned fans and newcomers, interested in learning more about Thor and Loki after seeing them in action in recent Marvel films. The same is true for reading levels-- this book is perfect for adults and children. The writing is very smart, and offers much to all sorts of readers. I have a fairly extensive comic and graphic novel library, but I must say-- this is the jewel of my collection! I can't recommend this book highly enough! It's a must read!
This massive tome collects Thor 337-355, 357-369 & 371-382, as well as Balder the Brave Nos. 1-4. It spans from 1983 to 1987, and is over 1150 pages long. It is epic! Nuff said.
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