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on April 14, 2011
Let's get right to the point: This is without any question the finest Omnibus collection Marvel has issued since the program started over a decade ago. It all comes together, the creator ( Walt Simonson),the character (the Mighty Thor), & the reColoring (Steve Oliff and Olyoptics). It really is a challenge to describe how gorgeous this book is...I'll try.

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!
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on April 24, 2011
So, I've known for awhile that they make these enormous leather-bound books full of comics that are really goddamn expensive and heavy. What I didn't know is that I would ever want to buy one.

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.
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on June 26, 2013
This book is magnificent. Simonson writes the definitive Thor run, and takes the reader on a fantastical adventure through Asgard, Midgard,and into the great expanses beyond the Bifrost bridge! The art is beautiful. The original art has been remastered and recolored, and it is so vibrant and lively it nearly jumps off the page! To wit, the original comics are akin to watching the adventure on VHS, and this omnibus presents the story in high definition! Like on blu ray or IMAX if you will. In terms of story, I'll keep this spoiler free, and just say that this book contains all the great charachters and locales from the Thor and Journey into mystery canon and sees them through a great number of exciting and definitive Marvel moments! Collecting over 50 amazing comics, this omnibus well justifies its price tag.

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!

For Asgard!

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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on May 9, 2011
You won't believe how incredibly huge this volume is. The pictures on this site don't do it justice. You have no idea, you can't imagine, you are simply unprepared for how incredibly enormous, gargantuan, just plain large and seriously heavy this thing is... And fittingly so. This omnibus contains comics gold, and is printed high quality white paper, with proper hardcovers, etc. But what's more amazing than the size and heft and printing quality, is just how well these stories hold up more than 20 years since they were printed. The stories by Walt Simonson here are incredible fantasy tales that have the grandeur and majesty of the best fantasy stories, whether it's Lord of the Rings or any good fantasy read. There's a vitality to each of Simonson's tales that's unmatched in most modern comics and the stories have a timelessness about them that means they don't seem dated. Although obviously not as 'decompressed' as modern comics, Simonson's frequent use of large panels to accentuate the fantastic cosmic action, gives the series an incredible scope that's very modern in some ways. Of course, the art by Simonson himself is truly exceptional, and Marvel's decision to recolor the series is a stroke of genius. The color work by the team here elevate this collection to a true and important collectible. Although there are already several good reviews about this volume, I wrote this one specially to convince any doubters of two things: first, please don't be worried that you'll be bored with the somewhat dated storytelling techniques common to these types of collections. Simply put, the stories here are timeless and fantastic fun. Second, this is truly a great way to enjoy Marvel's Thor. Trust me, if you like Thor, you will enjoy this!
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on May 16, 2011
In case you are curious, issue #356 and #370 are excluded from this run of issue since Walt Simonson did not work on those. Issue #356 was a fun issue with Hercules during assistant editor's month that is worth hunting down. Issue #370 was written by James Owsley (aka Christopher Priest).

This is a fantastic book as all of the other reviews already mention. The artwork and story in this Thor Omnibus edition are magnified by the beautiful coloring and the lack of newsprint dots. So even if you have the issues individually, it's worth getting again.

Amazon Shipping Precautions
Amazon shipped this to me in the smallest box possible. They did add some air cushions, but only on top of the book.

Amazon didn't even do their usual practice of plastic wrapping the book onto a larger sheet of cardboard to protect the edges. All they did was toss it into a box with an extra clearance of about 1/4" to 1/2" on all of the sides. Can you guess what will happen this HEAVY book gets tossed around in a tiny box during shipping?

I guess I am somewhat lucky, only 1 of the box's corners was bashed up and there is a tiny scuff in one of the book's corners. But if I were keeping the book in its shrink wrap, I would not be happy.

Other Work by Walt Simonson
I wish there were an Absolute Edition of Walt Simonson's work on Orion which is a what I would imagine his work on Thor would look like if it happened today. You can find a trade paperback of Orion here Orion: The Gates of Apokolips

Amazon Prices
I've had this book in my Amazon shopping cart for a few weeks. I've seen Amazon's prices edge up a few dollars since then. I don't really know why the price fluctuates like this while it is still in print, but I wanted to point that out.
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on February 8, 2012
If you're looking to plunk down around $70 for this, then you likely already know that Walt Simonson's run on Thor is legendary in comics, with good reason. So I won't belabor that point.

I just wanted to add a word to the discussion on the digital recoloring job they did for the Omnibus. An earlier reviewer called it a travesty, and while you might think that a little overstated, I certainly have to agree with the sentiment. That's not to say that they didn't do a fine job, and I can't imagine the hours that went into it, but whatever they gained in vibrancy and dimensionality, in my opinion, they lost in the graphic, printed look and feel of the original. Let's face it, these comics are close to thirty years old now, and I would be a little more interested in honoring their place in their context, than in trying to match them closer to today's sensibilities and technology.

Like I said, they're not unattractive by any means; I just have a different philosophy when it comes to preserving the past and making it available to new audiences. We would be horrified if an art restorer added some gradient shading to a Mona Lisa that was not there before, and while I admit that this comparison is a little overblown, you get the point. Nevertheless, this is a brilliant compilation of some brilliant work, and you'll be happy to read it.
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on April 22, 2011
I've read the Beta Ray Bill saga a number of times and really enjoyed it. I've also always enjoyed Walt Simonson's skills at the keyboard but even more at the drawing board so this book was a 'no-brainer' for me. The Marvel omnibus line is a high quality project. Not only are the pages and subsequently the art larger but they have also been recolored. The art and color is absolutely gorgeous in this volume. The stories are pure Simonson. Containing as much 'color' as the art: cosmic down to the silly. (Frog of Thunder anyone?)

Be aware that the omnibus line for the most part are monolithic in size this being one of the larger of the line. So keep in mind (and on hand) a block and tackle to pick this baby up. Worth every penny of it's cost.
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on June 4, 2011
These are the 'best' Thor comics I have ever read. Simonson knows Thor, it has everything you could possibly want in the character. I have a greater appreciation for my favorite character after reading this. I admit I shed a tear on how great this is. Simonson absolutely owns Thor, I always know going into reading the next comic it's going to be an awesome ride. This is how I want Thor to be, this is why I read comics, is for these kind of stories and level of epicness. I can't think of one flaw about this, the artwork, the story-telling, the characters, the threats, the creativity, the epicness, it's all unbeatable. From Beta-Ray-Bill, to Fafnir the Dragon, to The Surtur Saga, to Thor's trip to Hel, to Frog-Thor, to the World Serpent and even Balder's mini-series, all of it is just spectacular. This omnibus is the best money I've spent.

JMS's run, Lee and Kirby's 'Tales of Asgard', and more are all are incredible, but they can't reach the greatness that Simonson's Thor reached. This omnibus doth verily deserve my approval and recommendation as truly the best of the Odinson...defender of Asgard...and master of Mjolnir! Thor...god of thunder...and of lightning! Aye, now purchase this omnibus or feel the full wrath of Thor!
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on October 14, 2011
It is not hyperbole to call this the greatest run on Thor ever. It is. Period. Full stop. Even though I read my first Thor comic back when the legendary duo of Lee and Kirby were still on the book and at their creative height, and even though I have witnessed the beautiful work John Buscema and many of the other comic book legends who have worked on this character, few of them come close to achieving what Mr. Simonson did during this magical run.

Unlike many modern comics that one can finish reading in 10 minutes or less, these stories take to time to read, but that is OK, because you will want to savor them. In fact, these stories are so good that anybody who wants to know how to produce a good superhero comic book should study them. These are comics done right.

Simonson's plots, though epic in scale and characters, are never less than clear. If you know nothing of the characters or the world they inhabit, have no fear, Simonson never leaves the reader wanting for information he needs (this doesn't mean he doesn't like to tease the reader with his little mysteries), but he never does so in a way that seems overly expository or that hinders the story. He gives equal weight to story and characterization and still manages to never skimp on the action, the bread and butter of American superhero comics. And the action that does occur, has meaning. It is never gratuitous.

Furthermore, it is a feast for the eyes. This was a top artist at his artistic height performing a labor of love. It's as magical as the characters themselves.

And finally, yes, as you no doubt heard, the stories have been recolored, but fear not, these colors are as clear, bright and vibrant as the stories themselves. Why say more? This is as good as superhero comics get. The only problem is that, at more than 1000 hefty pages of art and story, it is not the easiest book to curl into bed with. This is a tome, but not for a minute will you think one page of it is wasted space.
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on May 13, 2011
I was an avid Marvel reader in the '80s and early '90s, but somehow Thor escaped my attention. He seemed a rudimentary character that lacked the grim murk of a Punisher or the realistic sensibilities of Peter Parker. It wasn't until the recent movie adaptation that I became more interested. And thankfully I found this excellent collection to introduce me.

This collection of classic '80s Thor is amazing! I truly love it. But take this with a grain of salt, Thor is light on contemporary battle scenes, by which I mean that many fight scenes are over in a panel or two. The early battles between Thor and Beta Ray Bill are a good example of this. Bill "easily" drops Thor with a few simple hits. If you are expecting battles on the scale of, say, the recent animated Hulk vs. Thor movie, you will be mistaken. If you are expecting top notch storytelling and artwork, then will you be greatly satisfied.

What makes this omnibus an excellent purchase is the shear depth of immersive mythological storytelling that Simonson weaves. His stories tap into a preexisting comprehension of Norse mythology and then adeptly expands on the lore thus making it his own. These are truly wonderful allegories.

Moreover, Simonson's artwork is excellent. Thor looks the part and Lorelei is a vixen to behold. I am blown aware by the magnitude of Simonson's epic: his ability to both write and draw with equal greatness is stellar. Whereas one could breeze through a great epic like Akira in a few hours, this engrossing Omnibus demands to be read, considered, and reflected upon.

I would like to add that the new coloring is both rich and welcomed. It appears that a lot of painstaking color work by Steve Oliffe went into this absorbing collection and I am completely satisfied with this new direction.

I'm still not sure of the extent of Thor's powers. He seems to be able to do it all--fly through space faster than lightspeed and without oxygen, make tornados, superstrength, teleportation (which is entirely too rarely used), etc.--but a simple fall from a building may do him harm (see his early battle with the dragon)? But so be it, all great folklore derive an understanding that the protagonist's power is a necessary function of the allegory itself--we may see similar traits in Paul Bunyon or the Coyote Stories of the Okanogan where, again, the protagonist's powers change to suit the needs of the tale.

By great Odin's beard, I am happy to finally have met the god of thunder bound in a beautiful volume that I may soon share with my children. Long live Asgard, Midgard, and the Odinson!
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