Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 11.14.2012 – Thor: God of Thunder #1

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

955
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.6
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 21.9%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Thor_God of Thunder_1
Story by Jason Aaron
Art by Esad Ribic
Colors by Dean White
Cover by Esad Ribic, Skottie Young, Daniel Acuna, & Joe Quesada

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

“My god, what a beautiful book.”

That sentiment pretty much sums up how I feel about Thor: God of Thunder #1 by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic. I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to write more than that for this Pick of the Week review. I mean, don’t worry, I’m going to try. But for those of you who want to cut to the chase, it’s pretty much going to be various and different ways of repeating that sentiment because really people, this is a beautiful book. And when I say it’s a beautiful book, I mean it in every sense of the word and every possible meaning–from the words to the art. It’s all so beautiful.

When picking up Thor: God of Thunder #1, the most glaring and obvious point of beauty lies within the physical manifestation of the book itself. This may be the combined work of artist Esad Ribic and colorist Dean White’s finest hour. Over the past couple of years as we’ve been exposed to more and more of Ribic’s work, I’ve come to respect the subtle ability of his art. First on Uncanny X-Force and then followed by his work on Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates, Ribic has shown to have the makings of a modern master. Elegant storytelling combined with unique characters, a Ribic comic was one that you had to take the time to absorb as you flipped through the pages. But now with Thor: God of Thunder #1, it’s almost as if Ribic has heeded the call of the gods and delivered work that can only be described as breathtaking.

I’ve literally spent the majority of my day staring at the pages, just getting lost in them and I’m reminded of what it was like when I was in middle school and first exposed to the fantasy artwork of Frank Frazetta and other Frazetta wanna-bes via the various Dungeons & Dragons books and posters. Now, I’ve never been much of a fantasy fan, but there was something about these pieces of art that allowed you to get completely immersed and lost in them. I’m reminded of that feeling as I flip through the pages of Thor: God of Thunder #1. While I wouldn’t categorize Ribic as a Frazetta clone by any stretch of the imagination, I get that same feeling of wonder I get as I read this issue. Ribic’s art, along with the fabulous color work of Dean White, brings a feeling of weight to each moment. You get the sense of the heft of the weapons, like an axe or hammer, just by seeing the flex of a muscle of its holder. Even for the various scenes of Thor in space, weightless, you’re almost there as Thor’s cape gathers behind him. With each setting and each scene, there is a mood that carries throughout this book that gives you a feeling of real presence as you read it. It’s hard to put exactly into words but there’s a majesty and elegance to every moment of this book that almost defies description. Factor in the level of detail around facial expressions and body language of the characters and you start to see the picture of Thor come into focus and it just stops you in your tracks.

If you were to play BINGO with my reviews over the years, one of the categories with which you could win would be when in a review I justify picking something despite my previous negative opinions of the character. This is absolutely one of those cases. I’ve never been anything more than a casual Thor fan. Barely a casual fan, if that. So going into reading this issue, I figured I’d give it a shot and if anything I could marvel at the fine work of Ribic and White. But then it happened again. Jason Aaron comes in and shows why he is one of the top writers in the business. Throughout the Mighty Marvel PR rollout we heard much about this series. We even spoke to Jason Aaron at the New York Comic Con where he told us of the three ages of Thor that would be shown in this book. Young Thor, Thor of the present day, and old Thor. I wondered how they would be able to balance three distinct storylines and ultimately, how that all would work. Well, I haven’t gotten my answer yet on that as this is just the first issue, but the structure sure got my attention.

This introductory issue got two very specific things right in my mind. First, Aaron perfectly balances the introduction of the three distinct timelines of Thor. Initially, we’re introduced to a young Thor, pre-Mjolnir. In just 5 pages we get a sense of who this young Thor is and the world he’s in, as well as getting just the right amount of a glimpse of the villainous threat. Next, the meatier portion of the book, focuses on present day Thor, the one we’re most familiar with and the one easy to relate to. Through this we get even more advancement of the plot of the villainous threat. And then finally we get just a glimpse of old Thor, which left me wondering how his story got to that point. By the end of this book, I was immediately drawn to want to know what happens on every timeline. The second thing it got right was that it’s completely disconnected from Thor the “superhero” and the Marvel Universe and all the previous stories and lingering characters that came before it. Not that there is anything wrong with the past work of Thor in recent publishing history, but a clean start is exactly what’s needed for someone like me. And combine that with a more fantasy laden/gods focused story? All the better. It’s just Thor and this mysterious threat of a God killer and I can’t wait for more.

While I’ve never been a Thor fan in the comics, I really enjoyed the Thor movie and while this is a completely different vibe than the movie, I find that it’s the similar aspects of Thor and his world that are being tapped into that lead me to quite like this and turn me into a Thor reader for the first time ever. Filled with swords and axes and hammers and folks drinking ale and mead, Thor: God of Thunder #1 is a fantasy filled delight that is easily one of the most beautiful books on the racks.

Ron Richards
“Bring me my arm!”
ron@ifanboy.com

 

 

Comments

  1. Desaad says:

    This book was just okay for me; a bit dull, to be perfectly frank, a bit laborious to get through.

    Gorgeous to look at, but certainly no more beautiful than the overall far superior Saga, my personal pick of the week.

    Glad people are enjoying this, though; I think it’s got potential, but like Iron Man I think it really failed to deliver on a first issue.

  2. Had I remembered I would have picked this up. Seems a lot of people are excited about this issue.

    • Lovedrop Lovedrop says:

      I’m not feeling the art, the story looks cool and I’m a huge Jason Aaron fan, but its all just a bit too photo referenced. Won’t be continuing unless you guys says its a must read Thor story.

  3. wraith1701 wraith1701 says:

    I came close to grabbing this book today, even though I’ve never been a Thor fan. The art looks great, and, well, Jason Aaron. This review has pushed me over the edge. I’m grabbing a copy first thing in the morning.

  4. nastysnow nastysnow says:

    Wow

  5. nastysnow nastysnow says:

    I thought for sure Ron was going all new xmen

  6. Limitless Limitless says:

    This is exactly the right pick. Im a HUGE fan of both Saga and Batman, both of which are 5 star books this week, but there is something about the grandeur of scope to this issue that makes it my PotW, hands down.

    Bring me more!

  7. I don’t know Ron, all I can say is I really hope Batman stops falling on your weeks. One of the best Batman stories ever written is out and I’m seeing the POTW being mediocre marvel books. I still love you, but you’re getting a wag of the finger from me.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to your pull list you didn’t even read this “mediocre” marvel book.

      I’m curious on how you divined the content of this book and came to such a judgment.

    • The reference was to Uncanny Avengers more than Thor. It wasn’t in my pull list, but I still read it at today’s gathering of comic fans who read and swap. I judge it knowing its content. If you loved it, good for you, but I think it was a poor potw choice and pales in comparison to Batman, Saga, or even the Walking Dead.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      It can’t be a “poor” POTW choice, because it’s his opinion. It’s just a choice you disagree with, not an objective truth.

    • I don’t defend a pick of the week because I agree with the pick.

      I defend a pick of the week because I understand how the pick of the week works.

    • nastysnow nastysnow says:

      I read both and I enjoy Thor more but all new x men was my pick. Not ecery body has to love Batman for pick its no crime

    • LeviHunt15 LeviHunt15 says:

      I absolutely love what Snyder has been doing on Batman over the last 14+ issues (and Detective before that), and I think I would have gone with Batman #13 too last month over Uncanny #1, but I really don’t understand the PotW love for #14. Great art and writing like usual, but not much of substance happened, it felt mostly like a prologue to the various DotF tie-ins. A very good issue, but nothing great, certainly no Pick for me.
      Honestly, after getting done reading all my books I expected Saga to run away with the PotW numbers, and Batman to finish something like 4th. But to each his own.
      My personal pick was Thor as well, so I’m very happy with this review..

    • MDogg922 MDogg922 says:

      @Levi I totally agree with you Levi. Don’t get me wrong! I love what Snyder is doing on Batman! It really was difficult for me to choose between Batman #13 and UA #1 as my persona PotW. 14 was good as well, but as you mentioned, not much happened aside from the very end. Just another chapter in a grand story Snyder is telling.

      I admit to being more curious than excited for Aaron on Thor. A part of me feels that Aaron can do ANYTHING (compare Scalped and Wolverine and the X-Men and it would be hard for me to believe this is the same guy writing both books), but yet Thor seems to be so out of his wheelhouse. I have to say after reading issue 1 any doubt that may have formed are completely gone! For a character that is almost 50 years old, this is one of the freshest takes on Thor! And, oh god the Ribic art!!! OK enough gushing! Yay!

    • diebenny diebenny says:

      “I don’t defend a pick of the week because I agree with the pick.

      I defend a pick of the week because I understand how the pick of the week works.”

      This should be branded somewhere. Great stuff.

  8. Bluestreak says:

    I don;t know people invest so much in what these guys say is the pick of the week. They’ll still review Batman and Saga and say they are 5 star books so it baffles me why people care.

    • If I didn’t care what these guys say about comics, I wouldn’t be on this site and I definitely wouldn’t listen to the podcast.

    • Bluestreak says:

      You can care what they say about comics without caring which books is POTW. As I said they will probably give Saga and Batman five stars, why is it so important that in the view of the guy writing the POTW that this one was better than the other two?

  9. Ollywood Ollywood says:

    Why do you hate Batman, Ron? WHY?!!

  10. I really enjoyed Batman but this was something else, I read Thor then Batman then re-read Thor.

  11. Drumanespic Drumanespic says:

    @scorpionmasada – I don’t quite understand your irritation at deepspacesamurai for simply commenting, in very polite fashion, that with books like Batman #14 & Saga #7, he was disappointed with Ron’s POTW. Fair comment surely?

    @caseyjustice – now we’re moving on from irritation to petulance. Deepspacesamurai declared that in his obviously excremental opinion, Thor wasn’t perhaps the best choice for POTW. How very dare he!

    Crazy stuff. Surely the point of any POTW is to encourage discussion & debate. Isn’t that why we visit this rather cool space?

    Well, I’m feeling damn petulant & irritated at folk jumping down a fella’s throat, for the ‘crime’ of expressing totally reasonable opinion.

    • Agreed. I still listen to the podcast and appreciate Ron’s reviews. I’ve said in the past that his taste in comics and mine seem very different.

    • I think if you look at my comments, you can figure it out.

      Really crazy stuff going on in here. I mean we just brought out the torches for this guy. I mean I’m surprised no one has moderated our comments because we were internet raging on the poor thing.

      Thank Thor you are here to come to his defense and you bring your reasonable and rational tone to the “discussion”.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      No petulance, dear chum. Merely an identification of the format of the website. I said nothing against the fellow’s choice of book, it’s just a pet peeve of mine when folks tell other folks that their opinions are wrong in absolutes. I appologize if my comment was misconstrued.

    • Drumanespic Drumanespic says:

      Thankyou ScorpionMasada, I’m gratified by your appreciation.

      @caseyjustice – I appreciate your pet-peeve, it’s one I share. Personally, I thought the ” . . . I think it was a poor POTW choice & pales in comparison etc. . ” comment, was disqualified by his opening verb from being definitive as such.

      I do appreciate that perhaps his earlier comment re : “mediocre”, was what riled folk. I’m not intentionally defending that particular comment. I saw 2 on 1 & stepped in to strike a balance.

      “Never get involved in a ‘domestic’” it has been said.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      No domestic here, pal. I don’t think there’s actually a fight anywhere here. Indeed, I don’t think anyone was “on” anyone. But hey, whatevs.

      The word “mediocre” had nothing to do with it. It just bugs me when people tell other people that their opinions are wrong. I realize now that he did put an “I think” in there, so my statement may have been unwarranted. I’m legitimately sorry if this has caused you any discomfort, and to you too, samurai.

  12. Yes, Batman was not pick of the week.
    No, that does not mean that the end of the civilized world is nigh.

  13. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    In a week full of great material, this was my pick as well. Batman and Saga were both fantastic, but it was a case of both creative teams maintaining the level of quality that we’ve come to expect from each. Jason Aaron raised the bar with this book. He simultaneously stretched himself, and pushed a character who often struggles to find his footing in a fun, new direction. Batman and Saga can’t be POTW with every issue. I don’t wanna speak for the guys, but I have a feeling that both Josh and Conor would’ve also picked this if it had been their week.

  14. Will Magnus Will Magnus says:

    I was excited about this one.I haven’t picked up a Thor book in ages…late 90′s maybe? I grabbed this one and loved it. Hats off to Aaron, Ribic and White on a great experience this week!

    Anyone try the AR? A nice little interview with Esad Ribic had some cool insights.

  15. markish markish says:

    I always shake my head when people complain about the POTW.

    You know you can make your own Pick of the Week on THIS VERY WEBSITE, right? AND you can write your own reviews too! That way, lesser-known books like this ‘Bats-Man’ – I presume it’s about cricket? – can get the due you think they deserve even if Conor, Ron or Josh don’t agree with you!

    It’s almost… ALMOST… As if that was the enitire purpose of the site!

    (P.S. Saga was my pick and Ron plainly deserves to die a horrible death for not realizing its obvious superiority to the also-excellent Thor)

    • TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

      Hahaha! your comment made me spit gatorade, thanks. I totally agree about people complaining about POTW, some folks take offense when one of the guys doesn’t pick the book they liked the best, why? We will never know.

      I didn’t read this, so I have no opinion, but good review Ron, maybe I will check this out in trade.

  16. jpriester73 jpriester73 says:

    The hate in this thread is amusing.

  17. Xtianhardy Xtianhardy (@Xtianhardy) says:

    Great book. As someone who’s wanted to get a Thor solo title for a while but didn’t care for what Fraction was doing with the character, I am glad to have a new jumping on point. This wasn’t my pick of the week (that would be Saga), but it’s definitely in my top 3 books of the week.

  18. MarkCWarner MarkCWarner (@MarkCWarner) says:

    I do not know where to begin.

    PAST
    Like the Academy awards, does the POTW change what YOUR POTW meant to you? No. So … ok then

    PRESENT
    Have you seen what this book looks like? How the panels are divided up on a page, the colouring that sets a mood and writing that all transports you to a time when Simonson ruled Asgard, but with modern sensibilities? And maybe that’s it. That is not the Thor for you (No particular You.. any You). I can respect that. But this #1, in my opinion, just knocked Saga #1 as THE new book of 2012. It is what defines to me an Epic comicbook. A story, whose art is a visual poem, narrating the deeds, adventures and as yet untold consequences of a legendary God. While Saga might eventually lead to that (and what is GREAT ride it is), it does not start as an Epic story, just hints at it for now.

    FUTURE
    I am a DC man through and through. Born, raised and bred. Though a year later into New 52, I am struggling with Superman. And though I will always keep the faith. Remender (now defunct XForce); Hickman (defunct Fantastic Four), Fraction (Hawkeye); and THIS GUY – Double A-r-o-n, is making mine Marvel.

    (Now if Nicolas Refin could direct this first arc…)

  19. LuckyLouie13 says:

    This book was great. Ribic is killing it. I don’t know about anyone else, but the last few pages of this book make me want Aaron to write an “Old Man Thor” series with a drunken, one eyed Thor beating on gigantic reptiles and periodically yelling out, “Bring me my arm!” That would be awesome.

  20. Getting sick of the whiners in the POTW threads. It’s one persons opinion. Ron enjoying Thor doesn’t mean your favourite is demeaned in any way. This week had a raft of top quality books, any of which could easily have been POTW. This is Ron’s pick. Get over it.

    • You can agree or disagree with someone’s opinion. You’re more than welcome to be butt hurt that some disagree with Ron’s POTW too. Isn’t it great that we can all speak our minds?

  21. I’m out on Marvel (cutting down the pull list, easiest way is to just dump one of the big two). So, I’d have to go with Batman this week. Glad to hear this book is in good hands, though.

  22. JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

    Jeez you guys, Batman was good, but come on. Saga, Punk Rock Jesus, Locke and Key, and Walking Dead came out this week too. Personally Punk Rock Jesus was my pick of the week.

  23. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    What a killer week, and an excellent pick, Ron! That “He would have words with thee” moment gave me chills.

    My pick was Avengers Assemble #9. If you’ve ever wondered what DC’s Silver Age would look like with Marvel characters, wonder no longer! Great fun.

  24. JasonTodd JasonTodd says:

    Wow, this was a bad pick. I think it’s going to be tough for anything other than a Marvel Now book to win POTW for awhile the way that iFanboy is going.

    I thought Thor was pretty mediocre. The POTW is an opinion, but you can still think it’s a bad opinion.

    • You stick to your guns, bro.

      Freedom of speech and all of that.

    • CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

      I respect your opinion!

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      You know, not just Ron, but me, Conor, and Paul, all thought it was the best book this week right? Just chew on that for a bit.

    • markish markish says:

      ‘The way that iFanboy is going’? What does that mean? They appear to be ‘going’ in the direction of picking their favourite books for the week… Is that new?

      Oh, and it’s not a ‘bad pick/opinion’. It’s a ‘pick/opinion you don’t agree with’. The fact that some people can’t see the fundamental difference between these two things really worries me.

  25. Poopmonster Poopmonster says:

    Reminded me of an issue of Northlanders.

  26. mickmac59 mickmac59 says:

    I got this book on the strength of the creative team & it delivered in every way I hoped it would. Great story, great art, & I really want to see where it goes from here. In this instance I agreed with the PotW – in others I haven’t. If all I ever found was my own opinion reflected back at me, there’d be no reason to hang around.

  27. sunhero sunhero says:

    At first I thought you were crazy not to pick batman but then I picked this up when i saw it was p.o.t.w, and wow this was fantastic.
    so good it reminded my of all star superman can’t wait for more what a great issue.

  28. dix says:

    I passed this over because I frequently don’t care for what Marvel publishes lately (much as I try to) and Thor is pretty low on my characters-I-care-about list, but this does indeed sound like a book I need to pick up next time I’ve got the opportunity…

  29. Haha, I heard the word “hate” about these replies and I laughed. You guys are gentlemen compared to *fans* who frequent other sites *cough*bleedingcool*cough*. Calm down, nothing happened, it’s not a big deal. Everyone was civil, no one called each other names. There wasn’t any big argument really. Just friendly debate, really.

    I haven’t came close to reading all my books, very big week for me. I’ve read Batman, Saga, Walking Dead, and All-New X-Men. My pick of the week SO FAR goes to Batman, unfortunately I guess from everyone’s remarks. Not much happened, but damn did it build tension and you can literally see the fear on all the character’s faces. This story is living up to all the hype. Snyder’s handle on The Joker is pretty impressive. Joker, here, is the antithesis of Batman in ways he hasn’t been in a long time. He’s someone who has learned from the past. The dynamic Snyder has built between Joker and Batman is….just awesome. I don’t have the words. Joker and Batman have been my two favorite characters since childhood so maybe I’m a little impartial but in my comic reading time, this is so far the Joker epic of my generation. This is the Killing Joke, the Joker’s 5-way, etc of my generation (whatever that is).

    I still have to read Thor, Fantastic Four, Wolverine and the X-Men, Frankenstein, Locke & Key, Punk Rock Jesus, the Boys, Great Pacific, Jake Ellis, Zaucer of Zilk, Mind MGMT, Conan, and The Massive (which makes me 3 issues behind on both Conan and Massive, ought to be a good little Brian Wood catch-up hour).

  30. sitara119 sitara119 says:

    well Jimski, the negative Dodo is alive and well. ugly, irritable and hard to take seriously.

    i wonder if all the Batman apologists are going to go around the entire community and wag the fingers at everyone who didn’t pick Bats this week or is it just Ron who catches flak for his opinion. his POTW isn’t meant to be reflective of the community’s as a whole. we all can have our say and build cases as to why we would’ve picked something different without calling someone’s choice book “mediocre”.

    this is a valid pick. Spongebob Comics #14 would have been a valid pick as well if it were a reviewers favorite book this week.

  31. SuperMoore SuperMoore says:

    @Ron, well said…. Now pass me some more mead!

  32. Is this an ongoing or a mini-series?

  33. Dean B. Dean B. says:

    Easily my POTW as well. Only thing that could give it a run for it’s money this week was Saga #7, IMHO.

  34. Mr.J Mr.J says:

    Even thought Batman is my favorite fictional character ever, and #14 was a fantastic issue, it just didn’t leave me with that wow factor that #13 did.

    Thor on the other hand, did in spades. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous book.

  35. I’m thrilled that for just one week of it’s release, iFanboy didn’t go with the OMG SAGA IS THE GREATEST THING EVER, THANK YOU BKV FOR COMING BACK TO US PEASANTS, HAVE MY BABIES. It’s refreshing. And this was a REALLY good #1. I HAVE to read the next issue, especially when it looks as good as this.

  36. thepuremood says:

    Comic review sites LOVE issue number ones for superhero books, despite constantly complaining about them. Expect to see a lot of NOW!’s in the right hand corner, boys and girls.
    I’d say ZAUCER OF ZILK, PUNK ROCK JESUS or X-MEN LEGACY was my pick. Probably ZAUCER! Get Zaucy, everybody!

  37. BradLWoods3 BradLWoods3 says:

    Batman 14 POTW percentage: 50. Thor 1: 24. There’s no topping what’s going on with Bats right now but I will check out the God of Thunder nonetheless.

    • illmatic illmatic says:

      Being the most popular comic, doesn’t mean it’s the best comic. Its all subjective, but damn if if Batman fans are not the saltiest fans on earth lmao. God forbid if a Marvel comic wins POTW over Batman, every time that happens its nothing but Batman fans crying on here. That said, I don’t read Batman, but I’m thinking I might need to start buying some trades if the current run has this many people so devoted to it.

  38. randall4000 randall4000 says:

    I loved this! The art is insane. But, I haven’t read a Thor I’ve liked since the Mighty Avenger. This had shades of Conan which is a plus for me! Batman was pretty stellar as well. Capullo is murdering it. I don’t know if it would be the same book with anybody else. My pick of the week was Invincible though. Hot sex, horrific violence, and laugh out loud comedy all in 20 pages. It really is the “best super hero comic in the universe”. Good lord at that Robert Kirkman/Ryan Ottley comics machine!

  39. thepulp80s thepulp80s says:

    I’m calling it now. POTW 11.21.12 is going to be Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid.

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