REVIEW: Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Chris Samnee
Colors by Matthew Wilson
Letters by VC's Rus Wooton

$2.99 / 32 Pages / Full Color 

Marvel Comics

I think we've all dreamed of being promoted to department head of Nordic History in a sleepy Oklahoma museum. At the very least, we've all certainly fantasized about being swept away in the arms of some disheveled lunatic Norseman, perhaps on a gleaming rainbow Nordic track. I could also just be projecting.

As a relatively new Thor fan, I'm struck by just how versatile he is. Even now I'm catching up on the incredible Walt Simonson run as well as the newly reprinted Jurgens and Romita Jr. books. He's portrayed a little differently with each new interpretation, but never ceases to appear vibrant and special. In the aftermath of Seige, the ongoing Thor title is steeped in pathos. It's operatic. From the sound of things, Fraction's pending tenure on the book will be a more cerebral examination of the character's mythos, playing on elements of religion and hard science fiction. I'm pretty anxious to see how that unfolds.  But that's not the only Thor. The gravitas of this god character is only half of the story. You can't forget the goats. This is a superhero who rides in a goat-drawn chariot. That's silly and that's great. Thor if funny. Thor is fun.

In terms of dream fulfillment, Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee seem to have made a rainbow connection, a terrific pairing of writer and cartoonist on a light, whimsical, and accessible new Thor comic. Thor: The Mighty Avenger offers a refreshing back-to-basics interpretation of the thunder god free from the confines of continuity. It's only just begun, but it looks to revel in everything weird and wonderful about the character, and by extension, the Marvel universe. 

Langridge brings to Thor the same enthusiasm that's served him so well on the Muppet Show book over at Boom! Studios. He introduces the character as half of an unlikely romantic comedy pairing, initially dressing him down as a seemingly confused vagrant trying to break into a museum display case. The other half of the pairing is Jane Foster, the woman who's just been placed in charge of that same museum's Nordic History department.  Langridge wisely tells the story through Jane's point of view, allowing her perspective to shape this comical fish out of Asgard story. If there's any downside, it's that the first issue offers very minimal exposure to Thor's mystical origins. It's only on that final page that he reveals himself as a god. We'll have to wait to see the likes of Odin or Loki or any of Thor's Asgardian comrades. Still, expectations adjusted, it's still great to see Thor robbed of his majesty, if only temporarily.

As for Samnee, he's perfectly suited for this title, delivering page after page of masterful cartooning. There is excellent economy of line here. Characters are fully expressive. Most importantly, he has the confidence to focus on story progression rather than needlessly over-rendering a panel. There are dot-eyed background characters. It's the cartooning equivalent of depth of focus in film, of lending attention only to the elements that need to advance the narrative. I can't wait to see his take on Thor's extended rogues gallery, and especially the landscapes of Asgard.

Great for the whole family. Great for goats. Pick it up. 




Story: 4          Art: 4          Overall: 4



Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1 is in stores now.


  1. Great review of a great new title. It should also be noted that it’s coming out twice this month (…double rainbows…) and I speculate it’ll be more Asgard-centric the 2nd time around. Samnee is a freaking genius. 


  3. I love the idea of a continuity-free Thor book.  I may check out the trade.

  4. I flipped thru this at the shop twas ok Samnee is a good artist his Thor could use a sandwich tho

  5. was that some kind of poem?

  6. Hark Joshua.  He was typing in Thor-speak, I believe.

  7. Wonderful art from Samnee.  It was nice to see a superhero book from Marvel that didn’t tie into 4 other titles and wasn’t overly serious and dark.  

  8. Chris Samnee is an amazing artist.  He usually does daily sketches on his blog and little cartoons for his wife every day that she puts on her blog, Lunchnotes, on top of his comic book pages.  Such a busy guy!!

  9. This wasn’t on my pull list, but one look at the art and I was hooked.  The story was good for a first ish.  Reminded me of Jersey Gods just a smidgen.  It’s good to read a comic book that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  Then I went and read Scalped, which sucked out most of the warm n fuzzy. Like eating a goey cream cake followed by a triple espresso with a couple of shots of scotch.  I like!