THOR #600

Review by: Scout

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Size: pages
Price: 4.99

I’m going to contradict myself here by saying that this book was spectacular, but also depressingly bad. To clarify, JMS and Coipel do another incredible job of continuing to reinvent Thor and the Norse Gods, and deliver fully on an action packed issue.

However, Stan Lee’s followup story with art by David Aja (whose art I thought was really pretty good, especially considering what he had to work with) I hate to say is horrible. Truly sad in fact since Stan has always been, and will always be one of my heroes. But his days as a relevent comic book writer have come and gone, and it shows. If in no other way than by the contrast of this story and the ones that follow featuring his work with Jack “the King” Kirby from the ’60’s. His work from that era seems timeless. His work now however just seems hackneyed. Okay, enough Stan bashing – blah, that sucked – and onto why this book still kicks ass despite that.

JMS and Coipel; their work on Thor is equal (IMHO) to that of Simonson, and stands it’s ground next to Kirby and Lee. As someone who started my comic book life off by saving up at the age of twelve to buy a copy of Journey into Mystery #112, and who has been an avid fan of Thor ever since, I can say that what they are attempting with this series delivers on all counts: emotion, artistry, scope, depth and a real sense of no BS change of direction for the characters. The key here being — No BS –. So while old themes may be revisited, the way they are being handled, and the details of how the characters respond to those themes is completely refreshing and new with a level of modern, or I might even say, intelligent sophistication. Sorry if that sounds like hyperbole, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Especially as it relates to how things are starting to come together in the various plot threads.

And with issue #600 we also get a nice dose of storytelling payoff with a good ol’ fashioned god-scale brawl with more relevence than might otherwise be expected. This isn’t just a random bad guy thrown in to satiate the reader that might be getting tired of dialogue and plot development. Once again it’s JMS tying a complicated web of ideas together into something that feels more and more satisfying the further along the story goes.

For the art, Coipel is the best they could have gotten (short of Mignola maybe – that’s just me, and I would love to see his take by the way) for this book. Period. He just plain gets Thor and this universe. The caveat being that his work needs to always, and from now on, only be inked by Mark Morales, who is also a genius by the way.

So to wrap up this long-winded review, the final addition of reprints of the Kirby/Lee Thor work from days gone by is always a welcome thing, and caps off the issue with a very cool bit of nostalgia and fun reading.

**For my story rating of the book overall I’ll be ignoring Stan’s modern day work since I feel that everything else in this issue more than makes up for this disappointing contribution.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Scout I certianly respect your opinion on the Stan Lee story but I might add it wasn’t put there to advance the character in the modern era. It was there for new reader to gain a persepctive where this character has traveled in its 600 issues and give old readers some overdue nostalgia for the past. The Lee story wasnt a masterpiece by any means, but it perfectly framed the concept of a team book, where they coordinate tactics and actually work together to defat a foe. Too often these days does team comics relay on splash pages featuring a free for all battle to illustrate a team battle. This story showed the role for each character in nice detail, and highlighted how important Thor is to the Avengers. Lee’s story wasnt a modern day work, it revisited the Avengers heyday when Earth’s Mightest Heroes united to defeat a common foe.

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