I’m going to try and get everyone prepared a bit for the upcoming summer of comic movies, so first I’m going to recommend to you some Thor comics! Specifically the fantastic run by J Michael Straczynski that happened not too long ago.
As usual I’ll break it down like this:
- WHO writes/draws
- WHAT is it about
- WHEN was it published
- WHERE can I find it
- WHY should I read it
- HOW much will it cost
So if keep reading to see my breakdown of JMS’s landmark run on THOR!
J Michael Straczynski writes and Olivier Coipel makes the pretty, pretty art.
Thor disappeared after the Secret Invasion event over at Marvel, but JMS came to the rescue, right off of his run on Fantastic Four, to resurrect not only the title character, but his entire kingdom of Asgard and all of his friends and enemies.
JMS took a turn from the Sci-Fi story elements that were used back in the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and came at the franchise with more of a Fantasy eye. He also brought the characters down to earth, literally, by placing Asgard right in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. That might sound a bit strange, but trust me, it makes for great character development and plenty of comedy when the Asgardians and Oklahomans interact.
Also important here is that JMS makes the entire cast of characters extremely accessible to any new reader, which is why this is the perfect run for people who are looking for an introduction to the franchise in order to get ready for the movie!
The story here is that after the Secret Invasion Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, was damaged. This essentially left him powerless, so he needed to fix it somehow. Thor went to Doctor Strange in order to have it fixed, but the only way he could was to bond Thor to the hammer in a symbiotic relationship. After this Thor decided he needed to bring back all of his fellow Asgardians, and that’s where the whole Oklahoma thing starts up. This is just a basic outline so I don’t spoil anything important.
JMS’s run on Thor started with issue #1 of a new volume in July of 2007. The run lasted for seventeen issues, ending in November of 2009.
The collected editions of the run are easily available at any bookstore or comic shop. I can’t imagine they would be scarce, especially with the upcoming movie.
Aside from the obvious “This run is amazing” and “You need to be ready for the movie” I should say that JMS’s run on Thor is going to go down as not only one of the best for the character, but one of the best runs in comics of its time.
It is a great character defining piece, not only for Thor himself, but for his entire supporting cast of Gods and Goddesses. Everyone is there, and everyone is treated amazingly.
Loki is present in a new way, but is still just as sinister as always. We have all the favorite characters, such as Volstagg, so comes off successfully as comedic relief, and we have everyone else playing their respective parts. I really don’t want to spoil anything, but all of the characters here have a great role to play in this run.
Once more though, I need to reiterate that this run is more than perfect for new readers to jump in on making it fantastic for anyone wanting to ready themselves for the movie this summer, which seems to be playing with some similar plot devices while sticking to the classic origin of the character.
While I’m here though, I have to also recommend Kieron Gillen’s run on the series, which directly followed JMS’s. Though not as high in quality, Gillen captures the voices of the characters just as well as JMS, and successfully follows up on plot points introduced through the previous run. I also have to mention that the Marvel event Siege follows up on JMS’s run as well, dealing with the siege of Asgard by Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers.
Anyway, JMS’s run on Thor is a must have comic of the past few years. I cannot recommend the run enough. The writing is spot on, the artwork is fantastic, and it’s easy for any new reader. Thus I will be giving JMS’s run on Thor a 4.5/5
GO Rating: 4.5/5
The run was collected into three volumes, available in both Hardcover and Trade paperback, but is also available in one large Omnibus collection, which contains the entire run as well as a couple of issues of JMS’s run on Fantastic Four which lead into his Thor run.
Volume 1: $14.99 Paperback
Volume 2: $19.99 Paperback
Volume 3: $14.99 Paperback
Omnibus: $64.99 oversized Hardcover
And then aforementioned run by Kieron Gillen (if you are interested) is collected into three other volumes:
Latverian Prometheus: $14.99 Paperback
Thor: Siege: $15.99 Paperback
Siege Aftermath: $15.99 Paperback
And there is also the Siege event that I mentioned, which is collected in one volume:
Siege: $24.99 Hardcover, or $19.99 Paperback
Currently Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men) is writing a run on Thor which is turning out to be equally fantastic as JMS’s, though it focuses more on the Sci-Fi aspect of the characters than the fantasy aspect that JMS used. This run is currently ongoing in the single issues, so anyone interested in collecting single issues for the character can check that out.