Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thor #600 Review

THOR #600
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Olivier Coipel

J. Michael Straczynski continues to blow me away with his run on Thor. I haven't been this enthralled by the Thunder God since reading Walt Simonson's run.

As the cover suggests, Bor, last seen cast to the snowy winds by a time travelling Loki, is resurrected by that same Loki. On top of that, Loki enchants poor Bor with a spell that causes him to see the world as a monstrous illusion.

Unawares of the passage of time, Bor lashes out at his newfound surroundings, prompting Jane Foster to call on Thor for help.

I don't want to break into a play by play of the fight that eventually takes place between Thor and his grandfather, Bor, but I must confess, it's one hell of a fight and Coipel (so sad to see him leaving the title) does a fantastic job. The best part, for me, was when the Dark Avengers showed up and Thor renounces them as blasphemy.

In the end, Thor slays Bor and it brings up my only complaint about the issue - that of a previously unannounced law that if you kill the king of Asgard, you are stripped of all title and rank and banished from Asgard forever. As Bor was technically alive and still king, Thor's killing of him, just as Loki and Baldur arrived, causes them to condemn Thor and cast him out of Asgard, leaving the easily manipulated Baldur, with the silver tongued Loki at his side, in charge.

It's not that I don't like the developments that took place because of the banishment, but I just found it a tad convenient that this law comes to be known just as Thor kills Bor with no previous hints or cues to the reader about its existence. I suppose it's the means and not the method that should count and I do like what JMS has done here.

Speaking of which, as if the casting out of Thor wasn't enough, Loki quickly suggests a new home for the Asgardians - a place in the mountains where they can hunt and be safe. That place? Latveria, home of Dr Doom, one of Loki's fellow members of the evil Illuminati group currently in power in the Marvel Universe.

For some reason, I'm getting an Ultimate Alliance (Xbox 360 game) vibe from these developments. In Ultimate Alliance, Doom and Loki, among others, all teamed up and one of the plot lines dealt heavily with the Asgardians and the Destroyer armour, among other things. It's nowhere near identical to the current happenings in the Thor book, but there's definitely room for overlap in there.

Verdict - Must Read. Great action, Loki being Loki, beautiful art and some great story developments that should help propel this book forward over the coming months.

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