Friday, July 15, 2016

Trade Weight: Thor: God of Thunder Vol 1: The God Butcher

Trade Weight is a quick look at the heavy stacks of trade paperbacks (graphic novels, etc) that were purchased with excitement but left on the shelf, unconsumed for too long. 

2013, Marvel

Of all the big-name writers in comics today, Jason Aaron is the one name I'm most woefully inexperienced with. I've only read a few excerpts of his work but, of what I have seen, I've been impressed... with one notable exception : Star Wars.  And unfortunately it's his run on Star Wars (because I'm an old school nerd) that I've read the most, and it 's displeased me greatly from the second issue in (I've dropped reading the book after 20 issues... his stories read like overblown fan service rather than actual chapters in the Star Wars Saga).

His run on Thor has become the series he's most identified with. I had read a random issue years ago and loved it (despite finding Thor to be one of the most boring characters in comics).  I put his Thor run on the list of things I needed to get back to. 

I don't quite remember the chain of events, but I bought vol1 of his run, "The God Butcher" well over a year ago.  I believe my wife read it and said "I think my Dad would like this", thus outing my father-in-law as a Thor fan.  

We passed the book off to him an he loved it, and I took some extra effort to seek out the second volume ("Godbomb") which, for some reason, was incredibly difficult to find.  I picked up the second oversized collection (containing volumes 3 & 4) months before I finally found "Godbomb" (I love that title so, so much).

During this time however, volume 1still resided with my father-in-law, and due to various concerns on the homestead, we hadn't mafe a visit to my in-laws for over half a year. 

Finally, a couple weeks back, we made it there. I brought "Godbomb" and the still-shrinkwrapped volume 3/4 collection for him to read, and in turn get "The God Butcher" back.  In morning of the day we were leaving I sat dow and just blasted through "The God Butcher", truly one of the best mainstream comic book stories in recent memory.  Jumping backwards and forwards in time it's an epic about an evil, evil entity murdering Gods from pantheons throughout the universe.  It explores deities and weird hierarchical structures of Godhood, as well as belief systems and how the affect a population.  It's high fantasy, action, horror, mystery and science fiction all in one  and it's gorgeously illustrated by Esad Ribic.  What Aaron does so well is juggle the multiple genre facets...and not just juggle, but blend them seamlessly together.  How he manages to skip across multiple tielines without any confusion  is a marvel in itself, but what's more is how it exemplifies the immortal life that the gods have.  It's both storytelling convention and world/character building.

When I finished devouring volume 1 I'm was ravenous for more, but we had to leave the in-laws and venture home and I had to leave behind "Godbomb" and its follow up.  I guess it just forces me to go back to the in-laws sooner, rather than later.

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