Friday, August 5, 2016

Trade Weight: Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 2: Godbomb

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

"The God Butcher", volume 1 of Thor: God of Thunder, was so very, very epic that, in waiting to retrieve the next volume from my father-in-law, I began to have doubts that it could follow through.  Well, gods-damn does it ever follow through.  I don't know that I've ever been so satisfied by a story arc as I was with this one.  By the end I was quite handily satiated.  I didn't want more Thor, despite having a mammoth collection of issues 12-25 beside me.  I didn't feel I needed it.  There wasn't anything that more Thor could deliver that would improve upon what the one-two knockout punch of "The God Butcher" and "Godbomb" delivered.  I would be quite happy to never read another Thor story again, thank you very much.  This really does seem like the be-all/end-all for what can and should be done with the character.  It creates such a large myth, such a grand legend that anything further would just dilute its grandeur, its greatness.  This 11-issue arc is, hands down, a masterpiece of comics.  Jason Aaron achieves a meaningful story for Thor but gives Gorr, the villain of the piece, both the motivation and the means for accomplishing his vile mission.  The scale is epic, it's at once fantasy, science-fiction, mythology, horror, time-travel, and, in no small way, faith-based storytelling (it's just not sticking to one faith here).  Esad Ribic's lavish art with exquisite detailing, gorgeous landscapes, and powerful figure work is cinematic and yet something that can only be done in comics.  It wouldn't be nearly what it is without the stunning color work from Ive Svorcina.  Between Ribic's shading and Svorcina's digital washes, there's an etherial quality to this that stikes exactly the right tone... not doing too much, particularly with backgrounds, letting the power of the figures tell the story, and in some cases, via only hints, letting the reader's imagination flesh out the setting.  It's all so potently unforgettable...and also, given how utterly brutal a story it is, one that will not be replicated into another medium.

If I have disappointment, it's in the fact that "Godbomb" as a concept didn't live up to what I was picturing in my mind.  Aaron and Ribic kept the story tighter and more personal, where as I was expecting something far larger and messier (which while terribly cool, would have ultimately been far less satisfying).  But even in this extremely minor disappointment can't minutely tarnish this awesome work.

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