In 2010, on the heels of the first Thor movie, Marvel launched an all-ages Thor comic called Thor: The Mighty Avenger. Much like the movie, god of thunder falls to Earth as a punishment from Odin. He knows little about who he is and nothing about where he is. But he finds his way to Jane Foster, who oversees a Norse history museum, and the two team up to figure out what’s going on.
When I picked this book up, I didn’t know it was an all-ages book. If I hadn’t looked it up to see why it didn’t seem to fit into continuity, I might not have put two and two together. Roger Langridge’s script leans into fun moments and action. Above all, though, it reads like a modern take on an comic from the ‘60s or ‘70s. It serves as a strong reminder that Thor stories can be bright, charming, and funny. The issue with the Warriors Three and Captain Britain made me laugh a lot.
Then there’s the reason this book round up on my radar in the first place: Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson handle art duties. I’m used to seeing Samnee on relatively grounded books—Daredevil, Black Widow, that sort of thing—but I’d love to see him revisit fantasy bombast sometime. That goes for Wilson’s colors, as well. I can’t imagine a better contemporary reinterpretation of Walter Simonson’s Thor aesthetic than what these two do in The Mighty Avenger.
Anytime a comic aims for an all-ages audience, there’s a danger that it will condescend. Beyond the occasional strange character choice (like Jane going for some retail therapy while suspended from the museum), Thor: The Mighty Avenger avoids that. It’s a comic that anyone could pick up and enjoy without familiarity with continuity or characters. It has funny moments and vibrant visuals. I liked it a lot.
- Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Vol. 1: The God Who Fell to Earth (#1-4, Journey Into Mystery #83-84)
- Thor: The Mighty Avenger: The Complete Collection (#1-8, FCBD 2011)
Writer: Roger Langridge | Artist: Chris Samnee | Colorist: Matthew Wilson | Letterer VC’s Rus Wooton | Covers: Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson with Christina Strain (4) | Assistant Editor: Michael Horwitz | Editors: Nathan Cosby & Sana Amanat with Michale Horwitz (FCBD 2011)