What’s up Skill Floorians, it’s another exciting pile of comics. Most notably this week features the Mighty Thor: At the Gates of Valhalla special, a farewell to Jane Foster as Thor and an opportunity for Jason Aaron to look back at the time we’ve had with her. If you read my review of The Mighty Thor #706 you know I have some feelings about this, so stay tuned for more nerd rage!
The Brave and the Bold #4
We’re nearing the end of this series, much to my dismay. This issue had very little in the way of action, especially for being close to the end, but I enjoyed it immensely. After a brief sequence dealing with the fallout of last issue’s small fight, Batman (who has added a cloak to his ensemble to look less out of place) and Wonder Woman go to speak to the murdered king’s widow. She explains that the spell of forgetfulness over their home has caused them to forget much of their history, and that the king had a series of paintings done to honor King Nuada who died in the most recent war against Balor Evil Eye. That’s why I loved this issue really. A series of gorgeous paintings and just straight up telling of myth. What else could I even ask for? From the story, Batman gains a clue, which leads to a big reveal at the end to leave us hanging. I’m still REALLY enjoying the writing on this series. I can’t believe how naturally Batman and Wonder Woman are being made to fit into Celtic myth, it’s really a feat. This issue, the art deserves really special mention. I couldn’t find an image of one of the pages in question, but a majority of the book has the paintings taking up most of the page. The painting art reminds me of Ted Nasmith, an artist who did a lot of art for Tolkien’s worlds. It’s really beautiful, and stands out even from the already excellent looking book. If you haven’t been on this series, I highly recommend grabbing it or waiting for the trade for the art alone.
The Mighty Thor: At the Gates of Valhalla #1
Heavy spoilers for the Mighty Thor main book ahead.
This book had me mad before I even started honestly. I’m furious they kept Jane alive, despite the fact that I absolutely love her. It cheapens her whole cancer story, ruins the nobility of her sacrifice. We already know nothing in comics ever has lasting consequences, but she could have stayed dead for more than like three pages. So I’m mad, it completely detracts from her run and makes the new run with Odinson feel even more forced. I spent a bunch of time telling people that Thor was the only book that “earned” a reboot for fresh start because Jane dying was important to the story thematically. But no, now she’s alive and mortal and I fear she’s lost a lot of the charm of the character.
Anyway, the actual book. It’s divided into two stories, although they flow into each other seamlessly. The first takes place in the Far Future. Thor’s granddaughters give him sleeping drugs to knock him out long enough for them to go on a time hopping adventure. They’re looking for “the Golden Age of Thor” and bounce through a few different times. It’s a fun little romp, with some foreshadowing of things that I hope actually come up later. The main thing it foreshadows though, is that the War of the Realms is far from over. This is where it flows into the second story, which follows Malekith the Accursed around as he fights throughout the realms and talks about his plans. I’m glad to have some focus back on the War, since it sort of disappeared once that Mangog stuff started up. It feels like this War of the Realms story was plotted out before it was decided to kill Jane, so there’s just a big chunk jammed in the middle of her fight with the Mangog and then re-establishing Odinson as Thor. The issue ends with “To Be Continued in Next Month’s ‘Thor #1’ and Next Years ‘War of the Realms’” so I guess it’ll be a whole event. That should actually be fun.
I didn’t hate this issue as much as expected, mostly since it didn’t really focus too much on Jane. Obviously she played a role, but more happened than I expected. Plus I really love the Far Future Thor sections, that was one of my favorite parts of Thor God of Thunder back whenever that run happened. Next month Odinson is back, so let’s see if that ends up being any good.
The Ballad of Sang #3
Full disclosure I forgot to cancel this. I just genuinely don’t care about it. I couldn’t even get through this issue. It’s just gang violence, but it isn’t clever like Motor Crush. The fact that the gangs have weird themes like roller derby and hair metal doesn’t do enough to elevate this book. The art is bland and the jokes aren’t good. Oh well.
Dodge City #3
This issue is ALL ACTION. Which is a weird sentence to type about a dodgeball book. The action is dodgeball!
The team has their first serious match of the tournament, and it takes up the whole issue. On and off the court there’s plenty happening though. Character drama intensifies, and there’s a super cute moment that shows why Tomas is a great choice for captain. I really love how all the characters continue to show their colors even in an issue with a focus on action. The way they interact on the dodgeball court is telling of their character and relationships. Things between Elsie and Drew are tense; Elsie uses that to fuel her where Drew gets sort of withdrawn. In one panel, Elsie blocks a shot that would have hit Drew. The fact that she puts the team before her anger is important to showing who she is. There are scenes much like this in most sports/competition manga, and even in shonen like Dragonball Z. This book is a lot of fun, it’s lighthearted and has wonderful characters. It’s a light spoiler, but the cute moment I mentioned is my absolute favorite. During a time out everyone is arguing over what to do and Huck is trying to interject but failing to get anyone’s attention since he’s mute. Tomas stops everyone and asks him if he has any ideas, and he types up a plan on his phone that everyone loves. It’s rare to get those kinds of moments in the bigger publisher books so I treasure the cute interactions that Boom! always delivers.
Gideon Falls #3
Last but not least, a bit more horror to finish things out. Our priest, Fred, has been cleared of murder charges after it appears that Father Tom (the man he is replacing) was doing some killing. He and the sheriff have a little chat about it, her apologizing but saying that something feels off about the resolution. He has to figure out how to give mass the next day and earn the trust of the community, given that it’s probably a bit shaken by everything that has happened. Meanwhile, Norton is dealing with the break in at his place. Some of his artifacts of the Black Barn have been stolen, and he rigs a series of booby traps to defend himself. He’s then approached by his therapist, Dr. Xu, who had a vision of the Barn last issue. Both stories have a rising sense that conflict is coming. The end of the issue has Father Fred becoming much more involved, and it’s clear Norton is getting ready for the worst. The build still feels slow and tense, but I hope to see something big happen soon.
That’s it for comics this week. As always thanks for stopping by, thanks for reading, hope to hear from you on Discord! There’s nothing big or exciting on the horizon for me comic wise, but if anyone is checking out the Marvel Fresh Start books or No Justice I would love to hear your thoughts. Til next time.
Comic Wolf Post-Credit
Had a bit of trouble deciding how to format this, so forgive me if it’s a bit weird. Long story short I blasted through the next five volumes of Giant Days (I reviewed the first volume previously) and I love it, so I’m going to give some loosely structured thoughts on the series.
In case you didn’t read my previous review, Giant Days is a silly slice of life book following three girls at university in England. Susan is sort of grouchy and very protective. Daisy is smart and innocent, having been home schooled. Esther is dramatic and popular and very goth. Each one of them is wonderful and precious and I love them all dearly. Over the course of the first six volumes, our heroines go through all sorts of college type struggles. Relationships beginning and ending, difficult exams, finding an off-campus flat, getting part time jobs, going home for breaks, etc. It’s all very grounded, but the characters reactions are so absurd that it’s a lot of fun. Where most of us would just cram for a difficult exam, Esther looks for help and ends up in some conflict with religious students. Nothing completely impossible happens, but it’s whimsical enough to be more adjacent to reality than settled in it. It may just be my nostalgia for college talking (I’m out a year this past weekend) but it’s really fun and refreshing to have such a simple and genuine story focusing on college life without resorting to too many of the tired stories. The book is far from perfect, there are some bits that fall flat and the art style changes are pretty jarring given how stylized it is at first. It’s cute and fun though, and I recommend giving it a shot. Coincidentally at the time of publication there’s a digital sale of Boom! Box titles over at comixology so consider grabbing Vol. 1.
Anyway, that’s it for the post-credit! Sorry it’s a mess, I intended to review each volume at a time and then read all of them in one night. Keep checking back after the credits for occasional clever stuff and lots of rambling!