Today I’m rereading the first 6 issue arc of The Mighty Thor, the series relaunch intended to tie in with the recent film.

And it’s the best story Marvel produced this year.

 

The Mighty Thor¬†was destined to be great. With established writer Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men, Casanova) and modern master Olivier Coipel on art, this book wasn’t likely to be bad. Coipel’s art alone makes this book a masterpiece. As you can see from the art above, he is talented beyond words. Throw in Thor and the Asgardians going to war with Galactus and the Silver Surfer and you know you’re in for a treat.

This story is a bit high concept. The reason for the conflict involves the possession of a “seed” that is kind of the beginning and the end. It’s not worth explaining. What’s worth explaining is the fact that two of the Marvel Universes most powerful characters both want it, and aren’t afraid to throw their weight around. And with Thor and the Silver Surfer serving as the front line, this comic has some of the most gorgeous super-hero fight scenes of all time.

Coipel’s panel layout and flow are of such style, they couldn’t be mimicked even if someone had the balls to try. Every page looks like a poster. I want to get his Silver Surfer tattooed on my face, it’s that pretty. (Credit where credit is due: the coloring by Laura Martin is an essential ingredient to how pretty this book is.) Coipel can take a quiet church gathering and an epic space war and make them seem like they make sense in the same book. He is fantastic.

And the story is good too. Fraction’s typical hard to nail down plot and style are of course present, but with more awareness that while people want a war between gods, they also need it to be grounded. The Surfer, Pastor Mike and even Loki’s character arcs in this are perfect. The theme seems to be enlightenment for the characters, especially an acceptance of self and taking a step to be something new at the same time. I hated some of Matt Fraction’s early Marvel work, but somewhere along the way that changed. He has become one of the creators I most anticipate each week because I know even if I don’t love the comic, I won’t see what happens next coming and I can be sure I’ll be entertained.

This comic probably isn’t for everyone, but as a long time Marvel Zombie and a fan of crazy epics that almost promise to leave you scratching your head, I loved it. Give it a try when it’s collected together, maybe you’ll finally see why Thor is so damn cool.

A definite A+.