Thor’s one of my favorite Marvel characters, but since the movie hit theaters, I’ve seen a lot of people say that they aren’t that familiar with the comics. So today, I’ve completed my Thor-Week Trifecta by offering up a rundown six great Thor stories to jump on if you liked the movie. Or heck, even if you didn’t like the movie. Chris Hemsworth could kick your dog, and these would still be good stories.
I hope he doesn’t, though.
While Grant Morrison’s Batman might end up giving it a run for its money when it’s all said and done, Walter Simonson’s amazing five-year tenure on Thor is unquestionably my favorite comic book run of all time — and considering that there’s no Batman and not a single Jimmy Olsen involved, that’s saying something. This week, the whole thing is collected in a truly massive hardcover that’s pretty tempting despite the fact that I don’t really care for the gigantic omnibus format, so to celebrate, I’ve written up my picks for the ten best moments of the series!
A word of advice, though: If you haven’t read the comics, skip the article. It’s obviously full of spoilers fro some of the best parts of the run, and while reading a top ten list doesn’t compare to the feeling of reading the actual stories, that’s a book that deserves to be experienced firsthand.
If you have read ’em, though, enjoy the trip down memory lane! And just between you and me, it’s not on the list, but how awesome is that time when Thor hits a guy so hard that it breaks every bone in his own body? Super-awesome.
In this week’s installment of my weekly Q&A column, I get asked about Jack Kirby’s New Gods, Walter Simonson, and Batman, and amazingly I managed to finish that column before I hit 40,000 words.
I’m a little wordy when it comes to certain subjects is what I’m saying here.
One thing I didn’t get around to including in the article is that Orion is frequently very funny, and has one of my favorite sight gags in comics. During the “Joker’s Last Laugh” tie-in — possibly the only good thing to come out of that particular crossover — there’s a scene where Slig of the Deep Six hits Orion three times while he’s got the advantage, then Orion counters and swears to repay Slig threefold for what he’s endured!
So you turn the page, and then it’s just nine panels of Orion punching Slig in the face. The same two panels, repeated nine times. It is hilarious. So I made a .gif of it:
If you’ve got a question you’d like to see me take on in a future installment, just put it up on Twitter with the hashtag #AskChris or send an email with [Ask Chris] in the subject line to comicsalliance at gmail.com!
Today at ComicsAlliance, Caleb Goellner and I celebrate the release of Green Lantern #50 by offering up a rundown of the most notable Green Lanterns of all time, ranking them from the lamest to the best for your brightest enlightenment. As you might expect, it broke down to Caleb doing the heavy lifting and me doing the “commentary” sections and rankings, as my core talent lies in shooting my mouth off while others do the actual work.
I’m not much of a Green Lantern guy myself–I’ve always loved the concept but never really got into the execution–but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I totally love Raker, the Green Lantern of Apokolips. Brought to my attention by Walt Simonson in Orion #18, Raker’s a great example of how you can blend elements of the DC Universe that are as disparate as John Broome’s Green Lantern Corps and Jack Kirby’s Fourth World and come away with something that works beautifully as a bridge to both. Of course, it also hits my fan buttons just right by explaining why the Guardians of the Universe never bothered to take out Darkseid (answer: They tried and he beat the crap out of ’em because he’s friggin’ Darkseid), but it’s a great little story with a really fun hook that, like most of Simonson’s Orion, has been sadly overlooked.
There’s only ever been one trade–and it’s worth it just to see the all-out Darkseid/Orion fight to the death in #5–but it’s not a hard run to put together in the back issue bins, and it’s something no fan of awesome comics should be without.
So there you go: Walt Simonson’s Orion, a fantas–hm? Oh, right, this thing’s actually about Green Lanterns!
I like Kyle!
Today at ComicsAlliance, I’ve put together a list of my favorite uses of mythology in comics!
This was another one of those lists that was really fun for me to write, as these are some of my favorite comics, as evidenced by the fact that the Wikipedia entry for my beloved Incredible Hercules contains a line about how I’ve talked about it “repeatedly,” which is a nice way of saying that I tend to go on and on.
Still, the thing I like about these stories isn’t so much how they draw on mythology–although that’s been an interest of mine since I was old enough to read–but how they change it, like how Incredible Herc uses the structure of the Twelve Labors, but changed to fit the modern Marvel Universe.
Or, as seen above, how Walt Simonson wisely decided not to have Thor be killed in battle with the Midgard Serpent, as written in the original myth, but rather to have Thor knock out every one of the monster’s teeth from the inside in an issue that was nothing but splash pages..
And that is why Walt Simonson is awesome.
By the ancient laws set forth by Bahlactus, even the gods may rise to single combat!
From Thor #361 by Walt Simonson and John Workman, part of the greatest run in comics history.
Let this be a lesson: Sometimes, Thor will knock your Goddamn teeth out.
And that’s why Bahlactus brushes twice a day.
More of Thor’s take on orthodontia–which mostly involves hitting someone in the mouth with a hammer–can be found in Walt Simonson’s run on Thor, which includes the all-splash awesomeness of Thor #380.