The War of the Realms (2019-) #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
The War of the Realms is finally here.
Almost six years ago, Jason Aaron brought back Malekith. With him, came the build-up to the War of the Realms. A lot has happened in those (almost) six years. There was a new Thor, and Odinson lost an arm and his beloved hammer. Universes blew up and a new realm was introduced. None of this seemed to sway Malekith (and Aaron) from his master plan – conquering the ten realms. Midgard was the last to stand, but that ends here. Malekith’s forces have finally started their invasion on Earth (and the Marvel Comics line-up) and it’s up to Thor and his friends to protect it.
First order of business – take out the Asgardian Gods. While Malekith’s Dark Elves assassinate Odin, Thor is lured to Jotunheim. Meanwhile, the Dark Elves make their move on Lady Freyja, who is aided by Sif, Hildegarde, Jane Foster, and – Spider-Man. As they are fighting, Malekith finally arrives via the Black Bifrost, bringing his full forces along. It’s time for the Avengers to assemble.
It’s a pretty decent start of the event. The team delivers on the spectacle, and then some. Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson are Aaron’s longtime collaborators, having worked with him on most of the FosThor run, and it’s great seeing them back. They consistently delivered fantastic art during that run, and they obviously aren’t pulling any punches with this event either. Everything is sharp and nicely detailed, with the colours making every page pop. The action is exciting and it flows beautifully. And then there are the various splashes and two-page spreads. You just need to see them, to be able to truly appreciate them. They are works of beauty.
Aaron has been with the Asgardians for seven years now. He has grown accustomed to the fantasy genre and the sense of grandeur that accompanies it. His recent work on Conan further proves just how much these types of stories and character suit him. The epic battles, the narration, Odin’s monologue, the conversation between Thor and Malekith – all very well written and feel really good. His more… human characters, however? Not really. Especially Spider-Man. Yes, Spider-Man likes to banter, but here it feels really out of place and forced, to the point of him looking like a caricature of the character. On the plus side, Captain America got a really great moment while confronting Malekith.
The first issue is a promising start to Marvel’s biggest event of the year. The epic battles, the fantastic art and cool character moments – all accounted for. And honestly, what more could you ask for from an event?
The epic battles, the fantastic art and cool character moments - all accounted for. What more could you ask for from an event?