The dead have joined forces to fight off Cinder in the War of the Realms. Many of the familiar faces of Thor’s past come together and joined forces to fight the battle. Baldor and Hela have agreed to marriage to unite Hel before Cinder’s forces arrive to take Hel by force. Thanos has arrived in Hel however and has something to say about his new lovers’ marriage to Baldor. Jason Aaron continues to play with characters and explore their reactions to the realms all going to war and it is delightful.
One thing that does somewhat lessen the story is the focus on humor. There are some great moments of heroism and drama. I found another problem with the book was the placement of comedic moments. I think Marvel wants new readers to experience a similar feeling to the Ragnarok film when reading. While characters like Thori the bloodhound provide a well done comic relief, comedy in the Thanos cameo felt more out of place. The balance is not there like it was in other issues.
Other elements of the story felt like Aaron quickly trying to tie up loose threads before the characters are used in other comics. This includes Thanos who is appearing in Infinity Wars and members of the Asgardians of the Galaxy before they appear in a new series. Even with the off moments I still enjoyed the book. Each hammer introduced has been a lot of fun. Hopefully, these hammers all get a chance to return. The wacky elements of the story do resemble the epic Simonson era stories which are a joy. Thor’s showdown with Cinder is a highlight of the chapter and it looks great.
I know that many people have issues with Mike Del Mundo’s style because it is far from traditional, but I think that style really makes the pages stand out. The detail may not be there in the art, but the colors and layouts are catching. I can sometimes forget to really pay attention to the art in other books and think of it only when re-reading an issue. With Del Mundo, the art is the first thing I notice in a panel. There is some sensory overload to the style so I can understand people’s qualms, but I still think he is fitting for the title.
I enjoyed most of the use of color. Cinder and her fire demons look good. Magic and motion are presented well in every panel of the book. I really like the misty and pale look of the Hel, but it was sometimes hard to distinguish from other realms. Midgard should look very average and less surreal. Instead, it is similar but with a blue overtone. Valhalla had a white and brightened look to it that was a little too similar to Hel. I would have liked to see more distinction.
Like I said, I think this is a fun issue. There was plenty here for me to enjoy. I think if you can give the art a chance you will find that the writing will draw you in. I would imagine fans of Thanos will likely be upset over his portrayal in the issue (rightfully so). Other characters like Loki and Hela come across far better. I really think Aaron has been a good fit for Thor and despite its problems, this issue is no different. I would recommend you check this one out.
The war for Hel is far more delightful then you would expect. I enjoyed the issue even though it has its flaws. Thanos is a bit too comedic for my taste. There is not a lot of comedy thrown in when I thought the focus should be on the drama. I still enjoyed the Hel out of this issue and would recommend you check it out.