I’m not one to let my guard down, but after reading through The Mighty Thor #3, I’m starting to think I might have to give Matt Fraction another glance. I’m not totally sold on Fraction yet. Fear Itself is still a mess and this issue of Thor is only the second decent one in a pretty bad run for the Thunder God from Fraction himself. Still, The Mighty Thor #3 is a solid entry; one that seems to indicate Fraction might finally understand what makes Thor such an enduring character.
Fraction’s earlier Thor was almost completely without humor, which is a key element to the comic. Issue 3 opens with Volstagg heading down to the town of Broxton to show them how to cook a proper meal. Right away you’re hooked and the exchange between Volstagg and the preacher who warns him that the people of Broxton no longer want the Asgardians around is hysterical.
When the preacher says, “Christ, he has risen” and Volstagg responds with “Good for him. Looking forward to finally meeting the man”, you have to laugh. Volstagg isn’t being disrespectful; he’s genuinely excited to meet Jesus Christ. Walking that fine line is showing me that Fraction might be starting to get it. I also loved how Volstagg took the warning as a declaration of war, one that he’s more interested in fighting than the one Odin has decided to wage against Galactus.
The end of Mighty Thor #2 had Thor facing off against Silver Surfer. The back and forth between the two of them is perfect, even though there’s little action. After the initial knock around, Thor and Surfer start boasting to one another to a point that even Odin gets bored. It’s a perfect scene, something that could have been taken right out of classic Thor books. Surfer has come for the heart of Yggdrasil; the world tree because Galactus feels it could sate him for life thus ending the genocide that goes down when the man with the purple helmet gets the munchies. Odin tells Surfer to stick it and war is declared. The issue ends with the mightiest warriors of Asgard heading towards a very disinterested Galactus.
Everything you need for a perfect comic book is in here and Fraction knocks the writing out of the park. If everything he penned came out this wonderful I’d be a lifelong fan. The tone shifts work, Odin is more the “All Father” and less a dick, and the story, at least in these issues, seems to be heading in a much less convoluted direction than Fraction’s last attempt.
The art from Olivier Coipel is better here but his faces still irk me. No matter what’s going on, it feels like Thor has one look on his face constantly. I’m also still not a huge fan of Coipel’s Silver Surfer, though I did like his Galactus. I would have to say the art is passable, even pleasant, just nothing to get too excited about. What is worth getting excited about is how Fraction has raised his game. Perhaps he’s working out all that need to be convoluted with Fear Itself or maybe he’s finally settling into what it takes to write Thor. Regardless, I hope he continues on this path, the rainbow path, to Asgard!
CRAVE RATING: 8/10