When I was at my local comic book shop a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #13, which features Thor, to prepare my kids for the coming movie. It helped as they liked the comic and were enthusiastic when I suggested going to the movie on Mother’s Day.
I wasn’t surprised they liked the issue. The Marvel Adventures line is geared to all-ages but rather than being simplistic, I find that its titles often contain better (and more fun) stories than the comics in the regular Marvel Universe.
This particular issue concerns a legend of Asgard about a man who failed in his duty, though he tried his best. In typical Norse god fashion, he’s given an eternal punishment for his failure. Thor and his fellow Asgardian, Valkyrie, are given a quest to help the punished warrior and they bring the cosmic-powered Nova along with them. Nova isn’t what I would have thought would be a natural fit in the supernatural realm of Asgard — he’s basically a teen with incredible powers — but he works well here as the perspective of a regular human among gods and provides a lot of fun in the story.
What Kids Will Like About It:
It’s a self-contained story that’s full of great deeds with plenty of humor to keep them amused. In fact, it’s quite similar in tone to the Thor movie, so I’d recommend not only this issue for kids who liked the movie but the above trade paperback, Bringers of the Storm, which collects the Marvel Adventures version of Thor into one book.
What Adults Will Like About It:
It’s all-ages in the sense that Pixar is all-ages. There are in-jokes between characters that will go over the kid’s head that I noticed, like the flirtation between Rich Ride (Nova) and Valkyrie. If it’s been a long time since you’ve picked up a Marvel comic and the regular Marvel versions intimidate you because of possibility of jumping into the middle of a long-running story, Marvel Adventures is the line you should be reading.
Thor letting loose his lightning from the sky, of course!
About the Creator:
Paul Tobin, the writer of issue #13, has written a number of the Marvel Adventures titles. Ronan Cliquet, the penciller, and Amilton Santos, the inker, combine to create a really clean visual style on this comic and yet really nail the scope of Asgard and its legendary lands. Cliquet and Santos, like Tobin, have worked on a number of MA titles as well as some regular Marvel universe titles. I’d not read their work before. I’m going to look for it now.
Other Thor Recommendations:
Marvel’s Thor was created by Larry Lieber, Stan Lee and Jack (King) Kirby. Those early stories are collected in Marvel Masterworks volumes, beginning with #1. There were nine volumes of this collection listed over at Amazon.
However, if I had to recommend a place to start with Thor, it would be Walt Simonson’s acclaimed run in the 1980s on The Mighty Thor. Those stories, deemed definitive by many fans, start with Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson, Volume #1. More recently. J. Michael Straczynski brought back the Thunder God with a best-selling run that begins in Thor, Volume #1.