Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review- THOR: THE BLACK GALAXY SAGA

THOR: THE BLACK GALAXY SAGA (Marvel, 2011; Softcover)
Collects Thor Nos. 419-425 (cover dates July- Late October, 1990).
NOTE: The Tales of Asgard 5 page back-up story from Issue 419 has been omitted from this collection.
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Ron Franz (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), and Gary Hartle (artist on back-up stories)
Several events had occurred in between this and the Thor Vs. Seth, the Serpent God trade paperback, such as the emergence of Thor's new secret identity, Eric Masterson. It is not explained why he was merged with Thor until Issue 425. I never go online and read synopses of these issues, so it was really a mystery to me until then. That is the main problem with reading trade paperbacks as opposed to the individual issues, at least as far as classic material is concerned. While Marvel collects everything in trade paperback, and has since 2003-ish, material from other decades isn't as widely available in this format. We have an 18 issue gap between these two collections. 
This is Thor at his cosmic best, with Celestials, the High Evolutionary, Hercules, the Rigellians and Recorder, as well as a battle between Surtur and Ymir on Asgard. Verily, thou book dost have it all! Whoops, I've been reading too much Thor lately.
I love how the Tales of Asgard back up features tie in to, and build up to issue 425. I know that there were Tales of Asgard back-ups in the classic Lee/Kirby run, but I haven't read those...yet. I just started reading The Mighty Thor Omnibus Vol. 1 (Stan Lee/ Jack Kirby), so give me time.
As always, DeFalco and Frenz craft fine, Silver Age flavored fun. It's not hip, it's not dark, gritty, or edgy, but I love it for that very reason. Just because someone's 'voice' isn't “kewl” doesn't mean that it sucks. 
Tales of Asgard artwork by Gary Hartle
The OCD zone- This has thin coated paper that gives the colors a somewhat washed out appearance. I quite like it, as it looks like newsprint while feeling like something of quality. The blacks look soft, and the colors are not garish. While I wouldn't want this paper on a high end hardcover, I love it on an inexpensive trade paperback collection like this.

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