Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review- THOR: THUNDERSTRIKE

THOR: THUNDERSTRIKE (Marvel, 2011; Softcover)
Collects Thor Nos. 408, 431-433, 457-459 and Thunderstrike No. 1. (cover dates October, 1989 -June, 1993)
Writer: Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz
Artists: Ron Frenz, Herb Trimpe, and Al Milgrom
Yeah, this early '90s comic book mullet flavored cheese, but it's so much fun that you have to love it. Who doesn't like cheese, anyways? For real. Kidding aside, this is a really good read by DeFalco and company. These arcs show how Eric Masterson first became Thor, and how he eventually became Thunderstrike. Yeah, this is filled with early '90s !!!eXtreme!!!-ness, but it's still fun stuff and a worthwhile escapist read.
As I've stated ad nauseum, DeFalco and Frenz were the creative team on my golden age of Amazing Spider-Man in 1984-85, picking up right after the tail end of the Roger Stern/ John Romita, Jr. era that I stumbled onto with issue 239 in January (actual month, April cover date) of 1983. Little did I realize what a creative renaissance the title was having at that time. I just knew that I liked it. A lot. 
Herb Trimpe also does a few issues worth of artwork here, and like Frenz, he might not be the “greatest” technical artist, but both are great comic book artists, meaning that they get the medium and offer clear and concise storytelling. There is much more to a comic book than pretty pictures. There is panel layout, panel composition, etc., and these cats have Marvel's Silver Age formula down pat. It's unfortunate that Trimpe would, in a short time, trade in his classic Marvel style artwork for a blasphemous Image-flavored artwork.
I enjoy light-hearted fare like this, where the hero and the villain are clearly defined. It is amusing, however, that Thunderstrike was poised to be the '90s answer to Thor, more in tune with the times. Bloodaxe and Shatterfist are just two of the craptastic early '90s villains that we see here. The '90s quickly became such an ugly decade for Marvel Comics.
The OCD zone- This has the same nice, matte finish, thin coated stock paper as the Thor: The Black Galaxy Saga trade paperback. The reproduction and restoration are both crisp and clear.

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