Thor by J. Michael Straczynski—Volume 1

thor by j michael straczynski volume 1 cover trade paperback tpb
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Tries to do something different with the character

Too derivative, too tongue-in-cheek for where the story is going

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Thor (Volume 3)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski

Artist: Olivier Coipel

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2008

thor #5 cover variant review

Thor (3) #5 Variant

Reprints Thor (3) #1-6 (September 2007-February 2008).  The cycle of Ragnarok has been broken, and the Asgardians are dead.  When Thor learns that he can restart life on his own accord, he decides to return to Earth.  Establishing Asgard in a small town in Oklahoma, Thor must find his people and bring them together.  The Asgardians are hidden among men, and not everyone is happy that Thor has returned.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Thor by J. Michael Straczynski—Volume 1 is a Marvel Comics superhero comic.  Following the events of Avengers Disassembled:  Thor, the collection features art by Olivier Coipel.  The issues in this collection were also collected as part of Thor by J. Michael Straczynski Omnibus.

I’m not a big fan of J. Michael Straczynski and this run on Thor was also not one of my favorites.  It always seems like Straczynski thinks he can write the stories of other people better and just co-ops them into his storylines.  I found the run really derivative of other Thor runs and though he was telling stories that had been told before, it felt like everyone fawned over him like it was the most original Thor story ever…it isn’t bad, but it isn’t that great either.

I will admit that Straczynski tried to do something different with Thor.  Thor is a notoriously tough character to write.  He’s too powerful, he’s literally died and been reborn (multiple times), and he has been human before.  Stracynski brought Thor and the Asgardians to Earth, and tried to mix the story with humor and tongue-in-cheek type of references (aka everyone treats the Asgardians like they are just new neighbors who happen to have a city floating near a small town), but it seems like it doesn’t go anywhere here in the collection with Stracynski simply having an idea for a story with not enough plans for execution.

thor #6 cover variant j michael straczynski

Thor (3) #6 Variant

The awakening of gods has also been done before (and done again after).  The whole idea of “sleeper” agents that don’t realize who they are isn’t original.  Movies like The Matrix and Dark City and comic books like The Invisible have explored this idea of implanted agents…even Thor himself with the Donald Blake persona was a sleeper agent.  It isn’t original and it feels a bit tedious as this point.  A good contrast would be Neil Gaiman’s limited series Eternals which virtually did the same thing but demonstrated better writing and storytelling…something that Strazynski doesn’t really have a grasp on.

Michael Strazynski’s Thor had a big impact on the Thor movie. The film borrowed a lot of elements from it and as a result, it was one of the weaker Marvel movies. Thor is best when he’s a god, and Strazynski tries to make a god but almost turns being an Asgardian into being a joke.  It doesn’t honor the character and it doesn’t really reinvent the concept or idea of Thor.  I could already argue that relaunching Thor after the Ragnarok was a problematic choice, but as a comic book reader, I knew Thor wouldn’t stay “dead”.  J. Michael Strazynski’s Thor run continues in Thor by J. Michael Strazynski—Volume 2.

Related Links:

Avengers Disassembled:  Thor

Thor by J. Michael Strazynski—Volume 2

Thor by J. Michael Strazynski—Volume 3

Thor (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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