The Mighty Thor Ragnarok Review

Time to check out one of the classic Thor story arcs. We’ve seen Ragnarok mentioned many times in the Thor mythos and the event is one that is still being done today. The destruction of the gods is something that is naturally hard to stick, but this may have been the first time that it happened in the comics. It’s a pretty good story arc although the twist may be dicey for some fans.

Before the actual plot starts, we get a story where Thor helps a kid who is being bullied. Thor tells the kid that there is always someone stronger and remembers a time where he and Loki were trolled by a powerful titan. He seemed so much stronger than the two of them that is was hard to believe that such a being could actually be real. It was an entertaining story and I appreciated the twist that time since the whole situation would have been pretty humiliating otherwise.

Now, the real story occurs in Asgard, away from the problems of the mortals. Thor heads there and discovers that a camera crew has been brought in by Loki to witness the end of Asgard. Thor isn’t sure how Loki escaped his imprisonment, but it matters little as Asgard comes under attack by legions of adversaries. Making matters worse is the fact that one of the cameramen is able to best Thor in a fight and steal Mjolnir. Without his trusty hammer, will Thor be able to defend the kingdom and stop the Midgard Serpent? It’s definitely going to be a difficult fight.

The event that everyone feared got to finally occur and it was handled pretty well. That being said, the twist is major and it will affect how you look at the issues during your next read. A spoiler for this arc is coming up so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know about it. I’ll just give you an extra sentence here so that you can skip away…………………..the whole event is a ruse by Odin. He pretended that Ragnarok was upon Asgard so that the villains would make their move and Odin could weaken them. He made an illusion of Loki appear and he choreographed everything. The deaths were real though so this came at a high price, but now the villains won’t be ready to strike Asgard for many centuries to come. Still, this was certainly not a heroic move on Odin’s part and you can understand why the heroes would be upset with him. He also tries to stop Thor from going back to Earth once again so Thor disobeys him and gets banished from Asgard. Odin likely won’t be earning any new fans from this collection.

Thor looks nice and heroic as he should. The first comic takes place back when he was very arrogant and he definitely didn’t mind insulting Loki back then. Loudly proclaiming that he was Odin’s true son, he marched headfirst into each battle, never doubting his victory. That’s definitely a version of Thor that likely has many fans and then the rest of the issues deal with a more experienced version of the character. Thor is still confident, but not in a rude way and he is always ready to give a fight his all. I agree with him in the decision to go to Earth since the planet would be in a dire spot without him. I have no qualms with how he was portrayed.

Odin doesn’t look very good as I explained in the spoiler paragraph. He makes some very questionable decisions and ordering Thor to stay away from Earth at this point in time is like asking Thor to disobey him. The main camera man was pretty good. He definitely presumed much when he asked Thor to take him to Asgard and he really didn’t think that one through. Even if he got some footage, it would be hard to ever go back there again. He may be a nice guy, but he’s not the smartest one.

Red Norvell is one of the big villains of the story after he gains the abilities of Thor. They have a decent fight although the outcome is certainly suspect. It was pretty circumstantial, but it was still pretty sad to see him grab Mjolnir and defeat Thor so handily. He’s not a likable character and while he did have a change of heart by the end, it’s really hard to root for him. He’s very full of himself and Red Norvell’s actions nearly jeopardize the whole planet. He also takes a life, which is something that he cannot take back. No, Red Norvell is definitely no hero.

Aside from him, other villains include the Frost Giants and the Midgard Serpent. The Serpent certainly has changed over the years. This design is still green and very large, but his eyes are very menacing. I wish that they had kept this design for the future comics. Loki is also present of course and he looks true to form. He’s always got a trick up his sleeve, as befitting the trickster. Hela also gets some props as Odin backs away when confronted by her. When in her dimension, it would seem that she is even stronger than him. The Hype Train just got derailed….

This is one of the classic Marvel comics so the art is naturally very good. You can tell that a lot of effort was put into it and all of the character designs look great. These are the characters that Marvel fans grew up with and you can immediately see why they are known as the definitive design for most of the characters who are present. You can’t have a great comic with bad art and having consistently good art helps to elevate the series to new heights.

It almost goes without saying that the writing is very enjoyable and it plays a large part in why the comic is good. Thor’s manner of speaking is pretty catchy and it provides a nice contrast to the slang that the humans use when they appear. Some of the slang words of hard to recognize because they simply haven’t been used in many decades. That’s how old the comic is, but this works in its favor. There are some unlikable characters like Red Norvell, but he’s not nearly as bad as he could have been.

Overall, This is a good Thor collection to check out. The stakes are high and we get to see how he handles facing an army without Mjolnir. The Midgard Serpent also gets its props as he looks very good against the heroes. The only part of the collection that isn’t great is Red Norvell and I don’t see why Sif went with him. It was to protect Asgard, but she should have just been confident that she could have defeated him along with Thor and the others. That scene was pretty frustrating for fans and Red Norvell went way too far. His big change of heart is very hard to buy into. The short story at the beginning was also enjoyable. One little thing to note is that the collection is very small and you’ll be able to zip through it in well under an hour. At only around 120 pages, it feels shorter than the average collection. Still, Quality>>>Quantity right? I recommend checking this out if you’re looking for a well written action comic and it’ll help to tide you over until Avengers Age of Ultron hits theaters in around 2 months.

Overall 7/10

The Indestructible Hulk Volume 2 Gods and Monster Review

I was impressed with the first volume in this series as it can be very difficult to make the Hulk/Bruce Banner into a likable character. The Hulk is back to his nearly mindless self, but he still has enough control to keep from hurting his friends. What really tips the scales for this series is the fact that Bruce Banner is really likable. That has been pulled off before as seen in the Avengers movie, but I still don’t typically like him as a character in the comics. This writer really gets him and it would be cool if Bruce could always look this good. This volume is about as good as the last one, which means that it’s very enjoyable!

The volume is really divided into two story arcs. The first part of the volume sees Bruce Banner lead his team of researchers into the home of the Frost Giants. They are there to steal some of the lifeblood of the planet to use for either a cure or an invention. I forget which at the moment, but you already have to question their mission. This does look like the humans are instigating the battle with the Frost Giants this time right? Well, their journey gets an unexpected twist when the heroes realize that they have time traveled to the past. Thor doesn’t know them and getting back to the present may be difficult. This arc was certainly a lot of fun.

The second half involves a team up with Daredevil. The Hulk is sent on another mission and this time he’s attacking a base that Baron Zemo runs. Daredevil is able to provide some assistance for a while, but the Hulk starts to turn back into his mindless self. Can Daredevil survive this encounter long enough to calm the Hulk down? It’s going to take all of his skills to achieve such a feat! This story was pretty good as well. It’s not quite as fun as the first half and the art is not quite as good, but it’s still a very solid adventure that you will be glad you read.

Bruce Banner definitely looks pretty good as mentioned earlier. My one gripe is that he was pretty rude in the first arc. Thor was really having too much fun to notice or to care, but Bruce just seemed like another person when around him. The Hulk and Thor have always been rivals so maybe that Banner still feels a little aggressive towards the prince of Asgard. Aside from that, he still proves to be a heroic individual. He got to develop a new phone that is difficult to trace and now he is trying to cure a disease that currently has no cure. Banner is definitely making the most out of this opportunity and maybe he will actually get to end the series on a high note. I am guessing that something big will happen to restore Banner back to being on the run, but hopefully this isn’t the case. He deserves a good fate once in a while right?

Thor’s portrayal is certainly very good. This is Thor from the classic days so he still thinks of humans as little more than playthings. He also has a lot of fun when fighting. Thor’s grin never goes away and you can certainly feel how confident he is of victory. This does allow his fighting to get a little sloppy and the Frost Giants get closer to Earth than they should have, but I wouldn’t call it a power inaccuracy since Thor is clearly toying with the villains. I would be pleased if Thor was portrayed like this more often. There is also a scene involving Mjolnir that will prove entertaining for Thor fans. After the Ultimate Avengers film, writers love bringing this situation up to show what should happen? What is the situation in question? You will need to watch the film or read this comic to find out!

Daredevil’s portrayed as he should be. He’s still a very good lawyer who doesn’t bow down to Shield. He may have a moment or two where he feels fear and doesn’t seem to mind admitting it, but I’ll let it slide since just about everyone is afraid of the Hulk. His hand to hand skills are impressive and he does a good job of avoiding the Hulk, but not in a way that will make you wince. I can buy the scenes and that’s the important part. Daredevil could certainly hold his own series if he was always like this, but I also like him as a guest star. That role may suit him more than any other.

That’s really it as far as the main characters go. Maria Hill’s rivalry with Bruce Banner is starting to get a little dangerous as she threw him out of a plane without a parachute. Having the ability to transform into the Hulk at will definitely has its perks like in that scene, but it’s still pretty risky. Baron Zemo appears briefly, but there’s not much to say about him. He certainly can’t hold his own against the Hulk so he dashes away at top speed. I’m guessing that we’ve seen the last of him, but maybe he’ll return.

The plot involving Banner’s suspicious teammates is put on hold for the most part. They’re around during the Thor story, but only one of them gets any real character development. Banner still has to go on many missions as the Hulk so he’s not given a lot of time with them. He keeps mentioning how he selected them for a specific purpose and I’m waiting for one of them to turn traitor, but it hasn’t happened just yet. I suppose that will just mean that I have more plots to look forward to in the future!

The art switches once the arc shifts into the Daredevil adventure. I am definitely a fan of the art from the first half more than the second, but they both look good. The first one is more on the retro side since there is time travel involved while the second one looks more like the first volume. The pages are very detailed and the artist does a good job of not overdoing it while still making the art look unique. There are certainly no Marvel/DC comics that I am aware of, which currently use this style.

Overall, The Indestructible Hulk has done it once more. This comic was very interesting and a blast to read. The series is quickly establishing itself as the definitive Hulk title. Once again, there are really no issues to be found with the series and it is too bad that the comic had such a short run. I shall definitely keep an eye out for the next volumes. I highly recommend this to all comic fans. It is a great action title and the writing is exceptional. You can’t ask for a better combo than that right? It should also be noted that Agent Coulson appears as a guest star. He helps out against the Frost Giants and proves that he is still one of the tougher agents in Shield. That is yet another reason to check out this volume!

Overall 7/10

Natsume (Gakuen Alice) vs Natsu

Looks like it’s a double debut in this match folks! It’s particularly surprising that Natsu hadn’t appeared until now, but better late than never. Both of these fighters use the fire element to their advantage. Natsume does have some mastery over fire and is regarded as a dangerous fighter, but he’s not going to be able to defeat Natsu. Natsu has been in many insanely difficult fights over the last few years and he continues to get stronger and stronger. I would certainly consider him to be around Naruto-Tsuna level in battle strength, which is no small feat. I don’t think that Natsume would be able to keep up with his speed and Natsu’s sheer power will ensure that only a few direct hits are necessary. He claims victory in this battle of flames. Natsu wins.

Hanon vs Superman

Hanon is back once more and now he’s up against the Man of Steel! Superman is a powerful opponent who is easily the strongest comic book character of all time. As such, it’s always fun to compare him to the various anime powerhouses. As per usual, Superman simply can’t win this round because of the gap in speed between them. Hanon’s combat speed is off the charts and his destructive energy attacks will eventually take Superman down for the count. Being stronger than a locomotive simply isn’t enough this time. Hanon wins.

Pokemon Trainer vs James Bond

The Pokemon Trainer is back to get another win and cement himself in the positive area of the blog records. James Bond is a tricky fellow with all of the equipment that he has accumulated over the years, but it simply won’t be enough to stop the Pokemon Trainer. This kid has caught three Pokemon so far and they will be able to lead him to victory! James Bond simply isn’t quick enough to dodge their attacks. Pokemon Trainer wins.

Hanon vs One Above All

After getting crushed by Bass, Hanon is now back to rack up some wins. His first opponent will be the legendary One Above All. Luckily for Hanon, The One Above All is currently all hype and no feats. It makes for a pretty good matchup since Hanon just needs to land one good hit to win the match. With his firepower, that shouldn’t be a problem. Hanon wins.

Pokemon Trainer vs One Above All

The One Above All may have fought many times on the blog, but it’s hard to say whether the extra experience has actually managed to help him or not. After a while, yous simply can’t absorb much more experience right? The One Above All has fought well over 100 fighters at this point and grabbing a win is still difficult. He may be able to last a minute here, but a quick punch will take him out. Pokemon Trainer wins.

Balki Bartokomous vs Ghost Rider

Balki Bartokomous is back, but now he’s here to lose against Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider is a powerful being who defeats opponents while riding on his motorcycle. That certainly takes a great deal of power and finesse. We’ve never seen Balki display such skill and he’s only as strong as the average human. A single punch will be able to knock him out of commission. Ghost Rider wins.

Rand al’thor vs Link

Rand al’thor makes his mark on the blog with this fight, but he will not be able to win. His spells are formidable to be sure, but Link is no stranger to magic. He can counter Rand’s blasts with his Dins fire and Links agility will also ensure that he stays away from the magical attacks. His safest bet is just to destroy Rand as soon as the match begins with a good Light Arrow. I don’t see Rand surviving such an attack. Link wins.

Lazerman vs X Man

X Man is a pretty powerful fighter, but he’s out of his league against the mighty Lazerman. Lazerman easily outranks him in pure speed as well as power. A good Disruption Blast will break through X Man’s defenses and deal some major damage. Lazerman may have taken a long break from the blog, but now he’s back and he’s ready to roll! Lazerman wins.