♦Tripwire gave its Editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS the task of reviewing IDW’s Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition…
Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition
Writer/ Artist: Walter Simonson
Marvel’s 1980s Thor was one of the first comics I read religiously. I was a DC reader as a kid but I would borrow Thor from my brother. As soon as Simonson came on board, he transformed the book, taking it back to the sort of epic grandeur that Kirby excelled at. So it made perfect sense that IDW editor Scott Dunbier would choose it as one of the first IDW Artist’s Editions. IDW have created a unique niche for themselves as the guardians of comics history.
This book reprints The Mighty Thor 337-340 and issues# 360-362. We get to see the first appearance of Beta Ray Bill, Simonson’s alien warrior and Thor’s descent into the underworld, to pick out just two plot highlights here. There is a mythic beauty and an elegant simplicity to Simonson’s work here that the larger format really helps to enhance the readers’ experience. Simonson has always been one of the most dynamic and kinetic modern comic artists and just like Manhunter, his run on The Mighty Thor showcases one of the best comics storytellers of the last fifty years.
Simonson has always been a master of high fantasy too and The Mighty Thor feels like a clever synthesis of Lee and Kirby’s Thor with Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings and it also tips its hat to the Norse legends, showing off the creator’s obvious love and passion for these legends. There is also a sense of scale and drama to Simonson’s art that very few other comic artists manage to achieve.
IDW have utilised special features like acetate so we can enjoy the cover to 337 with and without its logo. Editor Scott Dunbier has done a marvelous job as ever of bringing all this together and offering a book that is the closest you can get to owning the original art without spending a fortune. The reproduction is incredible, giving you the chance to appreciate the creator’s work in a way unlike any previous reprint edition published of this work.
Marvel’s The Mighty Thor was part of the company’s 1980s renaissance and it was appropriate that IDW made some of Simonson’s important run part of their Artist’s Edition line. This summer, they will be publishing a second volume reprinting more of Simonson’s Thor run, which will be one of the season’s highlights. For fans of high quality comicbook superhero fantasy, this book needs to be on their book shelves. The story’s impact remains undiminished despite the fact that, as of this writing, it is 34 years old.