Images & Words – THOR: The Mighty Avenger #6

[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. equal parts review and diatribe, the post highlights the most memorable/infuriating/entertaining book released that wednesday]

It’s Wednesday! And today is an especially wonderful Wednesday as it is the day before Thanksgiving! In an effort to prepare for our annual harvest festival of reprehensible origins, many of us have been given a half-day of work. Numbered among these fortunate folks, I have made the best use possible of my newfound free time: reading comics.

So what’s this week’s best release, the single issue that entertained and thrilled and intrigued more than any other? This honor belongs to THOR: The Mighty Avenger #6. If you’ve been following this series, you’re probably not surprised. In its short run, THOR: The Mighty Avenger has established itself as an incredibly well-rounded rounded book, providing humor and action and visuals that maintain a universal appeal. If I had to guess, I would say that this series will not only rack up a ton of Eisners but secure a dedicated readership for many moons.

What’s that? Oh. Well. Goddamn.

The sixth issue of the hunky blond‘s most recently canceled series is phenomenal. Of course it is. As we just went over, it was canceled, meaning that it isn’t the cookie-cutter hogwash that sells. It seems as though all of the most amazing things are taken away from us prematurely, leaving the same bullshit to be shoveled down our throats.

THOR: The Mighty Avenger #6 alternates between two connected narratives. In one story, we see Thor battling Heimdall in attempt to cross the rainbow bridge into Asgard. Although Thor is Heimdall’s b-boy, he has been ordered by Odin to prevent his crossing. He’s all all, “Bro, I want to let you cross but you broke the rules. So go learn your lesson about humility and we’ll be square.” Thor, hothead that he is, moves in for an attack and Heimdall summons transmutational powers. Long story short – Heimdall thwarts his wayward friend by turning into a fire-beast and then a dragon.

Sure, this scene is whimsical and fantastic but it’s also grounded in genuine sentiment. Heimdall doesn’t want to have to oppose Thor, as he makes clear:

Do not make me carry out those orders, Thor. Force not my hand, as you say, we are brothers. I told you…I have my orders. I am to stop you at any cost from entering the kingdom. To have to turn my full power on you in earnest…this would truly break even my mighty heart in two.

Occasionally, we all have to take a friend aside and say, “You’re being a butthead. Cut the crap.” THOR: The Mighty Avenger shows such a scenario playing out on a godly scale.

The second of the comic’s two interwoven stories involves the lovely Jane Foster. Realizing that he has work to finish on Earth, Thor decides to make the most of his time. In this episode, enjoying the ride means whisking away Jane for a twilight picnic. The destination – Norway, to see the Northern Lights.

And how did the mimbo get his lovely to this locale? Well, he used one of three allowed horn-blowings that summon a magic chariot. When Jane protests Thor’s usage of such limited resources, he reassures her of his affection:

You were there. When I could only think of far-off worlds, and rainbows, and frost giants…when the only things from home I knew were as intangible as smoke…You were there.

And you were real.

Goddamn. That’s a dude who is straight-up smitten. We’ve all been there. And that’s exactly why this comic is so damn successful. Are most of us gods capable of flight and tossing lightning bolts? No. In fact, very few of us are. But we’ve all had squabbles with friends and done our best to impress potential romantic partners.

It’s a serious shame that THOR: The Mighty Avenger is getting the axe. In its place I’m sure there’ll be plenty of comics with hyper-vulgarity, over-sexualized women, and bullshit “events” that’ll only be rescinded months later. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the comics-industry beast. But I am making a promise to myself to send my dollars to whichever books writer Roger Langridge and artist Chris Samnee land next. You should too.

But first, make sure that you pick up every issue of THOR: The Mighty Avenger you can get your grubby mitts on.