Best Shots Extra: THOR #615 Reviewed! (First Fraction/Ferry)

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Thor #615

Written by Matt Fraction

Art by Pasqual Ferry

Colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Letters by Neurotic Cartoonist, Inc.

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by George Marston

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After J. Michael Straczynski's epic resurgence of Thor's mythos and title, and Kieron Gillen's consistent continuation of the story that lead to Marvel's "Siege" crossover, Thor is now poised to reclaim, once and for all, it's position as one of Marvel's flagship titles. Who better to bring the God of Thunder back to the forefront than Matt Fraction, a writer who has seen great success in rejuvenating titles such as "Invincible Iron Man," "Uncanny X-Men," "Immortal Iron Fist," and even did some stellar work with a series of Thor one-shots over the last few years? That rising star Pasqual Ferry is on board for art chores only sweetens the pot, and while Straczynski's run was all about bringing Thor back to his roots, Fraction's is already shaping up to be about bringing him into the 21st century.

One of the hallmarks of the early days of Thor was the constant collision of cosmic elements with the Norse mythological cosmology. This high energy, high concept take on the legends of old was a decidedly modern direction when it began in the '60's, but over time, Thor began to shift more and more into the politics of Asgard, dealing less with the stars above it, and more with that which lay in the nine worlds below it. With this first issue in his run, Matt Fraction moves out of Asgard, out of the nine worlds, and out of our universe to present a cosmic threat that is fresh while still recognizable as purely Thor territory, and he manages to do so without losing the brevity, wit, and charm of his predecessors on this title. The dialogue springs with Fraction's grasp of each character's personality, and Thor in particular feels dead on.

Pasqual Ferry's art is a breath of fresh air.  While Olivier Coipel's pencils fit the solemn tone of Straczynski's stories, Ferry's clean and composed lines perfectly fit the cosmic and more futuristic nature of Fraction's opening volley. He brings a lot of that Jack Kirby weirdness to his characters, and it's certainly welcome. The Asgardians in this book look more like spacemen than period actors, but they never lose that viking charm that ties them to their roots. One could see these characters appearing in a Norse village and immediately being recognized as Gods. Likewise, the villains present in this story are menacing and modern, with enough of that classic Marvel feel to fit right in.

Those who are more interested in a period piece will be somewhat disappointed with this book, but those who are open minded enough to move forward with the God of Thunder and his fellow Asgardians look to be in for one hell of a ride. It's been a long time since I saw Thor wrestle a space monster, and with this run, I think I'm gonna get that chance. Now that he's been at the center of the Marvel U for a little while, it'll be nice to see Thor branching out of the solid roots laid by Straczynski and Gillen, branching out of Asgard, out of the nine worlds, and back towards the kind of out-there adventures his legacy was built on.

What do you think of this new era of Thor? What do you think of this new era of Thor?

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