Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Logo & Symbols: Patrick McGrath
The War of Realms has finally come to Midgard. Nine realms have already fallen to the machinations of the Dark Elf Malekith and his villainous allies and now with the War of Realms #1 its earths turn to fall. The war has been a constant presence within Jason Aaron’s Thor comics for the past two years but now the war is front and center with Marvel’s latest event comic. Joined by his long time Thor collaborator Russell Dauterman Jason Aaron’s swan song has begun in the greatest way imaginable.
The War of Realms #1 is exactly what one would expect from a comic with this title. It has larger than life action, Ice Giants destroying lower Manhattan, and a collection of Earth’s Mightiest heroes (both current and former) joined by the Asgardian refuges standing as the last line of defense. There’s very little warm up to this main event as the book opens with an attack on Odin in what is left of old Asgard and the action only ramps up from there as the Dark Bifrost delivers every possible evil of the ten realms upon earth and its unsuspecting citizens. Unfortunately Thor finds himself far from earth while the Avengers deal with the eminent destruction of New York City and possibly Earth. Yet for all of the action there are some truly great character moments that readers have come to expect from Jason Aaron. Somehow Aaron is capable of making the reader feel not only the larger than life destruction but also the emotional toll the events of the War have had on not only Thor but his mother Freyja and even his brother Loki, whose past actions have dire ramifications in this issue.
When all is said and done, I have no doubt that Jason Aaron’s run on Thor will be held in the same regard as Walter Simonson’s and even possibly Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s as it has been that good. Over the course of several series Aaron has expanded upon not only who Thor is as a god and hero but has also brought another level of depth to Thor’s family, friends, and even his foes. Aaron has also recently taken over the Avengers and he weaves his current team into this book perfectly. Russell Dauterman’s art has only grown in quality since he joined Marvel a few years ago. What he and Aaron accomplished on the Mighty Thor with Jane Foster as Thor was brilliance and his work her has the potential to eclipse that book. The art in the War of Realms #1 is dense and delightful. The actions sequences are incredible and the detail in the quiet moments only amplify the growing tension in a book of this scale. Together Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman are creating another incredible comic that will close out one of the greatest modern runs on Thor since Walter Simonson in the ‘80s.
Verdict: War of Realms #1 is an incredible first issue of Marvel’s latest event and as the beginning of the end of Jason Aaron’s time with the Thunder God it is an absolute Buy!