I’m heathy again this week and I’m back from the comic shop. I got 3 new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Buffy Season Eight – 11
  • Walking Dead – 46
  • Jack Staff – 14
  • Marvel Monsters HC
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • Thor – “The Eternals Saga”
  • This trade paperback collects some issues of Thor that first appeared in 1978-1979. I had, and still have, some of them on my shelf. I remember liking them when they first came out (I was twelve) but haven’t done much but glance at them in the past thirty years. Has it really been that long? These are from the time when I first started buying Thor off of the stands and it’s always a crap shoot reading comics I liked as a kid. Some of them age well but a lot don’t.

    The first thing I noticed was how dense these issue are. They are written by Roy Thomas who is famous (or infamous depending) for dense writing. I never noticed this as a kid but comics were denser in general back then. This is also one of the first really long stories that I remember. This volume is two hundred pages and the story finishes up in a second volume (which I don’t have yet).

    “The Eternals Saga” a story with a grand scope. It involves Jack Kirby’s cosmic characters “The Eternals”, the Greek gods, and the Norse gods. Everybody is a super being or a god. Over the years whenever new writers take over the reigns of Thor they always say that they want to make him more relatable. Too many gods and too much god speak (i.e. fake Shakespearian language). This is the stuff the are referring to.

    The Norse gods have always been unique because of Ragnarok. That’s the term for the end of the gods. It all comes crashing down and the gods die. What is odd is that the gods know it’s coming. It’s all outlined in prophecy. Since Thor is all about the Norse gods Ragnarok is on their minds. They don’t want to die. Running through the narrative is the story of Odin (Thor’s dad who our day of the week “Wednesday” is named after – “Woden’s day”) trying to stave off Ragnarok. That really comes to a head in the next volume as this one has more Eternals stuff going on in it.

    This is a well crafted book. The art is by a few people with the main guys being Keith Pollard inked by Chic Stone. It takes a while to read but I enjoyed that fact. Comics aren’t made in this style much anymore but it seemed fresh to me. Maybe it’s that “everything that’s old is new again” thing but this book didn’t seem in the least bit dated or old fashioned. It was exciting and that is not nostalgia talking.

    It could be that the new “decompressed” storytelling is about twelve years old now (I consider it to have started with Warren Ellis’ “Storm Watch” in 1996) and is looking rather long in the tooth these days. Much like in popular music, despite what singing style is in vogue, standards from a past era can always pop up and be hits. I think Marvel and DC are discovering they have old “standards” now that are not just the “historic” issues (Amazing Fantasy 15, Fantastic Four 1, Hulk 181, Giant Size X-Men 1, Dark Knight Returns) but are the well told tales by the solidly talented artists and writers of the day. This could be one of those late 70’s standards. Give it a read.