Hey, everybody. As a struggling comic book fan, I find it more and more difficult to discover comics worth reading. But there’s still stuff out there worth checking out, and more and more, it’s found in the All Ages rack of your local comic book store.
While most of Marvel’s mainstream offerings are dull and / or wretched, not everything produced by this comic book giant is terrible. Some of it is both fun and impressive in both its storytelling technique and subtlety. That’s right. I’m saying it right here, for the record, that Marvel’s kid’s comics are far more interesting and nuanced than anything going on in their so-called more mature comics.
But today’s recommendation is mostly fun. It’s a digest compilation of four issues od the Marvel Adventures anthology comic. Each issue features a different hero and tells a complete story. So in Marvel Adventures: Thor, we’re treated to four stories of five different Marvel Heroes.
First up, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man team-up to stop an omnipotent cosmic entity from devouring the very fabric of the universe. What’s amazing here is the amount of quality writing crammed into this single story. Characterization, adventure, humor, and otherworldly weirdness are handled with such a deft touch that this sets a high standard for the rest of these stories to come. In particular, the portrayal of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man (and their interplay) is just a treat.
Next up, Ant-Man! Yes, Ant-Man! Who doesn’t like Ant-Man? Well, maybe a lot of people don’t. And who can blame them? He’s kind of a dumb superhero. He can talk to ants. He can shrink. Not exactly prime superhero material. But here, once again, we find what exceptional writing can do. The humor is spot on, and it really shines through, making Ant-Man a worthy character after all.
Then, Thor! I have to say that of all these stories, Thor’s is probably the weakest. It never quite clicked in the same way as all the others, but considering how awesome the other three are, that’s not much of a slight.
Finally, we have a Captain America story, and once again, the origin of a character is told in stellar fashion. While it’s hard to retell an origin without seeming like something we’ve seen a million times before, this one manags to give an abridged backstory of cap, bring him into the present day, introduce his sidekick Rick Jones, and have the nefarious Hydra in a flying saucer. And there’s even a short backup story here taking place before Cap wound up frozen. Good stuff.
At only $10, this little digest is packed with comic book reading goodness. Highly recommended for anyone looking for some worthy comic book action.