Updated: Jan 24, 2020
WAR OF THE REALMS #1 Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Russell Dauterman Colorist: Matthew Wilson Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino Publisher: Marvel Comics
It's been six years since Jason Aaron started his epic run on Thor. When all is said and done, Aaron will surely go down as having written arguably, the best Thor run, next to Walt Simonson. From his tales of Thor Odinson wielding the hammer, to Thor becoming Unworthy and Jane Foster taking up the mantle of Thor. Aaron's run has been one of the most consistently entertaining books on the stands. He has been planting the seeds for this War of the Realms from the beginning. When Malekith was first sprung from his prison and became King of the Dark Elves, the plans for the war started to come to fruition. When he returned he slowly began to amass an army with plans to conquer the 10 Realms. Over the course of the past few years he has teamed up with a group of Thor's greatest enemies, including Loki, to assist him in his evil machinations. After years of anticipating this story, we finally get to see Aaron's plans come full circle. This has been one epic ride, and with this first issue it's clear we're barely at the surface.
From the beginning of the book, it's clear that Malekith's intentions are to hold no prisoners. He send his assassins to kill Odin. From there the action doesn't stop. Thor is attacked by the same assassins and Loki tells him that he's betrayed Malekith and wants to help. Of course Thor doesn't trust him, but demands he take him to Malekith. What happens next, I can say I didn't see coming. Iy wasn't Loki, but Malekith masquerading as Loki. He traps Thor in the Jotunheim, the Land of the Frost Giants, and continues hi assault on Midgard.
As Malekith and his forces tear through Midgard, the heroes begin to band together to take them on. This is where the book really begins to show the scope of how big this series will be. We have the Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil, even the Punisher joining this war. The scenes with Spider-Man were absolutely funny. It makes me wonder what a Spidey book from Aaron would be like...hmmm. Watching Cap throw his shield at Malekith and yelling "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!" made me throw my fists in the air out of excitement. So far this might be my favorite Marvel event book in the past 10 years. Perhaps the most shocking thing I could think of happens at the end of the book, Laufey, Loki's Frost Giant father, eats Loki. From that moment, it's clear that the stakes are high, with huge consequences.
Don't even get me started on Russell Dauterman's art, this dude is unbelievable. When Marvel put him on THE MIGHTY THOR, it was clear his pairing with Aaron was a match made in Heaven. He is one of the most versatile artist at Marvel right now. Every page is a visual masterpiece. The way he conveys each characters emotion is stunning. No two characters look alike and even their body language is unique to them. The way he illustrates an action scene is mind boggling. I mean look at that double page spread of Malekith's forces tearing through downtown New York. I hope he's got a book planned after this series concludes because all of us comic book fans need to see his art on a regular basis.
Matthew Wilson's colors bring Dauterman's art to life exquisitely. I don't know where he got his color palettte from, but they are out of this world. It's almost as if he traveled from Asgard to Hel to discover new colors we've never seen before. Wilson elevates this book to new heights and is an essential member of this team.
Overall, this is the book myself and many other fans have been waiting for. After 6 long years, the War of the Realms has come, and it didn't disappoint. Where will Aaron, take Thor next? I don't even want to think of a day that he's not writing Thor. But for now I will put that out of my mind and enjoy this grand epic of his and I hope you guys do too.