WAR OF THE REALMS: STRIKEFORCE-THE LAND OF GIANTS #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Jorge Molina
Inks: Adriano Di Benedetto
Colors: David Curiel
9/10 (Story: 10/10 Art: 9/10)
The connotation of war always bears a feeling of impending doom and it’s no different in comics. We like to think of great events like this as an all out slugfest, especially with a build-up of 7 years. Tie-ins, for me, usually hold no weight to fuel the main story and usually fall into the cracks of oblivion. WAR OF THE REALMS feels different. I am currently immersed in every single title bearing the WOTR title. Every single team-up (both in the comics and in the Writing/Arty) situation occurring right now has been fun and fast paced. I can not emphasize it enough. Everyone has been great. But even in large scale events like this, there are always stand-outs and it should be no surprise that the stand out thus far would have to be Tom Taylor’s Strikeforce - The Land Of Giants.
Now, I understand that this past NCBD just dropped 6 WOTR titles on us and the timelines for each issue continues to bounce around, but the writing has all been strong with Tom Taylor’s contribution being my favorite of all the tie-ins so far. In The Land Of Giants, we find ourselves on Avengers Mountain, viewing the Northern Lights from the perspective of our favorite web-head, Spider-Man, after the events of WOTR #3. Taylor’s humanizing of our favorite wallcrawler continues from his FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN run and gives a relatable perspective on the war of the realms from the inside. The time of reflection is cut short by Captain America, with the revelation of Thor’s whereabouts and the team’s mission to save him. That team being Peter, Cap, Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. Before the mission commences, the is told to arm themselves with weapons you’d see out of the D&D Players handbook, attributes and all. Taylor’s humanizing Of Peter hold’s true from here on. Peter, abiding by his strict ‘No Smiting” policy, opts out of weapons and decides to bulk up with a shield an a helmet, not knowing what enchantments they hold. They set off on their mission on the backs of the group Pegasus whose Valkyrie owners fell in the initial battles against Malekith’s forces. Their search for Thor is quickly met with opposition in the form of Frost Giants, where all but one Pegasus survives. It’s here where we find out what perks Spidey’s Helmet is capable of: talk to animals +6. He communicates with the Pegasus and it’s revealed that Spidey’s stead just so happens to be the Pegasus Queen (I know, right?) and that she and her fallen kin rode with them by choice. It’s here Taylor exhibits to the audience the levity in finding Thor and the importance of defeating Malekith. The Avengers ride one and we are bombarded with beautifully sequenced action panels. The finale of the issue is a somber one and it’s clear that The Dark Elf King must be stopped and all the fallen of all realms must be Avenged.
Tom Taylor's well paced use of dialogue (Particularly Spidey’s) is in top form here. Using just the right amount of words, he makes excellent use of caption bubbles. Every word counts and with all the fantastic panels provided by Molina and letters by Sabino, the sequential storytelling is seamless and organic. If you decide to read any of the War of the Realms Tie-ins, this is the one.