WAR OF THE REALMS #6
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russel Dauterman
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
WOW!!! I'm seriously at a loss for words right now. The sheer magnificence and scope of this sprawling epic is unmatched in my eyes. Jason Aaron, Russel Dauterman and Matt Wilson have cemented themselves in comic book lore with their amazing event series WAR OF THE REALMS. In today's comic book market it's rare that a creator gets to see their vision to it's conclusion. Not only did Aaron get to do that with Thor, but on WOTR we got to see the entire creative team do every issue with no fill in artists. They produced 6 issues, 2 of which were oversized, in 3 months. When can you say that's ever happened. Never. The amount of love and detail explodes off the page with the amazing art of Russell Dauterman and the bombastic coloring of Matt Wilson. This was truly the event of all events.
OK let's talk story now. For those of you that haven't been reading this book, shame on you. This was Marvel's big Summer event this year, but it ended up being so much more. It's the last leg of Aaron's Thor run. It brings the long talked about War of the Realms to Midgard. Malekith and his evil forces have taken over Earth and go up against all of the heroes of Midgard. With tons of great character moments, (Daredevil becoming a God and being able to "see" everything to watching the Punisher go up against elves) this was a series that not only shows a deep love for Thor but that of the entire Marvel Universe.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THIS ISSUE
Malekith holed himself up at Stonhenge and cast a spell that made it so that only Thor could enter. With all hope was seemingly lost, Thor sacrificed his eye to Yggdrasil, the World Tree. It is here that Thor had to sacrifice the last piece of Mjolnir in order to gain wisdom. What he gained was the knowledge on how to defeat Malekith.
From there we see the most powerful team of thunder wielders ever assembled. Thor sends Mr. Fantastic and Thing to gather Old King Thor and Young Lad Thor to help. Even Lady Jane FosThor comes to their aid. It was just the loop hole that they needed to overcome Malekith.
This is a book that has gone all in on the spectacular. It doesn't shy away from anything, no matter how crazy it may seem. While the League of Thors are off fighting Malekith, who now has a symbiote attached to him, the heroes of Midgard find themselves against Laufey, the King of Frost Giants. It seems as though they're fighting a losing battle as Daredevil throws the sword of Heimdall and Laufey swallows it. But remember when Loki gave Laufey the chest with the storm inside. Well it was all apart of Loki's plan. Loki uses Heimdal's sword and kills his "father". I can't wait to see where Loki's story goes from here.
Ok back to the battle between Thor and Malekith. As their battle rages throught out the 10 realms, Thor loses his final hammer. But what do you think he's been doing this whole time. He's been calling the Mother Storm from across the galaxy, which he uses to forge Mjolnir once more. I couldn't help but jump for joy when I saw that panel. The final battle was one for the ages, beautiful orchestrated by Dauterman's phenomenal art.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
After defeating Malekith and all his forces, we get a tease of Jane Foster becoming Valkyrie, and what's to come. With Jane and Loki both getting series following this conclusion, it will be interesting to see what their future entails.
But let's not forget the true star of this book, Thor. With perhaps one of the most important pages in Thor's long history, ever produced, we see Odin finally step down and pronounce Thor, King of Asgard. Holy crap, what an ending. How this will play out in the future has yet to be revealed. With Aaron stepping off the title following the next arc, it leaves the door open to a world of possibilities. I don't envy the next write to take over this book. Aaron has left some big shoes to fill.
STORY AND ART
This has, without a doubt, been one of the best stories in Marvel's long history. Aaron will go down as arguably THE best Thor writer of all time, right next to Walt Simonson. With this being, in my opinion, THE best Thor story ever. He's weaved together stories over 7 years, which is no easy feat, and brought it together in such a perfect way. I can only think of one other run in comics that's executed a plan so flawlessly, Geoff Johns on GREEN LANTERN.
But we can't forget the amazing art. This book wouldn't be what it was without Dauterman and Wilson's artistic contributions. Dauterman was given free reign on his designs and cut loose in away that we rarely see. Every panel is elegantly executed and jumps off the page. No matter where Dauterman goes next in his career, he has firmly planted himself among the A-list artists. Wilson's colors are otherworldly, it's as if he's created a whole new palette of colors, of which we've never seem before. This has been of the most beautiful books on the stands over these past few months.
This was event that not only hit the mark, but surpassed it in every way. It's not often that a comic book event series lives up to the hype. While I do think there were way to many tie-ins, the main book along with the THOR tie-in issues were absolutely amazing.
I don't know if I'll ever see such an amazing run in comics again, in my lifetime. But I'm grateful to have experienced this grand epic in it's entirety. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you havent read this from the beginning, do yourself a favor and start from Aaron's first issue of Thor.
As someone who has been here from the start, I tip my hat off to you Mr. Aaron. Thank you for one of the greatest adventures I've ever ead in comics.