If Asgard could be fitted so neatly into the format of the superhero comic, it may be partly due to the fact that, since the advent of Superman, writers and artists had been working with such models consciously or half-consciously in mind. Without engaging in any exhaustive structural comparisons, it should be clear that the major pantheons of gods have certain features in common. The gods need somewhere to live— Asgard or Olympus— which is both remote and yet conveniently at hand, and comprehensible as a superlative form of the castles and palaces inhabited by earthly kings and queens. Odin’s palace in Asgard, Valhalla, may have 540 doors, each wide enough to admit 800 men marching abreast, but it is still the palace of a warrior king: an astonishing structure built from familiar materials. None of this is wholly different from— say— the Fantastic Four’s Baxter Building headquarters, or Wayne Mansion.
Richard Reynolds, “Deciphering The Myths,” from Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology (1992)
Doctor Doom may have taken over the universe and become God to all…but life goes on. And where there is life, there is love. Even those blessed with extraordinary powers can’t escape the tangles of relationships or the burning of desire. Secret Wars: Secret Love #1, the newest title to come out of Marvel’s Battleworld event, showcases the many forms love can take and the troubles that come with it. This book contains five stand-alone stories, by a host of talented creators, featuring some of the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe.
First up, we find out if the love between Daredevil and Karen Page can survive the end of the world in Guilty Pleasure, written and illustrated by Michel Fiffe. The art for this story is vivid and loose, capturing an indie feeling not typical of Marvel house style. It’s a nice break and fits the narrative perfectly. Next comes the cover story, Fan of A Fan written and illustrated by Felipe Smith. This story features two of the newest and most well received heroes of Marvel’s all-new initiative: Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel and Robbie Reyes aka Ghost Rider. Fans of either series are sure to love this crossover. Felipe’s art is as dynamic and colorful as ever and his narrative style is well rounded, finding room for action, romance and humor in a few short pages. So, do sparks fly between these two sweet and ultra-powerful heroes? You’ll just have to read it to find out. Our third story, Misty and Danny Forever examines the turbulence of marriage and what it takes to stay together. Jeremy Whitley spins a sweet story that shows these heroes for hire are no different than you or me. The art, by Gurihiru, channels a familiar Disney art style that adds to the familial nature of this narrative. The fourth story, Squirrel Girl Wins A Date with Thor is…just what it promises to be. Marguerite Bennett delivers a story with equal parts heart and laughter with Kris Anka’s art supporting and capitalizing on all the best scenes. The final story in this book, Happy Ant-iversary, is a quick short about the love between an ant and wasp. Written and illustrated by Katie Cook, this clever narrative features a number of charming bug puns playing off various members of the Marvel Universe.
All the stories in this title capture the various ways love can find and affect us. The stories styles, narratively and artistically couldn’t be different, yet the theme of the overall book is never lost. Here’s hoping a few of these narratives are picked up in #2 and perhaps beyond. If you loved what you read and want more content from any of these creators be sure to check out the following titles. All-New Ultimates (2014-2015) written by Michel Fiffe, Ghost Racers, written by Felipe Smith, Princeless written by Jeremy Whitley, Thor and the Warriors Four art by Gurihiru, Max Ride: First Flight by Marguerite Bennett, Uncanny X-Men (2013-2015) #23 by Kris Anka, and Gronk: A Monster’s Story Vol. 1 written by Katie Cook.
hey! what would you recommend for someone who wants to get into thor comics (and sif although i already read JiM #646-655)
well ok I am not actually too well-versed in thor comics to be completely honest. I haven’t really read much pre-ragnarok thor (ragnarok was when like. everyone died? it happens in avengers disassembled: thor and it’s kinda weird but basically thor stops the ragnarok cycle and hibernates but everyone thinks he’s dead for a while).
so I will rec what I know here (everything is basically chronological, starting after disassembled):
siege is one of my favorite marvel events, and it focuses a LOT on the asgardians. unfortunately, matt fraction’s the mighty thor, which deals with the aftermath of siege, is kind of terrible? well at least the first volume is super boring, I didn’t bother reading the rest tbh. it crosses over with journey into mystery at some point, but JIM is waaaaayyyyy better written than TMT so you can skip ahead to
thor: season one, matt sturges and pepe larraz (an updated condensed version of thor’s origin story and JANE!!!!!!! jane is adorable)
aaaand that pretty much exhausts my knowledge of asgardian comics. I’ve read a few issues of the 1960s JIM for funsies but other than that my knowledge of pre-ragnarok asgardian comics is like. non-existent. probably ask someone who???? cares more about the asgardian side of things?????
I want to start reading Thor again, where should I start?
Hello! By start reading Thor again, I assume you have some knowledge of how comics work? They can be really complicated if you’re on the outside, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough to navigate.
If you want to jump into what’s going on right now, I recommend Thor: Season One and then the Thor: God of Thunder series. Thor: Season One is a one shot, and Thor: God of Thunder is up to issue 18 (out this month).
If you want to catch up on more than that, here’s a reading order for some of the newer stuff, mostly by the names of the Trade Paper Backs: