[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
War is here. Odin feels it in his bones, and his fears are validated when a slew of Malekith’s deadliest dark elf assassins ambush him in Old Asgardia. Loki arrives on Earth, wounded and dying. He pleas for Thor’s help, and the Thunder God follows him back to Malekith’s base on Jotunheim. However, it’s not long before Malekith and his allies bring their armies to Midgard. Freyja, Lady Sif, Hildegarde, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Punisher, Wolverine, and others meet their challenge. The War of the Realms has begun.
I’ve been following Jason Aaron’s Thor for a little over a year now. I fell in love and went back to read it from its beginnings in Marvel NOW! I have enjoyed almost every Thor issue I’ve read from Aaron. I was excited for The War of the Realms, even in spite of the plethora of spin-offs and the fact that Marvel can’t stop doing their once or twice a year massive crossover events.
Thankfully, The War of the Realms #1 fires on all cylinders. This is a hell of a kickoff to this world-spanning war between the majority of Thor’s rogue’s gallery and the heroes and Asgardians on Earth.
Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman establish the necessary atmosphere, intensity, and scope as to make this feel like a genuine massive event. It even has a good sense of humor, even if that does slightly disrupt some of the more serious moments.
And Russell Dauterman really does a hell of a job on this opening issue. The texturing and detail he attributes to the characters is impeccable, and those more serious moments are allowed to stick because of the emotion and expression on characters’ faces and what is shown through their body language. Matthew Wilson’s color work backs it up excellently with additional texture and atmosphere.
The War of the Realms #1 is an explosive start and grabs my confidence and interest in the remainder in this story. The stakes are high, the action is visceral, and the artwork is incredible. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
The War of the Realms #1 comes to us from writer Jason Aaron, artist Russell Dauterman, color artist Matthew Wilson, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Arthur Adams with Wilson, and variant cover art from various.