Home > Marvel Comics > Thor (2007) #3

Thor (2007) #3

September 11, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Everything Old is New Again
Rating: T+

Thor faces Iron Man in the “ruins” of New Orleans.

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Olivier Coipel
Inks: Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Warren Simons
Cover Art: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Before I even begin this review, I’ve got to admit a major bias on my part that deeply colors my feelings about this book. In case you didn’t know, I’m a Louisiana boy. Born and bred not 30 minutes from the heart of New Orleans, and a Katrina evacuee at that. So when a comic book (or any popular entertainment) decides to use what happened in Katrina as its backdrop, as J. Michael Straczynski does in this issue of Thor, I’m considerably more sensitive to how that story is told than the average reader. So, bias admitted, I looked at this story, and I find it somewhat wanting.

Thor begins his quest for the missing Asgardians this issue, and decides the appropriate place to start is the city that was destroyed by the power of a storm during his absence. Okay, fair enough so far. The problem comes when Thor gets to a New Orleans that doesn’t so much come from reality, but from any number of lazy stereotypes. If the creators of this book had shown just how much the city has recovered before they went to a straight-out-of-CNN “disaster area,” I could have forgiven it. If they had shown so much as a construction site, I may have been okay. But without a single pit stop to indicate that – hey, maybe we’re NOT a total wasteland – Thor goes straight to the most horrifically run-down area in town. A place that apparently was hit so badly that even two years after the hurricane, there is still standing water on the ground, and a dozen people living in a dilapidated house that in the real world would be condemned and sealed off, not used as habitation. And again, based on this issue, it would seem this is indicative of the entire city. Even the sole sign of civilization in the book — a skyline in the background of the first page — is inaccurate; peppered with buildings far higher than anything that actually exists in the city of New Orleans. It’s a mishmash of conjecture and assumptions, and I don’t like it in the slightest.

There, got that off my chest. On to the story at hand. While visiting the Big Easy, Thor faces his former friend, Iron Man. Apparently, he’s had time to catch up on the news. He knows what happened in the Civil War, and he ain’t happy. Last week, I gave Straczynski credit for actually writing Iron Man in character in Amazing Spider-Man. This week, while not going as far into the cartoon supervillain territory as some writers, he still has Tony make some fairly stupid moves – I can’t imagine a single logical scenario where Tony would approach Thor the way he does this issue. It just doesn’t make sense.

The conclusion isn’t bad, and it begins to move the plot forward. But it’s a frustrating issue for me, one that I can’t just forget about. I intentionally gave this book a higher rating than I’m inclined to, simply because I know my history makes me judge it harsher than most people will, but I have to put that on the table.

Rating: 6/10

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