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AICN COMICS ROUNDTABLE REVIEW: The @$$Holes get the last word on THOR!



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When one comic book subject proves too much for one reviewer to handle, the best of the best in comic book dissection, the AICN COMICS @$$Holes, band together with the rallying cry @$$HOLES @$$EMBLE and offer an extensive examination…the AICN COMICS ROUNDTABLE REVIEW!


The @$$Holes take on THOR!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Though Prof. Challenger reviewed THOR and I offered my own review of the film last week, the rest of the Holes wanted to chime in and offer their own views on Marvel’s big movie offering that hit theaters last Friday. Below is a conversation held in the @$$Hole Clubhouse over the weekend after the @$$Holes had seen the film.


@$$Hole Roll Call

Ambush Bug
Professor Challenger
Humphrey Lee
Vroom Socko
Optimous Douche
Matt Adler
Irish Rican
Johnny Destructo
Henry Higgins is My Homeboy
Rock-Me Amodeo

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): So THOR. We've seen all of the teasers and lead ins. We've read tons of the comics. Now that you've seen it, what are your initial thoughts?

PROF CHALLENGER (PROF): THOR was, like IRON MAN before it, a “comic book” movie that is not embarrassed to be a “comic book”. That asshole snooty reviewer at The New York Times simply does not "get" this stuff unless it's one of those rarities in the genre that transcends the "comic book" aspect and becomes something else (like THE DARK KNIGHT). And accepting and judging THOR on its own merits without cramming in my own overblown sense of self-importance it plays out like an old-school Marvel comic and is fun from beginning to end. And on top of that, we actually got some solid acting from Thor, Odin, and Loki that we don't have to just be okay with *cough*Affleck*cough*Cage*cough*cough*.

KLETUS CASADAY (KLETUS): Just got back from seeing it and i thought it was pretty damn good. Destroyer was badass, Heimdall was too (loved the voice). The acting was good all around. The effects weren't the greatest at times but that could have been because I was sitting really close.

JOHNNY DESTRUCTO (JD): Beautifully shot, well-acted, grand in scale but still very grounded, this may be one of the most perfect comic book movies I've seen to date. That doesn't mean it's my favorite comic book movie, since I've never connected with the character of Thor and could never read one of his series for more than 10 issues before getting bored, but I was surprised to find that there wasn't one eye-roll inducing moment in this movie, which is a rarity! Even some of my favorite comic book movies at one point or another have a bit or a scene that makes me cringe. And for someone who finds Thor-speak cringe-worthy to begin with, this is quite a feat!

HUMPHREY LEE (HUMPHREY): Honestly, I walked out of the movie thinking it's probably my favorite Marvel on the Big Screen jaunt. Though, now that it's settled in over the past day or so, it's probably more on par with the top products of theirs, IRON MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2 (I think people forget how great that flick was because of how poorly the third one was received). The only real issue I have now that it's been in my head a bit is the pacing. Things flew by REALLY fast, especially the earthen events and Thor's relationship with Jane. Movie maybe could have used another ten or twenty minutes of character development. But that's it. Thought the action was great and on the epic scale you want from a character of that power level, I really liked watching the cast do their thing because it seemed like everyone just totally bought into the grandeur of the setting and characters.

ROCK-ME AMODEO: I LOVED it, and loved all the little Easter eggs for the fanboys: the Don Blake nametag, the slump of Loki’s shoulders, the SHEILD archer named Barton, and just the thrill of seeing Kirby’s incredible imagination made “real.” But the real test was: would my wife like it? The wife who once described all animation as “noise?” (Remarkably, we are still married.) But she did. She bought into it early (I think her love of LoTR helped), she loved the deft comic touches, and was genuinely intrigued by Loki’s motivations. She didn’t think Thor’s love for Jane was fleshed out very well, or Thor’s 72 hour journey to humility, but she dug it. And personally, she actually appreciated the whole “magic is just advanced science” vibe. Maybe it’s because we’re so post-modern (like every society has considered itself) but magic for the sake of magic may be played out for a generation.

MATT ADLER (MATT): I've never found Thor cringe-worthy, probably because from an early age (9 years old) I accepted Stan's theory that it made sense for a regal figure like Thor to speak Shakespearean English. Now that I'm older, I can logically see why it doesn't make sense, but I'm still comfortable with it. I don't mind that the movie toned it down; in fact, as a whole, I loved the movie's take on Thor. I will say though that I thought at times the humor was overdone, and Thor was a bit TOO much of a Hercules-type jerk. If you look back at the original comics, the humor, and Thor's arrogance, was a bit more subtle. One of my favorite recurring lines from the comics (and I was a bit disappointed not to see some form of it in the movie) is when Thor performs some astonishing feat, and a mortal witness says something to the effect of "You-- you just [fill in feat here]!" and Thor, puzzled, responds "Why do you sound so surprised? Was that not my intention?" That, to me, defines Thor. I also would have liked to have seen a bit more godly smackdown action throughout the film, but with Thor depowered throughout most of the film, that was limited. A lot of his interaction on Earth seemed influenced by the ULTIMATES version ("Is this guy for real, or is he delusional?"). The fight with the Destroyer was great, though I wish it was longer. Thor had a lot more trouble with him in the comics, even at full power; the Destroyer was able to spank him and even shatter his hammer.

SUPERHERO: Yeah, I have to say I agree with this sentiment. I thought the final battle with Loki was a bit anti-climactic in a way. It was emotional but it wasn't the smackdown that I wanted to see. I thought the Destroyer armor was too easily dispatched. That thing was horrifying and should have put up much more of a fight. In the comics that armor is supposed to be the end all be all of weaponry. Here, it was destroyed by a tornado. A bit of a letdown to me.

HUMPHREY: The action beats fell almost exactly as I thought they would and I was still fine with them. I knew the lengthy fight with the Frost Giants at the front end would most likely be the "large scale" fighting to be done until the last act and it was. To that regard, the Destroyer fight toward the end really probably should have been a couple minutes longer with a bigger show of how ridiculous the power scale is on it and a little more showy of what Thor and the Warriors Three (and Sif!) can do.

IRISH RICAN (IRISH): This movie really rocked because of Chris Hemsworth. The man rules the screen whenever he is on it. Lame words on a page he makes POP onscreen. "I require sustenance"? Seriously? Lame line...great delivery. I find Thor pretty cringe-worthy as well (except for the awesome Walt Simonson stuff--those books I can read for days) but Hemsworth had fun with the character. He SMILED a lot, which was fun because the character was having fun, the actor was having fun, and it translated to being fun on the big screen.

HENRY HIGGINS IS MY HOMEBOY (HHH): Got to say, going into this movie with low expectations was the best choice I've made in a while. The movie was, frankly, fantastic. Hemsworth was great, and is more then worth the praise he's been getting. Hiddleston (Loki) was just as good, and able to match Hemsworth for all his worth. I had more then one friend who said the moment they loved the film was when Loki began to cry during the final confrontation. But even more than the emotion, Hiddleston captured that evil, sly Loki perfectly.

KLETUS: Totally agree about Hemsworth--his delivery made that part. I hope Chris Evans can do the same for Cap. I also love when he was all cocky and flipping the hammer around walking into the throne room...shit was great.

IRISH: I still can't believe Kenneth Branagh cast Idris Elba in the movie. Stringer Bell! And he killed once again! Elba can kill parts big and small and he killed it as Heimdall. It was a small but essential part and race had nothing to do with it. Idris Elba = black man. Heimdall = GOD no matter what the color.

HUMPHREY: Yeah, Elba is the epitome of what I was saying before about everyone just owning up to their roles. You have to assume that on the set, without the shimmer and enhancement you get from CG and touch ups, and in the costumes these guys and gals were wearing, some of them had to have felt they may have been doing something pretty hokey with their careers, but they all went out there and hammed it up. Elba's Heimdall did the stoic posture fantastically, I really liked Hiddleston's Loki and the level of deviousness they played with there, and Hopkins was the presence I expected him to be. But man, Hemsworth. That is a guy that you could tell was absolutely loving what he was doing for the camera.

MATT: In my opinion, Elba gave the best performance of the movie, followed closely by Tom Hiddleston's seething Loki. Elba was truly perfect as the implacable, imposing guardian of the gates of Heaven. You could see why even the God of Thunder had to give him respect. Ultimately, Elba showed with this performance that when other people are trying to tear you down, you put them in their place by excelling at what you do, and that's just what he did. One thing I wasn't impressed with as some seemed to be was the Rainbow Bridge. I was hoping for a literal Rainbow Bridge, actually seeing them walk along the arcing colors of the spectrum, rather than what appeared to be a flat slab of fiber optics. That made it seem more pedestrian than fantastical. I kind of get why they did it; they were hitting the "magic is just advanced science" card pretty hard. But I got weary of that after a while; if you make it seem like Asgard is just filled with super tech, it demystifies it. I'd have rather it been more ambiguous: is it magic or not?

SUPERHERO: I agree about the Rainbow Bridge. When I saw it in the movie I was like, "Is that the Rainbow Bridge? Aw, c'mon! I want a RAINBOW!" But that's nitpicking. I also got a bit sick of the equating of magic to advanced technology. Why can't it just be magic? I mean, Harry Potter's done it and that's a bajillion dollar franchise. The whole magic is just advanced technology thing just bugs me. It smacks of the the modern comics trend of having to have a logical explanation for everything. To explain everything to death. which just takes some of the fun out of everything. Just let it be magic! Magic's cool!

BUG: I see what you mean about the magic, but the way it was handled pretty much fits into the way magic is sort of dealt with in the Marvel comics, which in many ways is a very scientific line of comics. I always equated Marvel as the STAR TREK to DC’s STAR WARS (CH. IV-VI); Marvel relies on a lot of tech and mottos, while DC is more about the legends and legacy. So I accepted how magic was categorized in THOR. I think they were afraid to lose the fans that flocked to IRON MAN.

MATT: I kind of understand why they wanted to do the magic = science equation; it provides a bridge (pardon the pun) between the worlds of our star-crossed lovers, Thor and Jane, and gives her some hope/motivation for reuniting with him. They just hit it a bit too hard; it should have been more ambiguous. When you see that gigantic whirling machine that creates the "bridge" to Earth, you no longer wonder if it's magic; it's clear that it's just advanced tech. Now that I think more about it, this approach reminds me more of another Kirby creation: The Eternals. That was a story about alien beings (The Celestials) coming to Earth with advanced technology, and through their actions, creating the myths that primitive humans held to be the work of the gods.

HUMPHREY: Really and truly, I thought the plot elements, particularly the emphasis of science as magic are what gave the movie such a grounded feel. That and the sibling conflict and the family aspect of Odin and the two boys is what really helped make everything relatable and I was impressed by how everything flowed into each other as the threads developed. MATT: Even as an only child, I appreciated the realness of that sibling drama; my fiancée, who is one of four children, actually teared up at the scene where Loki is trying to explain to Odin he did it all for his approval. Everyone understands that need to feel loved by one's parents, and if you have siblings, the fear is always there that the other is more favored. This movie, which was supposed to be just a superhero blockbuster, really taps into that.

HUMPHREY: There was some expository goodness, yeah, but as a crash course for Stan Lee's Asgardian mythology remix for the everyday crowd, it worked I think.

KLETUS: I didn't really mind the blending of science/magic aspect of the movie. Marvel has trouble defining its magic parameters in the comics and I think making things "magic" with little to no explanation as to how it works could have put people off (i.e. “One More Day”). I think the magic element was still pretty prominent without beating the audience over the head with "look its magic..." I think it works in Harry Potter because magic is basically the backbone of the entire story...which wasn't necessarily the case here.

BUG: What about the rest of the cast? I can't say I hated them, but I definitely had issues with the Warriors Three. To me they looked like cartoon versions of the Warriors. For some reason, Fandral looked like he was trying to hard to be Cary Elwes. Let's face it, Hogun's lines were hard for me to understand because his accent was so thick. And don't get me started on the Punisher in a fat suit. There are so many other people much more suited for Volstag: John Rhys Davies, Timothy Spall, Brendan Gleeson, even GAME OF THRONES & FLINSTONES' Mark Addy would have been awesome.

MATT: I knew The Warriors Three would be difficult to pull off, so I wasn't too disappointed. The thing is, they're based on such clearly defined archetypes, you need REALLY skilled actors, or it winds up looking weird and out of place. Volstagg probably would have been the easiest to get right, but I think I recall reading that they wanted to make it look more credible for him to be in action scenes, so they de-emphasized his bulk. In terms of comedy, he would have been the most obvious choice to give some good scenes to (one of the best things about Volstagg is his combination of bragging and blatant cowardice), but maybe they didn't want to take the focus of Hemsworth too much. I agree Tadanobu Asano wasn't a great choice for Hogun.

PROF: I don’t know. To me, the Warriors Three and Sif were spot on. The relationships between the characters were spot on. The new characters added in (Selvig and Darcy) were good. Asgard, the costuming, the Destroyer, were all spot on. The pacing and structure was better than fine. Thor used his hammer just like the friggin' comics. Loki even slumped in Odin's throne like he's supposed to. It was mythological. It was Shakespearean. It was bigger than life. It was a movie done..."The Marvel Way."

SUPERHERO: Well, I'm glad you’re super enthusiastic about it and I agree that it's a fun flick. I don't think I agree with your level of love for it, though, although I do want to see it again if I have the time. I think the biggest problem I have with it (and IRON MAN 2) is that it's not being subtle enough about the THE AVENGERS connection. The first IRON MAN had that bit at the end of the credits and that was enough. You got it. The same with the end of Norton's HULK. They didn't have to be swarmed over with SHIELD nonsense which was pretty much ruined a lot of IRON MAN 2 for me and just bugged me and took me out of this movie. Just let the movies be about the main characters and put your little buttons/Easter eggs at the end (or hide stuff like Cap's SHIELD in one of the IRON MAN movies) and that's enough. This is what I've been worried about that these movies will be made in service to THE AVENGERS instead of these initial movies being the structure that builds up to that movie. There's a difference. Luckily, with THOR it didn't get as overwhelming as in IM2.

KLETUS: Yeah the SHIELD stuff just didn't gel that well. Coulson is always good but while their part in it wasn't terrible, it didn't seem that important either.

MATT: I think it's important that they're laying the connective groundwork for the Avengers movie throughout these films, so it doesn't come off as artificial once they all come together.

BUG: Yeah, as THE AVENGERS moves closer, I didn’t mind the presence growing in each film. SHIELD is the main link between all of them.

VROOM SOCKO (VROOM): By all rights, this should not have worked. At all. You have an action movie that's also got bits of funny. Fair enough. It's also a story about sibling rivalry and the father/son dynamic. And it's a film that has to fit into the continuity of three prior films and one to follow in a few months. And it's a recreation of Jack Kirby artwork done in live action, *faithfully*!

KLETUS: Also, it seemed like Simonson’s art work was a big inspiration for the set designs and costumes.

BUG: Hopkins as Odin was good. He looked the part and acted better than he has in years, as far as what we’ve come to expect from the actor. Anyone catch the cool way his beard was moving during the Odin Sleep…just some cool little details they tossed in, but it worked.

MATT: I did think his beard was a Odin’s bit thin, but other than that, he worked really well for me visually, especially the costume which could easily have come off silly.

SQUASHUA: Haven’t seen it yet, but I want to know one thing, Kat Dennings, while pretty damn hot, is portrayed as an excruciating harpy in the trailers I've seen. Did marketing just stupidly collect and paste all her cringe-worthy scenes into the trailer, or is she really that consistently terrible throughout the film?

MATT: Neither Kat Dennings nor Joshua Dallas (who plays Fandral) is that bad. Dennings even has a few amusing lines. But honestly, both of them play relatively small roles in the film, so there's no chance for them to really interfere with the proceedings.

BUG: Ahhh, Dennings in anything is good. Nummy!

HHH: Portman turned out a great small performance, in a role that could have very easily been wasted.

MATT: I think Portman did a good job, but I was bit surprised that they didn't even hint at any kind of love triangle between her, Sif, and Thor. I thought that would have made the romantic elements more interesting.

SUPERHERO: I think Matt and I are going to have to hang out more often! I can't believe they ditched the whole Sif being Thor's supposed true love thing. That was really disappointing to me, especially since she was gorgeous. They could have even said that they had a romance in the past or something like that. Instead she was just filler.

BUG: Yeah, I was hoping for more beef to Sif’s character. A triangle might be something we see in a sequel, though, for some added tension. She was around and there were a few gazes and nods that suggested there might be something (Thor holding Sif’s head in his hand when the Destroyer attacked and Sif watching Thor leave the feast in the ending), but these were things only folks who read the comics would pick up on, I think.

PROF: Prof wants some Beta Ray Bill in the next THOR movie!

BUG: I don’t know, might be fun, might dilute the character to start injecting new hammers…oh wait, they’re doing that in the comics now with FEAR ITSELF as a Green Lantern rip-off. I’d rather see Tyr, Surtur, and Hel, maybe Absorbing Man or the Enchantress and the Executioner before Beta Ray Bill.

SUPERHERO: That's funny because I want some Jack Kirby alien invaders in my next THOR movie!

PROF: And gimme some Hercules, Prince of Power!

HHH: As much as I knew the Hawkeye cameo would bother me and make me think of how annoying Marvel’s been at putting Avengers references in their films, I did almost shit myself when he grabbed the bow.

SUPERHERO: The Hawkeye thing was a bit unnecessary, mostly because we haven't seen him in any movie before. If it had been Robert Downey, Jr. or Scarlett Johanssen or Don Cheadle then I think it would have been worth it. But no one but us fans has any idea who this guy is supposed to be. So to a non-fan he just looks like some weird secret agent with a bow fetish. That being said...I cannot wait to see what they do with him in THE AVENGERS. And Renner in his own movie as Hawkeye would be absolutely fantastic.

KLETUS: The Hawkeye cameo was unnecessary but it was cool to see Renner in...uh...almost action. I was hoping he'd shoot a couple arrows and Thor would catch 'em or some shit like that i typed it out I guess that could have looked bad. I would have liked to see him in action though.

BUG: Yeah, the Hawkeye scene was so shoehorned in. You could tell it was not originally part of the scene. I guess it would have been better than if they had CGI-ed a flurry of arrows shooting past Thor as he ran to the hammer, but then again, with Hawkeye being a marksman, he wouldn't have missed. If Hawkeye would have winged him even, it might have set up for some nice conflict in the AVENGERS movie, but that would have required Thor and Hawkeye to be on set at the same time…which obviously didn't occur.

JD: I disagree. Using the logic of no one knows what it is but the fans and we haven't seen it before would have to then apply to the each of the post-credit scenes, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson. These Marvel movies have been making a habit of throwing in things for the sake of a greater continuity simply for the pleasure of the fans, and all of a sudden you guys DON'T like it? Doctor Selvig also mentions a gamma specialist that S.H.I.E.L.D previously dealt with, and if a non-fan didn't see HULK they wouldn't know what he was talking about. Yet they threw it in for us comic fans. I for one LOVED that they finally took the sneak peek referencing beyond just the post-credits scene and put it IN the movie.

SUPERHERO: Here's the thing...I appreciate Marvel’s Easter eggs as much as the next guy but the movie is called THOR. Not THE AVENGERS SAGA: THOR. Just like IRON MAN 2 is called IRON MAN 2 and not IRON MAN 2: THE ROAD TO THE AVENGERS. Are these Marvel movies then supposed to be like the “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” movies? Then put that in the title. Shoehorning in a Hawkeye cameo by cramming it in with a recognizable face that doesn't do anything else in the whole movie and affecting the pacing of Thor's fight to get to his hammer is distracting. It didn't ruin anything for me. I just didn't think it needed to be there.

VROOM: As a lifelong Hawkeye fan, I'm a bit torn on his cameo. On the one hand, it's Hawkeye up there, larger than life. And this little glimpse of the character has me excited to see Renner in AVENGERS. On the other hand, this scene was the one time I was drawn out of the story. The rest of the time, even at points where I was noticing the nods to Kirby, or Stan the Man's cameo, I was still invested in the story. Whenever Hawkeye was on screen, I found myself thinking about Marvel's creative committee, and whether it was Quesada or Bendis who had cobbled together his dialogue. And before you accuse me of random Marvel bashing, those two ARE in the credits as part of Marvel's creative committee. And Stan Lee's character IS credited as Stan the Man. You did pay attention to all those words on the screen while you were waiting for Nick Fury's scene, right?

KLETUS: BUT the fact that we are discussing a Hawkeye cameo in aTHOR movie is pretty cool and...He's gonna kill it as Hawkeye...there were words on the screen?!?! I was trying to make up new lyrics to that terrible Foo Fighters song.

BUG: Good god, I hate that song. So TEAM AMERICA…

MATT: I didn't have strong feelings about the Hawkeye cameo either way, but who was that guy that Thor was duking it out with hand to hand while invading the SHIELD compound? Felt like he was supposed to be SOMEBODY, but I couldn't figure out who. That's a scene that puzzled me. Speaking of the Nick Fury post-credits scene, I thought it rocked. That, along with the Cap trailer that played (I think it was Dugan in his bowler that did it for me) has got me extremely excited for the Cap film and Avengers.

HUMPHREY: Cameo was weird, I'll give you that, because of the circumstances. As most of us have been saying, for us comic book fans, we knew what was going on and it was a nice preview of Renner in the role, which I think will play out fantastically in AVENGERS. To everyone else, that guy from THE HURT LOCKER was randomly in this movie. Maybe if he had actually had some interaction with Thor, like going toe to toe with him for a bit, holding his own to Thor's acknowledgement of being impressed, and working in some cool trickshots to show what the character is about. I'm probably with the majority of you guys that maybe Johanssen or something would have been the bigger cameo to tie things in a bit more to AVENGERS.

BUG: Natasha would have been a much more sensible cameo, you’re right. Speaking of cameos, did anyone catch that it was JMS attempting to pull the hammer out of the ground when it was first discovered and failed. Maybe if he would have finished a few of his comic book endeavors he would be deemed worthy, but as is, a more accurate example of his ineptitude couldn’t be more exemplified.

VROOM: I've got to ask: how did the movie look in 3D? I have a glass eye, so 3D means fuck-all to me, but how did it work for the rest of you?

BUG: You could take or leave the 3D if you ask me. There wasn’t really anything particularly essential about the 3D aside from a hammer being tossed at the viewer and maybe the trip down the Rainbow Bridge. All in all, it neither enhanced nor detracted from the film. OK, maybe the Asgard scenes were given a bit more depth, I guess.

JD: The movie looked pretty rad in 3D…for the most part it was pretty subtle, but when it needed to pop, I thought it did its job well. Was it NECESSARY? Hell no, but since I didn't have a choice otherwise, I don't think it detracted from the movie, other than making it appear slightly darker.

MATT: I deliberately avoided seeing it in 3D, because of comments I read which said that it really added nothing, and may have even detracted from the experience. I think as the public gets more educated to the filming process, studios will stop trying to retrofit 3D into completed movies; if it needs 3D, film it in 3D.

HUMPHREY: Couldn't tell you, myself; I actively avoided it in 3D, which was no small feat. That also makes me wonder, now that we know this pulled down about $70 million over the weekend, if it couldn't have been more if there wasn't so much 3D emphasis put on it. You've got a property a lot of people are not that familiar with in a time that, let's be honest, people probably don't want to go out as much anyway with gas prices and everything associated with them going up. Then you're supposed to pay an extra $5 a pop to see this thing in a format I'm not even sure Branagh cared to treat as a 3D movie with the way it’s shot (and rightfully so, I say)? Probably drove some viewers away. The difficulty of finding non-3D screens, I think, is going hurt some of these movies this summer.

BUG: So let's wrap this puppy up. What THOR comics would you recommend for those who loved the film and want to seek out the movie?

PROF: Anything that collects the Kirby stuff and especially the Simonson Omnibus that came out recently. That's the essential THOR to me. And if you can find THOR ANNUAL #7, it’s one of my personal favorite issues.

JD: Having only read through only one run of THOR, I have to say J. Michael Straczynski's recent run. His was the only run that kept my interest in Thor long enough, so that in itself is saying something!

KLETUS: I would recommend Straczynski & Copiel's THOR because it’s easy to get on board and the story/art is awesome; it also has some of the movie elements in it. I don't really know that much about older THOR runs but I've heard the Walt Simonson stuff is pretty good, plus the art is great and the stories look epic.

MATT: Ok, here goes; I'd recommend THOR #159 and JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, since those issues form most of the "origin" portion of the movie; JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118 is crucial because it's the first big battle between Thor and The Destroyer; I'd recommend the Eternals Saga (THOR #283-300) since it too makes that science/magic connection; and I'd recommend Mark Millar's run on THE ULTIMATES, because of the aforementioned influence on Thor's earthly stay in the movie. I have a feeling Simonson's work will play a bigger role in the next film, but for this one, I could direct people to THOR #344-349 which is the Cask of Ancient Winters storyline.

SUPERHERO: This is all the THOR they will ever need: THE MIGHTY THOR OMNIBUS, Walt Simonson’s run in thie Omnibus, and the collected JMS stuff.

BUG: Although it’s often overlooked, I’d suggest Dan Jurgen’s entensive run on THOR Vol.2 #1-79 the Death of Odin is collected here. It takes Thor where no story has ever taken him before, into the throne of Asgard as Odin finally passes the kingdom on to Thor and he proves he’s still not ready for it by screwing everything up big time. Some of the very best THOR I’ve ever read. I also have a tender spot in my geek heart for Tom Defalco & Ron Frenz’s ”The Thunderstrike Saga” which ran through #383 - #459 and spun off into THUNDERSTRIKE’s solo series which ran for 24 issues. Defalco and Frenz are also just finishing up a new 5 issue THUNDERSTRIKE miniseries, which is all sorts of retro-cool.

HUMPHREY: Honestly, I did not become too entwined with Thor comics themselves until relatively recently. In the past I usually just enjoyed him in my AVENGERS comics, when that book had guys like Busiek writing it that knew how to use a guy of that power caliber on a team like that. In that regard, I think the ULTRON UNLIMITED story arc has some great Thor material. To that end, I think Dan Jurgens' run gets overlooked a lot as well. There's some great conflict in there and the whole angle of Odin Thor puts him in a position of authority he's not used to. And, of course, there's Walt Simonson's stuff, which all of us are rightfully going to promote, and I can especially attest to the Omnibus collection of his material being a thing of 1200 page beauty. Amazing production value there. And, not only is Fraction doing a great job now, but his series of oversized one-shots that he did with Patrick Zircher a few years back, holy fuck is that great material. Pick up that hardcover as well.

BUG: Well, that about wraps up this roundtable dissection of all things THOR. If you made it to the end, pat yourself on the back. Now it’s time to continue the discussion in the Talkbacks.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G
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