Written by Roy Thomas.
Thor Vol. 1 #272 was longer than I expected it to be. It was also very good. What makes each different Marvel comic series stand apart is that they’re generally treated like their own thing, separate from the others that exist, which is the preferable alternative to shared universes, where everything is obligated to interlink to and be limited by each other.
Thor plays out like the recalling of a mythological epic. It’s certainly inspired by them, being based on Norse myths. We begin with Thor, the god of thunder, and his brother Loki the trickster. The adventure they find themselves in is a typically-packaged cliche that nevertheless still manages to play-out entertainingly, as they attempt to overcome a giant using their own strengths against numerous obstacles. It was a good character study and I can see why this genre is so popular; it’s like manga, in that each character has defined limits, strengths and weaknesses, and when a thesis is combined with an antithesis, a synthesis is created. And that synthesis drives plot. In that sense, the conflict really is the story. But it’s also managed. At no point did it become incomprehensible. There was lots of action happening, but it was never too much. I still found myself knowing where I was with it.
So it was nice to see an intelligently-handled, reasonably competent story being told visually. Yet the biggest criticism of this is that it left me with nothing. There was no emotion generated by this story, and by the end of it, I was indifferent to what happened. Even when it ends on the cliffhanger of a television reporter offering Thor the opportunity to feature in a documentary about Asgard. But this is a problem inherent in the premise itself; if it’s set in another realm, with gods as characters and myths as stories, there’s nothing familiar, nothing to identify with. Luckily, this issue still kept me interested on the basis of what was happening being so strange.