The Torch #1

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

Story by
Alex Ross, Mike Carey
Art by
Patrick Berkenkotter
Colors by
Carlos Lopez
Letters by
Todd Klein
Cover by
Alex Ross
Publisher
Marvel Comics
Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Sep 2nd, 2009

Wed, September 2nd, 2009 at 8:14PM (PDT)


Marvel's celebration of their seventieth anniversary continues with the return of Toro, the former sidekick of the original Human Torch. Ross and Carey quickly bring us up to speed on Toro, his powers, and his current status in the matter of a few pages. The rest of the story is dedicated to the Thinker's mad quest. This time, however, the Thinker truly is thinking, plotting, scheming.

The Thinker is seemingly brought in as a mere plot device, setting up some grand scheme for our hero to thwart towards the close of this series. Carey doesn't drag out the story unnecessarily. A cipher at the first when we meet him in this book, we realize through his conversations with the Golden Age Vision that Tom Raymond is a desperate man. His desperation -- Toro's quest for revenge -- puts Toro in the clutches of the Thinker. This revelation leads to the exhuming of a very special cameo appearance.

Berkenkotter's art is stylistically connected to the artwork that has graced the pages of "Captain America" of late –- a gritty, realistic style keen on detail and richly colored. The book looks like a modern-day Golden Age tale. Berkenkotter's characters are drawn well, acting across the entire expanse of the page, breathing life through their own expressions on the printed page.

I'll be honest with you, this book held absolutely no appeal for me save for the fact that my editor thought it should be reviewed. Like many of the best stories in comics, this one came out of nowhere and stuck to me. I am concerned with what is to become of our dear friend Tom Raymond. I am curious as to what the Thinker is going to do next. I also want to know if he's going to finish the destructive device he had begun building, or will there be something far more serious coming from him?

This book might have a steep price point, but it is definitely worth the price, especially if you have found yourself enjoying Marvel's celebratory septuagenarian comics. While this is not required reading by any means, it is a nice salute to the history of the Marvel Universe. A sibling book to the current adventures occurring in "Captain America" this issue is a great spot for readers looking for something different out of their Marvel Universe. With A.I.M., Toro, Vision, and Thinker already in this issue, it seems like subsequent issues have a fun foundation to build upon.

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