Five issues in and “Thor the Mighty Avenger” is still going strong with fun, exciting issues that manage to balance between the needs of a larger story about Thor’s banishment on Earth and self-contained stories that make dropping three bucks every month more than worth it. For the past few issues, some familiar faces have popped up like Ant-Man, the Wasp, Captain Britain, and, this issue, Namor. The choice of guest-stars is somewhat surprising, but all offer some insight about Thor and his place in the world. But, really, they’re included for entertainment value and, as anyone knows, Namor is always entertaining with his jerky, arrogance.
Thor decides to explore the world with Jane in tow and, in the process, comes across Namor and a giant leviathan that’s endangering some innocent people. Langridge and Samnee tease the idea that it’s another case of Namor declaring war on the surface world when he’s really trying to tame the beast and keep it from harming anyone. Avoiding the usual ‘hero meets hero and fights’ plot, the interaction between Thor and Namor is more of two guys who don’t quite understand one another and work on parallel tracks. They’re not quite at odds, but not quite on the same page either; it makes for an interesting variation on what happens in these situations usually.
Langridge writes a strong Namor, managing to get across his arrogance while also not going so overboard that he’s nothing but a cocky jerk all of the time and in such quantities that you’re amazed everyone around him isn’t trying to beat him up. This Namor has the regal confidence that befits his station, but also some of the wisdom that would come with being ruler of Atlantis. He acts as a source of advice for the more hot-headed Thor, which is an interesting reversal of roles. But, it’s one that works quite well, especially when Namor calls Mjolnir a ‘trinket.’
Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson’s art continues to impress, packing as much as possible into every page without it ever looked crammed. The way that Loki arrives on Earth to create some mischief via his brother is executed wonderfully by the pair: he comes out of the TV. Wilson colors him with static and a faded-yet-glowing look, while Samnee has Loki seemingly lit from within, giving off an eerie glow. Samnee’s Namor is a version that looks retro, drawing upon the Bill Everett version of the character. He resembles a pale, skinny kid at a pool more than anything, which only adds to the contrast with the bulkier, large Thor.
There’s a lot to love about each new issue of “Thor the Mighty Avenger” as it presents a self-contained adventure each issue, building on the idea of a Thor new to Earth and the Marvel universe. The pairing with Namor here is an interesting inversion of the way both characters are usually portrayed and definitely has me wanting to see what superhero will show up next.