I’ve been on board with Marvel’s flooding the market with Thor comics until now, because they’ve all been enjoyable and at a certain quality level. An upcoming movie is usually an excuse to release a lot of comics featuring the starring character and Thor’s turn has involved books like “Thor the Mighty Avenger,” “Thor: For Asgard,” “Ultimate Comics Thor,” and “Loki,” all books with good writing and art, all filling a specific place that’s their own. “Iron Man/Thor” #1 doesn’t do anything except take up space. Not a bad comic per se, it sits on the page, not demanding to be read or loved or even liked. When people think of useless, pointless comics published to feed the movie machine, this is what they mean.
A big sign that a book is forgettable and dull: when I come to write a review it, a mere two or three hours after reading it and I can’t remember the plot at all. I’ve read a lot of comics and, while I don’t remember them all, it’s usually a safe bet that I can remember what I read earlier today. “Iron Man/Thor” #1 leaves an impression of a bland superhero comic where things happen for no discernable reason, characters do nothing to distinguish themselves, and the art is cluttered and banal.
In the aftermath of “Siege,” the clearing of Asgard continues to Thor’s shame. Iron Man is there because his name is in the title of the comic, too. After a false alarm regarding a pet dragon, Iron Man is called away to fight the Crimson Dynamo, while Thor finds himself pitted against Ulik the Troll. Both Crimson Dynamo and Ulik are more powerful than they’ve been previously and, probably, they’re working for the same person or have related goals. It takes a long time for the comic to get to the point and, when it does, it still doesn’t mean anything.
The best part of the issue is the false alarm with the dragon when it’s revealed as Volstagg’s pet, but that inspires a muted reaction. If there’s one part of the recent Thor comics that’s overused, it’s the Volstagg joke. And, compared to some of the others, this one is positively boring.
Eaton’s art improves after the first three pages where he mistakes chaotic with clumsy and cluttered, but not much. Eaton is competent much of the time, but his page compositions don’t always present what’s going on in a clear and effective manner. He chooses odd angles and needless close-ups, sometimes trying to cram too much into a panel. When the action gets going, he gets better, showing the fights with much more clarity, but without much flair. If you’ve seen one superhero fight, you’ve seen these two.
“Iron Man/Thor” #1 is a bland, mediocre comic that only strengthens the argument that movies mean a flood of forgettable comics that don’t warrant reading. What little story is here isn’t compelling or interesting; Everything is held back for the ‘shocking’ final page that isn’t much of a cliffhanger. It's disappointing work from everyone involved. Thankfully, I probably won’t remember this comic at all by tomorrow.