Too late for last year’s rash of Thor comics, “Thor: Heaven & Earth” #1 has an unnecessary feeling to it. Like so many Thor mini-series before it, it appears to deal with Ragnarok, because there is nothing else to explore in Thor’s character and world. Ragnarok comes and Thor looks to Loki as the cause, relying on prophesy that states that Loki will cause the fall of the gods. Their discussion is tedious, offering no new insights into Ragnarok or their relationship. In fact, this entire comic is tedious for much the same reasons. It’s a story you’ve read before and it was done better then.
With Asgard under siege by forces that seem to herald Ragnarok, Thor questions Loki in the dungeons of Asgard. Their discussion twists and turns, revolving around the idea that Thor wants answers from his brother, but he also can’t trust anything Loki says. Within that, there’s an interesting idea that never comes out. Instead, their talk remains in the simplistic ‘Loki acts like he’s clever and Thor just gets mad’ territory that you would think had been mined completely by now.
One part is meant to be smart and show Loki in a new light: he talks about the various lies that can be told that are actually good things. Lies like a little girl saying she broke something so her father will beat her instead of her little brother, or a politician embezzling funds for the noble purpose of building a hospital. It’s a strange section that lasts too long and accomplishes nothing.
Ariel Olivetti’s art makes you wonder what happened to the great talent that drew “The Last Avengers Story” and “X-Man.” His computer-driven style reaches its absurd peak here with figures that look like computer models dropped into panels with no sense of context. Objects and background are partially rendered, often leading to a half-finished look. The first page has the enemies marching towards Asgard on the Rainbow Bridge and, for whatever reason, the large, ‘end of the world’ inspiring army looks about 50 strong. They just peter out for no apparent reason.
There was an accusation when Marvel released a slate of Thor comics that Marvel was flooding the market, one that I always argued against, finding most of the comics quite good. Had this one come out then, I wouldn’t have argued so fiercely. Uninspired with grotesque, laughable art, “Thor: Heaven & Earth” #1 is a tedious, unnecessary comic. No new ground is covered, no new insights, no entertainment, and no point.