MIKE: It’s funny to hear you ask, Douglas, about what kind of Fraction comic this was going to be. The first three pages were unmoving shots of Dr. Solvang pontificating on multi-dimensional scientific theory. All I could think of how strongly this reminded me of the last two years of Invincible Iron Man: talking-head panels and science-like dialogue.
After the prevalence of the widescreen shot in Iron Man, I was pleasantly surprised by the many different panel and layout distinctions throughout the issue. It went from the talking-head panel grid to the huge double page splash of a ruined Asgard to the full page columns featured in the confrontation between Balder and Thor. Then, of course, there is the hit-you-over-the-head color disparity between the free-love poet society in tones of blue and the war-band of Ano in shades of red.
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Have Thor and his alter ego always been able to carry on conversations with each other? Is there precedent for this or is Fraction taking some liberties? Does anyone else feel like Fraction is setting up the return of Loki? To me, Thor’s misty water colors of childhood hunting trips is groundwork for the return of the Trickster God. I’m truly hoping this isn’t the case. I’m taking it as more of an explanation as to why Loki always got another chance to redeem himself (herself?). If Loki saves the day against the Anti-Thor (great call on that name, Evan) I’ll feel let down.
One more thing: I hope that the promise of the Heroic Age holds up here, that promise being more self-contained stories. We have Thor and at least a few hundred (few thousand?) Asgardians ready to protect their pile of rubble. There’s no reason to see Peter Parker or Logan running around in the pages of Thor for a while.