Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #2

Story Title: The Crumbs of Galactus
Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Writer: Michael Avon Oeming & Dan Burnman
Artist: Andrea Divito
Colors: Laura Villari
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Joe Quesada
Publisher: Marvel Comics

To say yon noble horse-like champion Beta Ray Bill is having a bad time, is a massive understatement. Handpicked as the soul survivor of Ragnarok, our hero has returned home only to nearly be killed by an usurper backed a religious coup, and upon defeating his rival Alpha Ray he was helpless to watch as his world was made to be but an afternoon snack of Galactus.

Oh do not despair Nexusites, not all is lost for our hero. A number of his people were able to escape in a new transport device called a “meta-orb,” however things are looking quite bleak for these survivors as Galactus’s newest herald Stardust is hell-bent on the idea that no Korbinites should come out alive. Don’t be fooled, despite his effeminate name Stardust is a major league evil bastard who despises anyone who doesn’t sit back and accept their fate of being devoured. Try to fight back? Stardust hates that. Try to flee? He hates that more.

Fans of the tales of Walter Simonson and Jim Starlin should feel right at home in this mini-series. Michael Van Oeming & Daniel Berman’s run on Thor which was supposed to the character’s swan-song proved to be one of the surprise smash-hits of 2004 and this issue makes it easy to see why. The action scenes are totally over the top, the plot moves at a lightening-quick pace and Andrea Divito’s art is jaw-dropping. The attention to detail is wonderful, as nearly every page is littered with the rubble left in the wake of the devourer of world’s rampage. Stardust, meanwhile, with his see-through glowing skin, visible spine, and multiple eyes is a wonderful design and I won’t be surprised to see him listed among the top villains of 2005 by the year’s end.

Stormbreaker is a damned fine little product and a worthy follow-up to Oemin/Berman/Deivito’s Thor run. Hopefully we should see some more projects from this creative team very soon.