1. Brian Michael Bendis and the legendary Alan Davis have Steve Rogers, Iron Man and Thor seperated in mystic realms related to Asgard.
2. Thor is dealing with the Enchantress who is mad that with Asgard on Earth, the other realms are collapsing and thinks this is Thor’s responsibility. She’s correct, but simply telling Thor might have worked. Since she hates him, I guess I can see why she didn’t.
3. Iron Man is captured by trolls since his armor doesn’t work and brought to Fafnir who wants to torture him since Thor killed Fafnir. Iron Man is entirely out of character here, treated the trolls terrible and being entirely arrogant and abrasive, not at all intelligent.
4. Steve Rogers beats up some dark elf-like creatures, then hooks up with one of them who tells him what’s going on. Simple and straightforward, these scenes probably work the best.
5. There are two real continuity problems with this issue. I’m not a continuity hound in the slightest, but here’s the first- Rogers and Stark have been to Asgard numerous times and hang out with Thor pretty constantly. They didn’t know Midgard was Earth? That trolls might not serve Thor? Come on. Neither is stupid, but both act so in service of “pithy” Bendis dialogue.
6. Meanwhile, our antagonist is Hela who has claimed the rest of the nine realms for herself and shaped them to her own whims as an evil despot… while she was just homeless in Thor’s core title in the same timeframe and had to deal with Loki and Mephisto to get a piece of the latter’s hell. This isn’t a mild point, mind you, her new hell being attacked by the Desir is the main point of Kieron Gillen’s current Thor arc. These two plots are irreconcilable and really, really need an editor… they’re happening at the same time both in real life and in the damn books!
7. Alan Davis’ absolutely amazing art makes me care far less about those annoying issues above than I should. He might be the best in the business.
8. It’s worth noting just how superior both Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen’s Thor is using the exact same source material. I’m not even comparing Bendis to Walt Simonson or anything crazy. This is a huge step below his contemporaries.
9. As great as the art is in the issue, the cover is abysmal with Rogers looking weird, Thor all modern and decked out, and Iron Man in old, ugly armor with teeth showing while they fall into the rainbow bridge which looks like bad tie dye.
10. Rating: 6/10. In isolation, this is a fairly fun romp with each of the three protagonists given something to do, a neat twist enemy and truly great art, but the feeling this issue most gave me was annoyance at the character gaffes and the villain not currently fitting. Solid enough, but your mileage may vary based on how much you view this in isolation.
Tags: Alan Davis, Avengers, avengers prime, Brian Michael Bendis, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Steve Rogers, Thor