When Jason Aaron touts War of the Realms as an event that's been brewing for the better part of a decade, it's pretty easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of content leading up to the event. While it's admittedly a denser read, Aaron does a splendid job on getting everything caught up in the first few pages of War of the Realms #1, making it an issue easy to enjoy for die-hard fans and new readers alike.
Once upon a time, Aaron explained to ComicBook.com that War of the Realms is what'd happen if Lord of the Rings took place in Midtown Manhattan, and the writer couldn't be more accurate in the description. Though all kinds of attacks manage to occur throughout the Big Apple, War of the Realms manages to capture a different invasion that feels completely new the mythos. Whether it's the Frost Giants of Jotunheim or Fire Demons of Muspelheim, this issue's final battle is something that hops right off the page and gets ingrained in your vision — something largely due to the jaw-dropping artwork from Russell Dauterman.
Though many artists have done an excellent job of late of taking a stab at drawing Thor through various runs on the title, none come close to the work of Dauterman. From the thicker outlines to the sound effects-turned-panels, you won't go a page or two without seeing something else that makes your jaw drop. To round out the art team, Matt Wilson also does an excellent job coloring Dauterman's artwork with crisp shading and deep textures.
As mentioned before, Aaron manages to do an exemplary job of explaining a decade's worth of stories in a matter of a view pages and although dense, it ends up making perfect sense. Admittedly, the issue is a bit slow at times for a massive event, but certainly never enough to become a complete turnoff.
The House of Ideas has touted War of the Realms as an event that will have long-lasting ramifications for the Marvel universe moving forward, and that's something evident from this issue alone. What seemed to be marketing buzz words at first appears to be panning out in the book itself, and that's most certainly a welcome surprise.
At the end of the day, this event is by and large carried by Thor and the Asgardians, as expected. That said, there's not a single writer in the Marvel stable right now that knows Thor as well this team, and if Aaron's run hasn't been indicative of that, this book should answer any questions. As this event marks the beginning of the end for Aaron and Thor, this title double downs on the fact that Jason Aaron will go down as one of the best to ever write Thor. Though dense at times, War of the Realms transforms a dreary Midgard into an icy, fiery post-apocalyptic hellscape, and the end result is an astonishing book well worth taking in.
Published by Marvel Comics
On April 3, 2019
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Russell Dauterman
Colors by Matthew Wilson0comments
Cover by Arthur Adams
Lettering by Joe Sabino