Imagine if Captain America, Spider-Man, and a few friends managed to come across some ancient Asgardian relics and then they used said relics to free Thor from the prison of a world full of Frost Giants. Sounds pretty gnarly, right? That's exactly what War of the Realms Strikeforce: The Land of Giants #1 is and it's about as glorious as it sounds.
A part of the ever-expansive War of the Realms mega-event, this one-shot isn't all too important to the overall narrative of the event. In fact, the events of this issue had been previously discussed—and shown in brief, as a matter of fact—in a previous issue of the main War of the Realms title. That means that yes, you can skip this book and it wouldn't impact the main event arc in the slightest, but that doesn't mean you should.
This team-up comic features a wide array of characters from various corners of the Marvel mythos. Along with Cap and Spider-Man, other heroes include Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, a team that provides a desired dynamic that is far from flat and one-dimensional. On the surface, War of the Realms Strikeforce: The Land of Giants reads like a licensed comic that's been pushed out just because of a paid partnership, but there's no denying that it's much more than that on subsequent reads.
What stands out immediately is the brilliant narrative put down by Spider-Man throughout the story. Tom Taylor manages to nail Spider-Man as a character, remembering to always insert a wise-cracking joke every so often, even when the fan-favorite web-slinger is suffering from PTSD and depression. There's a running sub-plot with Spidey and one of the Valkyrie's pegai that's one of the most poignant arcs you'll read this week; it's as gut-wrenching as it is beautiful.
As a fan of all things Power Man and Iron Fist, the one thing that's most disappointing is the lack of interaction between those two characters. Not only that, but both Danny and Luke are certainly on the back burner to Cap and Marvel's big guns in Wolverine and Spider-Man. It's an unfortunate situation because they even gave Luke Cage his own Asgardian hammer and Iron Fist a pair of killer swords, only for both of those characters to fall flat and become an afterthought in the title.
All in all, this tie-in is much better than an average event filler comic. While it doesn't progress the storyline of War of the Realms, it certainly develops the characterization of a few characters—particularly Spider-Man—in this harrowing event of death, destruction, and the end of the world. Tom Taylor's script on Spider-Man certainly makes me want to see what the writer could do with really developing that character and the subsequent corner of the Marvel comics mythos.
Published by Marvel Comics
On May 22, 2019
Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils by Jorge Molina
Inks by Adriano Di Benedetto
Colors by David Curiel
Letters by Joe Sabino
Cover by Jorge Molina