On Things I’ve Been Reading

Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers
Marvel Comics
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Chris Samnee

This is why comic books exist.

Present-day Thor and World War II Captain America are transported back to the time of King Arthur so they can fight a four-headed dragon and keep Loki from claiming the Holy Grail.

If you read comic books (or even if you don’t) and that description doesn’t excite you, there’s something wrong with you.

And the fact that this comic, available today for Free Comic Book Day, is basically a bonus issue of Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee’s acclaimed Thor: The Mighty Avenger (the debut issue of which I blogged about here) is a huge point in its favor — Thor: The Mighty Avenger was a truly awesome comic that unjustly went before its time.

If Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers has a flaw, it’s that it’s too short. Langridge and Samnee have a lot to fit in — they have to introduce Captain America, they have to set up the situation in fifth century Britain with King Arthur, the Grail, and Loki, and they have to further Thor’s emotional growth and maturity. Fortunately, they avoid the whole “Heroes meet, heroes fight” cliche all too common to Marvel comics; it takes the first third of the comic for Thor and Captain America to meet, but once they do they get right into the story and the action.

Thor: The Mighty Avenger centered around Thor’s relationship with Jane Foster, a curator at a museum in Oklahoma and an expert on medieval history and Norse mythology, and Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers continues that development by finding a hook for Thor in brotherhood — Jane’s brother needs some help moving, Thor has his own troubles with his brother Loki. The result explores Thor’s filial love for Loki in a way that is both quite gentle and quite touching.

Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers is mainly a Thor comic, and I mainly approached it as a Thor comic. That’s not to say that Captain America doesn’t play a role, as he does, but the focus isn’t on Captain America and he doesn’t grow as a character from this adventure. (And it spins off, I believe, from a recent special, Captain America; The Fighting Avenger.) Though the eight issues of Thor: The Mighty Avenger have been collected, I hope hope hope that Marvel will collect those eight, plus this ninth issue, into a single volume oversized omnibus hardcover. In my opinion, Langridge and Samnee have had one of the great runs on Thor, and they should be recognized as such.

Someone watching Thor this weekend would love this comic. Someone anticipating Captain America in July would love this comic. Someone who loves Indiana Jones or Prince Valiant would love this comic. Someone who loves storytelling with a lot of heart would love this comic. And someone who loves something free would love this comic.

Captain America/Thor: The Mighty Fighting Avengers is just plain fun. It’s the reason comic books exist. Check it out. :h2g2:

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

2 thoughts on “On Things I’ve Been Reading

  1. I haven’t watched Thor yet. But I heard some people say that it is actually good. Well, most of them are females who might just fancy the actor, so I have to see it for myself. But just as it is commonly known, usually the book, or in this case, the comic, will always be better than the movie. I have to check the movie to see if this applies to Thor as well.

  2. I thought Thor was okay.

    I wasn’t expecting Branagh to deliver Henry IV Part 1 meets The Lord of the Rings, which is what the material calls for, but I was expecting something a little more involving. Branagh’s direction is decent, and he elicts acceptable performances from most of the cast, but the script is a bit rubbish. The story’s a schizophrenic mess with an inconsistent tone, a lack of scale, poorly thought out fan service, and a lack of balance in its Earth and Asgard storylines.

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