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January 24, 2011

One-Shot At Greatness #43 Thor God-Size Special

Filed under: One-Shot At Greatness — Doorman @ 1:32 pm

Because publishers want you to buy their product every month, comics are typically serial in nature. However, occasionally (and more often nowadays than ever before) publishers launch a comic title that is only meant to last for one issue. While ongoing series often have multiple chances to hook in new readers, the comics highlighted in this ongoing investigations only had One-Shot At Greatness!

Thor God-Size Special #1Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: February 2009
Cover Price: $3.99
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Dan Brereton, Doug Braithwaite, Mike Allred, Miguel Sepulveda

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

The Mighty Thor, Balder the Brave and Loki the Deceiver all discover that their memories of an Asgardian named Skurge don’t add up. Each has a different perception of the man. Balder remembers him as a poet. Thor remembers him as a cobbler and Loki remembers Skurge as an old hag. Upon comparing their memories, the three decide to set out to discover who the true Skurge really was. To complete their quest, the three Asgardians travel through the dark realm of Hela, are beset by a legion of dark elves and storm giants – all before they come to their destination: Yggdrasil.

There they rediscover who Skurge is. Skurge the Executioner. The at-times-villainous lover of the Amora the Enchantress who gave up his life that Thor, Balder and many others might live (in a classic tale by Walter Simonson which is reprinted in this very book). With the memory of her lover’s death no longer bearable, the Enchantress has begun to recreate Skurge out of Yggdrasil itself, the World-Tree of the Nine Worlds. But, what she doesn’t quite understand in her grief-stricken state is that cleaving his form from the tree could endanger the very existence of everything! And, if she does understand it … it’s clear that she doesn’t care. Now, it’s up to our heroes (and our villain) to defeat Amora before she can undo existence as we know it.

This tale is separated into four parts, each individually rendered by vastly different artists. The first part recaps the classic Simonson tale with art by Dan Brereton. Doug Braithwaite handles the part of the story where the three protagonists discover their warped memories. Thirdly, Mike Allred draws their quest through dangers to reach their target leaving Miguel Angel Sepulveda to illustrate the conclusion. All of the artists are able to generate an incredible feeling of myth-making in this story … all, that is, except for Allred’s silver-agey hero look that seems strangely out of place amongst the other art styles. Matt Fraction‘s story is a great mix of action, adventure, mythical scope and a strong feeling of loss that many of us can relate to. But, most importantly, there is a strong sense of tribute here. Tribute to a man who died as a hero. Tribute to a character who’s death is still honored (as of this post, he’s stayed “dead” for 25 years – a rare feat in the comics world). And tribute to Walter Simonson, himself – a creator who’s run on Thor is still regarded as one of the most important takes on the character.

On Ebay: Thor | Matt Fraction | Mike Allred | Dan Brereton
On AtomicAvenue: Thor

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