Comic Book Review – Thor: God of Thunder Volume 4: The Last Days of Midgard (2015)

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This volume collects issues #19-25.

The series takes an interesting turn as Thor faces off against Roxxon Corporate President Darren Aggers. Aggers is clearly polluting the environment and Thor is none too happy about it. Unfortunately, for the God of thunder he cannot swing his hammer at this foe as he is protected by an entourage of lawyers and the politics and bureaucracy of human kind. Thor does have help with rookie agent of S.H.E.I.L.D., Roz Solomon, who tries to help Thor battle Aggers through legal means, though the Odinson is not big on patience in that regard.

In the future, Old King Thor desperately is trying to reignite life on Earth, which is now a barren wasteland. His granddaughters plead with him to give it up, but two of the most enduring traits of the God is his love of Midgard and his stubbornness. To complicate matters, Galactus shows up, very worn down and hungry, and the Earth will be his meal. But, not if the King of Asgard has something to say about it, “Have at thee”.

This collection is bittersweet for a few reasons. First, it signals the end of Aaron’s “God of Thunder” era for this series. Marvel and Aaron made headlines and announcements from different media sources that there would be a Goddess of Thunder, which meant the cancellation of this series as well as the launch of a new one. It does look like it is off to a good start, the Odinson is still around, and is continuing on plot threads from this series. The other bittersweet issue is that Easd Ribic will no longer be the primary artist with Aaron for Thor beyond this volume. He is teaming up with Jonathan Hickman for next year’s Secret Wars event (an excellent combo) but breakout artist Russel Dauterman joins team Thor and is doing a fine job with all things Asgardian. Well, enough of the future of this series and on to the content here…

I love this series and I was never really a Thor fan before picking up volume one. Aaron and Ribic grabbed me with the whole God Butcher arc, through volumes one and two, and forced me into being a mighty fan of thee! Even volume three with Ron Garney on pencils, and Malekith as the antagonist, was quite the awesome journey. I would give the first three volumes a no doubt grade of A++. But this entry here, I would give an A- or even a B+. It is great but does not reach the same plain as it’s predecessors.

Thor’s battle with Aggers and Roxxon has it’s ups and downs but ultimately reaches an anticlimactic conclusion. As Aggers is a new character, it would have been nice to have some more background information on him and how is able to do what he does. Plus, Thor has been around awhile, quite awhile, it seems he would be a bit brighter for a battle with the CEO of a Midgard corporation and not be so stereotypically fooled. The outcome for Asgardia and Broxton felt like it had been covered before in the event Seige and even during Fraction’s run, but felt really forced as Aaron, whether from orders from higher up or not, sets up a new status quo for both realms.

The bright spot of this tale is the moments of action, which Aaron sets up nicely and Ribic and colorist Ive Svorcina make look legendary. Roz Solomon gets further developed which is a plus. She is a rocking new S.H.E.I.L.D agent. And although Aggers is a mystery and a too much of a cliche, he still made a nice villain for this story.

The main highlight for this collection for me is the story of old King Thor, that intersects with the modern tale, trying to revive a dead Earth only to have Galactus show up and be very hungry. Thor’s granddaughters are really cool and are a bunch of B.A.’s! And seeing old King Thor in action is sweet, especially against the devourer of worlds. Again, kudos to Ribic and Svorcina as they illustrate probably the best take on the big fella I have ever seen. The only issue I had here was that Glactus came off as spiteful and mocked Thor quite a bit. The best portrayals of Galactus are where he is cold and indifferent. He has no malice or feelings of revenge when devouring a world, he just does it because it is the will of the comos that relinquishes his hunger in this regard. But this is an undefined future and he looks extremely worn down. He did not even have a herald, so the personality change might have been to the centuries not being too kind to the big fella.

The final issue of the series is a combination of stories. One where a young Thor fights frost giants, another featuring the origin of Malekith, all while the granddaughters of Thor read on about these tales. Entertaining tales as they mostly are setup for the next era of Thor.

More love to Esad Ribic and the art teams here as they turn in incredible work. Ribic gets some help out at the end of this series from illustrators Agustin Alessio, Simon Bisley, and R. M. Guera.

So, for now, this is it for the God of Thunder and an amazing run, but the story does continue and as long as Jason Aaron is writing them and Marvel puts quality artists on them, I will stick with it.

 

5 out of 5 stars

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Neon and Early Mornings

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Lord, please help me find the strength to remain chaste…….but not today.

Status: tired, low energy. Awake at 2pm and couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to give up around 4am and just start my day. Upside, downside. The early start gives me extra time to work on my task list for the day, however because I’m dragging my feet I’m not really capitalising on the extra time, so it’s a wash.

Suspect that this is a “hangover” from yesterday, which was not a good one. I’m feeling generally better today, but yesterday my depression was getting the better of me and it usually takes me a day or two to pull myself up from the depths and shake it off when that happens.

White-knuckling it at it’s finest. I really shouldn’t do that, I think it’d be better if I talk to someone.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Trial and Error

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“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” – Seneca

I’m frustrating myself this morning. Reviewing photos from the last two weekends and not seeing in the photo what I saw in the subject when I took the picture. Not to mention the limitations of the camera in low light and high ISO settings being very apparent; I don’t know why I insist on asking the camera to do things outside of it’s capabilities.

And I think that sums it up quite nicely, I’m focusing a little too intently on the negative which is a reflection of my mood this morning. It might be best if I set this to the side for the moment, take a deep breath and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

In the meantime, what are the lessons I’m learning from this experience?

I definitely need to let the photos “marinate” and then look at them with fresh eyes and no expectations. I’m asking the photo to be something it isn’t and then getting frustrated when it won’t be that thing (it can’t be that thing).

Practice. Composition is the next thing I need to focus on. Photographing with intent. Minimal reliance in editing software to “tart” up a mediocre photo.

Stick with the camera’s strengths. A reasonable amount of light and keep the ISO settings as low as possible. The good thing about the camera is I can open the aperture to it’s widest setting and still get good depth of field.

Ok, let’s try again.

Nikon D3400
1/250 sec
f/8
18mm
ISO 110

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The Student

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

A wider angle on this photo would have been better, cutting out the buses diminishes the photo somewhat, in my opinion. A photographer I’ve been following said that he takes a wider photo – more than he needs – in order to have the flexibility to crop and/or straighten it later without losing any of the important parts of the composition. Lesson learned, will incorporate that into the next set of photographs I take.

So, I’ve learned this lesson but are there others sitting in front of me that I’m ready to see?

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/16
52mm
ISO 100

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A Thousand Disguises

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We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.

Status: It’s a rainy Saturday. Juggling the need to be completely alone with the desire to be out and about. Suspect that I’m subconsciously making the choice to be alone in order to conserve energy because I’ll be out tonight.

Which aspect of myself will I meet on tonight’s path?

Nikon D3400
1/125 sec
f/3.8
22mm
ISO 5000

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Patterns

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“The way is long if one follows precepts, but short… if one follows patterns.” – Seneca

Status: struggling to get on with it. Distracting myself with busy work while not getting on with the important things. Procrastination as a form of self-flagellation.

Is this pattern working for me?

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/5.6
18mm
ISO 400

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Is Your House in Order?

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Is your house in order?

Most definitely not.

I’ve gone through periods in my life where one side was doing well and the other side not so much. My business/career life was coming up all aces while my personal life was akin to stepping in dogshit, and vice versa. But this is the first time in my life that they’ve both been equally less than optimal. But hey, at least they’re in balance.

I’ve been busy cataloguing and listing everything for sale. I need to drop some of the excess baggage, dispose of the residual items which are no longer adding value and/or providing enjoyment. It’s been a slow process, but I’ve made good headway and the items are starting to move.

I need to get back to a minimalist lifestyle, something which is a bit more conducive to travel. Which means it’s time to move onto the next thing.

Destination unknown at this stage.

More to come……………..

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/16
24mm
ISO 100

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