One of the drawbacks to a comic book character getting their own movie is that the characters publisher takes the opportunity to put out a glut of new ongoing series, miniseries, one-shots and guess appearances. Most of the time the material that is being put out is second rate and is only seeing the light of day so the publisher can cash in on the character’s increased exposure, due to the movie. I’m sorry to say that after reading the first issue of Thor: Heaven & Earth that seems to be the case here.
The story by veteran writer, Paul Jenkins, seems to tread over the same ground that has been covered countless times before. SPOILER WARNING Once again Asgard is under siege and Thor suspects that Loki is behind this threat so, while most of Asgard’s warriors are defending the walls, Thor confronts Loki in his cell. This confrontation takes up most of the issue but is really little more then Thor slapping Loki around while Loki spouts lies, half-lies and truths about himself, Thor, Asgard, Ragnarok and about what is happening right now. There is also the matter of a crack developing in the very foundation of Asgard that will split the city in two. Obviously, this will become more important as the miniseries progresses but in this issue it serves pretty much just as an omen of things to come. END SPOILER WARNING That is about all that happens in this issue, not much in the way of action, so if that is what you are looking for you can skip this comic. Nothing new is revealed about any of the characters, in fact, I really did not like the portrayal of Thor as a simple minded brute or Loki as a sniveling weakling. Those portrayals seemed old and one-dimensional.
The best thing about this issue is the art by Ariel Olivetti. Olivetti not only does the cover, which is eye catching, but the interior artwork as well. It may not be Olivetti’s best artwork ever but it is still solid and enjoyable. In fact, the artwork stands head and shoulders above writer Paul Jenkins story. Taken as a whole this first issue of Thor: Heaven & Earth failed to grab my interest at all and I will not be checking out the second issue. If this story really needed to be told at least it should have been told in the pages of the regular ongoing Thor titles a miniseries was not called for at all. This type of blatant money grab does nothing but turn off readers and hurt the industry. Marvel and all the other publishers need to give more thought to how they intend to convert moviegoers, whose interest has been piqued by a successful movie, into comic readers. A miniseries like Thor: Heaven & Earth in not the way to do it.