Open Mike Night - Thor (2014) #4 / Green Lantern (1960) #7

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By Mike Weaver and Mike Maillaro

thor 4 cover.PNGThor (2014) #4

Written by: Jason Aaron

Art by:  Russell Dauterman

Cover by: Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson

Colored by: Matthew Wilson

Lettered by: VC’s Joe Sabino

Published by: Marvel

Cover Price: $3.99

Weaver: Completing the controversy cycle, we have she-Thor.  In this issue, the original Thor confronts her about getting his hammer back, with some mixed results.  By issue’s end, even original Thor agrees that the female Thor is the one worthy of Mjolnir now, my favorite part being when the hammer totally dissed the Odinson and flew past him to the new Thor.

Maillaro: They’ve done a real good job here building up this new Thor.  I really liked when Thor basically gave her the name, saying he wasn’t worthy of it.  I also like the mystery of “Who is this Thor?”  There are some hints throughout the series that I am sure I would pick up on if I actually read Thor on a more regular basis.  

I also loved the idea that the current head of Roxxon was a minotaur in disguise.  That reminded me of the Perry Jackson books, which I really like.  

Weaver: Yeah, the minotaur touch was cool.  Whoever this Thor is, we know that she knows the Odinson, and has at least passing attraction to him.  Is Brunnhilda accounted for?  She’s my first guess.

This book...and this is odd coming from me, since I hate decompression...seemed to want to do a little too much, in my mind.  We have some pages telling us what happened to the Odinson, then we have the classic “old Thor vs. new Thor”, then they beat up frost giants while philosophizing, then some vague threats from Malekith, and finally wrapping with Roxxon revealing that the skull the giants were here to break was a decoy.  I think I wanted more Thor on Thor action than this issue wanted to give me.

Maillaro: I honestly am not sure that would have worked here.  You have a weird situation where new Thor is too inexperienced to make a reasonable fight.  And old Thor’s powers are basically non-existent.  I think it was better to just do the quick hero vs hero misunderstanding, and then move on to work together to fight the bad guys.

I do think this issue did a lot, but I definitely didn’t feel that it was too much.  I also have to view it from the situation that the creative team needs to squeeze a lot in (including presumingly who this female Thor is) before the series is forcefully ended because of Secret Wars.   I can’t imagine this will be the Thor in the new Marvel Universe. Especially since Secret Wars’ covers have featured literally dozens of versions of Thor flitting about.

Weaver:  I dunno, I think Odinson went on to “I guess you’re Thor” a little faster than I wanted him to.  Maybe more of that dealt with during fighting frost giants than we got?  I felt he came around faster than he used to.

Maillaro: I wonder if some of that might be because of whatever Fury whispered to him that made him lose the ability to wield Mjolnir.  Maybe some part of him has acknowledged that he really wasn’t worthy.  

Weaver: I did like the “I say thee nay” joke, and Spider-Man’s codename suggestions.  I’m being a little overly harsh on this issue, though, because I did like it.  I just felt there was unevenness to the story, and to the art.  The art seemed to succeed best in one or two character shots, when the panel got busier it didn’t seem like the style worked as well.  And there were a lot of busy panels here.

Maillaro: I do agree about the art being inconsistent.  That was definitely a big shortcoming with this issue.  I especially hated how Malekith looked.  I don’t know the character really outside of the movie, and he kind of looked like a total bad ass there.  Here, he seemed more like a goofy clown.  Sort of bargain basement Loki.  

Weaver: I agree.  I’m mostly familiar with him from the movie and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, where he also looked badass. He seems kind of...not very threatening here. Certainly not Thor caliber.  I realize the character is at that level, but the art doesn’t make him feel that way.

I’m going to give the story a 3.5, I liked it, but there were flaws.  The art...that’s going to be a 2.  I get the feeling that this artist would be perfectly capable on a smaller scale title, but gets lost in the majesty of Asgard/Asgardians.

Maillaro: I’m definitely going a little higher than that.  4.5 for the story which I think accomplished a lot of good things in just one issue.  And the line about “I hope you’re not my mother” sticks with me long after I read the issue.   The art is closer to a 3.  It wasn’t quite as bad as some of the worst comics I’ve ever read, but not all that great either.






gl 7 cover.PNGGreen Lantern (1960) #7

Written by: John Broome

Art by:  Gil Kane & Joe Giella

Cover by: Gil Kane & Joe Giella

Lettered by: Gaspar Saladino

Published by: DC

Cover Price: STILL 10 cents ($1.99 on Comixology)

Maillaro: It is rare that I pick the classic book we review, but last week Comixology put a bunch of comics up featuring Sinestro.  So I figured it would be cool to review his first appearance.  I am pretty sure I have read this comic before in Showcase Green Lantern, but I honestly didn’t remember much of it, so most of this issue was new to me.

One thing I was very happy about...massive DC Splash page to start the issue!  Like I said in our Legion review a few weeks ago, I love those:

gl 7a.PNG

I was also amazed at how Sinestro’s story has changed over the years.  In this issue, he was “random GL who went rogue.”  gl 7b.PNGThese days, he was one of the greatest GL’s of all time before he went bad, and even served as Hal Jordan’s mentor for some time.  He was also slipping the power ring to Abin Sur’s daughter (Abin Sur was his best friend in modern continuity). 

Weaver: Ah, silver age.  I actually didn’t realize that Sinestro showed up this early in Green Lantern’s continuity.  He does seem to have a lot less of a backstory than he has received in modern times.

I hadn’t read this, or basically any Silver Age Green Lantern, before.  It follows the standard DC Silver Age formula pretty well.  Over-informative splash page, two full stories, one of the stories full of some pretty racist stuff.  I’m surprised that DC kept that back-up, because a lot of companies will sanitize those things out when they rerelease things, and they easily could have dropped that.  But that’s neither here nor there.

This issue has some serious flaws.  We see Hal come back from going to the Guardians twice, and the first time he doesn’t remember it, the second time he does (and it was the same visit).  It’s like the writer started with this drawn out Sinestro origin story and by the end of it, decided that it would suck to write all of that with no impact on the story whatsoever.

Maillaro: One thing that really surprised me here is just how powerful Hal Jordan was as Green Lantern.  In the backup story, while sleeping, Hal is able to transform Pieface into a bird.  I was also amused in the same issue, that Hal was easily able to be taken out with some turbulence knocking him face first into the seat of a plane.   All powerful being...defeated by an airplane seat.  And it wasn’t even yellow!

Weaver: Hal was always pretty much the definition of glass cannon.  It sort of fits with most superbeings at the dawn of the Silver Age: ridiculous powers, plot contrivances show up in order to make them struggle.

Beyond just being able to smack things around really well, Hal does some pretty crazy tricks with his power ring, like make a clock go faster.  Which...when he starts doing that, he has 15 minutes left of his charge.  And he easily does about 5 minutes worth of stuff after it.  And the whole time, Sinestro and his buddies are counting down like it’s New Year’s Eve.  Sorry, not buying it, Silver Age.  Although if Hal had just, I don’t know, CHARGED HIS RING BEFORE DELIBERATELY GOING INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION, it wouldn’t have really mattered.

Maillaro: Yeah, his explanation on how he beat Sinestro with his ring helping supercharge the CO2 in his breath to help speed the clock along was pretty much the definition of Silver Age camp.  

Even with its heavily racist theme, I liked the backup story here far more than the main story.  There just seemed to be a lot of odd gaps in the logic there.  My particular favorite was that Hal could not bring Sinestro back to the “normal” universe for justice because he was such a goody two shoes that he could not violate the Guardians’ decision to exile him.   I am sure that was their intent: “Hey, we’re going to lock him out of the yard...but it he happens to throw bombs at us from outside, then he’s well within his rights.”  

Weaver: The Guardians actually bungle this matter so much...hey, you’re evil, so we’re going to just send you to hang out with all the evil people, I’m sure that will be horrible for you.

As for not bringing him back in, I don’t think it’s Hal’s choice really, I think he’s forced to follow the Guardians...well...I mean, Sinestro overcame it...I dunno.  The same rules don’t apply to heroes and villains in the Silver Age anyway.  Hal’s construct supposedly is going to be there for a long time after he dimension hops, which Sinestro can’t do.

The back-up was actually a better story.  It gave us more of Hal’s personal life, set up a situation, stuck a believable (and an unbelievable) problem into the middle of it, and finished up with a clean resolution.  Pieface’s girlfriend, though.  Man, that’s hard to forgive, and I know it’s easy to sit here 50 years later and say that, but...

Maillaro: I know it’s far from a ringing endorsement, but it could have been far worse.  Sure, she doesn’t speak English and is terrified to leave the plane because Pieface isn’t there to greet her.  But I still think it was a pretty sweet story about love and MOSTLY sensitive to the difficulties someone would have in trying to uproot their live and start over in an entirely new country.  

Weaver:  But it’s not a new country!  She’s coming from Alaska!

Maillaro: LOL!  You know...I completely forgot that.   Though in my defense, Alaska would have only been a state for less than two years when this issue came out.   No idea where I thought the Eskimo was coming from.  Still stand by my argument though.

Weaver: If I can segue back to Sinestro for a moment, I love how the “turn everyone invisible” solution got sledgehammered around, with the Guardians knowing Sinestro said it, Sinestro monologuing it, and Hal just leaping at that solution.  Unlike a lot of Silver Age stuff, we do see an unfortunate repercussion to turning everyone invisible.  I give it some props for that.

Maillaro: I think I would have preferred to see the pedestrian actually get hit by a car.  It seemed like a typical Silver Age “danger is presented...but cheap cop out to get rid of it.” Good thing Hal remembered to turn his invisible spell off when he left the dimension.  Wipes brow.

Weaver: And there again, I got the impression that it had to turn off when he left, which makes why he thinks Sinestro is at all dealt with pretty confusing to me.  You know, if I didn’t know Green Lantern lore to any degree, I would think that this was probably going to be a villain that popped up once every five or ten years to keep the copyright fresh. He doesn’t seem any more threatening to me than, honestly, the plane highjackers.

Maillaro: That actually is a good long was it until Sinestro appeared again?  Just a quick internet search says he was back by issue 9.  So I tend to think your theory that he was able to step out of the bubble once Hal existed the evil dimension is probably pretty accurate.

Scores.  2 for the main story.  3 for the second story.  Average it out to a 2.5.  I did think the art throughout was pretty solid.  I can go a solid 4 there.

Weaver: Holy cats, not only is he back a few issues later, he pops up four times in the next ten issues.  Apparently good villains were hard to find for early Green Lantern scribes.

Maillaro: He’s like The Master in classic Doctor Who…

Weaver: I actually agree with your scores here.  Yes, it’s the Silver Age, but this is more nonsensical than most...and I’m a guy that likes a helping of nonsense with his comics.

Maillaro: So, next week I got two Ant-Man comics to tempt you with.  The second issue of the Scott Lang series, and the first part of the comic lead in to the new movie…

Weaver:  How about we do the movie tie in?  And we can do the first comic I ever bought with my own money.

Maillaro: Mystery book!!  Sure, I’m in!  See you then!

Final Scores


Maillaro – Story

Weaver – Story

Maillaro – Art

Weaver – Art

Thor (2014) #4





Green Lantern (1960) #7