Collecting the writer-artist’s seminal Thor run along with his Balder The Brave miniseries, each issue has been re-colored by Steve Oliff and Olyoptics 2.0, and the coloring advancements of the last 25 years enhance the grandeur of Simonson and Sal Buscema’s epic imagery.
Simonson brought new life to Thor by abandoning the mystical enchantment that required him to spend time on Earth as the human Donald Blake, and the focus on the fantasy elements alongside the superheroics is what makes his run so fondly remembered. Simonson takes Thor into space by introducing Beta Ray Bill, teams him with the X-Men during the classic “Mutant Massacre,” and even turns Thor into a frog for an adorable Carl Barks homage.
The stories hold up remarkably well, as Asgardian dialogue has the advantage of being so dated, its timeless. Simonson’s impressive draftsmanship has Jack Kirby’s energy while maintaining a distinct visual style.
The Omnibus also features a solid 50-plus pages of extras, including introductions by Simonson from past collections, sketches, and character designs that supplement the main feature, helping justify the steep price, which really isn’t all that bad when the stories are this good.
Grade ★ ★ ★ ★ out of 5 stars
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