Filling in some of the gaps of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our first taste of the Thor sequel comes in this comic prelude.
It’s said that pop will eat itself, and there’s no greater example of that idiom than the official Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in comics. That’s a series of comics based on a movie universe that is in turn based on a variety of comic books. Designed to plug some of the holes between films and raise anticipation even higher, they might be the best chance that publishers have of funnelling some of that multi-billion dollar box-office coin back into the medium that inspired it. Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1 is the first chapter in a two-part preview for the release of Thor: The Dark World in October.
Save for a throwaway line about “dark energy”, one of the points of discussion coming out of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was how Thor managed to return to Earth despite destroying the Bifrost at the end of his own film. Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1 aims, in part, to explain how this was possible, and what the consequences of that action were. The rest of the nine realms are slowly heading towards chaos, and with news of Asgard being cut off from them, mischief is afoot. When Thor’s brother Loki is discovered on Earth harnessing the power of the Tesseract, the all-father Odin summons enough dark energy to send Thor back to our planet.
The title of Thor: The Dark World Prelude is a little misleading, as this first issue is more of a prequel to The Avengers. In fact, much like the Iron Man 3 prelude comic, the events of the story run parallel to The Avengers, showing what Thor, Jane Foster, Erik Selvig and Darcy were up to while that tale was getting started. However, this only fills in a portion of the story, and much of this comic actually recapping The Avengers itself. Indeed, almost five pages of content is lifted wholesale from The Avengers screenplay, and we are not much further along story-wise than the mid-section of that film by the end of this issue.
Scot Eaton has done his share of Thor work for Marvel over the years, and here he effortlessly slips into the fray again, proving a dab hand at everything from starscapes to military bases on Earth. Fairly faithful renderings of the actors are provided as well, which is a nice relief from the almost-but-not-quite depictions of Hollywood in print.
All prequels have the inevitable problem of working within the confines of a predetermined ending, and the most they can do is illuminate aspects of the characters’ pasts. Thor: The Dark World Prelude gives away very little, which is unsurprising given that the film is still five months out of cinemas. It’s hardly essential reading, but if you can’t wait for your next slice of Marvel Cinematic pie, this might keep the rumblings at bay until the main course arrives.
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