In the first half of this prelude comic, writers Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle appeared to be hampered by their inability to be able to give away too much story ahead of October’s Thor: The Dark World. Instead, the first issue didn’t so much serve as a prelude to the forthcoming film as a parallel tale to both the first Thor film and cinematic flagship The Avengers. While this second issue is still burdened with many of those same constraints, it goes a little bit deeper into the motivations of the supporting cast, and suggesting that some of the sequel will be able consequences.
While Thor is aiding the Avengers in the defeat and capture of Loki, Jane Foster has been sent to Norway so as not to interfere with Thor’s single-minded pursuit of his rogue brother. Following Loki’s return to Asgard, the All-Father Odin disowns him and send him to the dungeon, which the trailers tell us is where we will find him at the start of the next film. As Erik Solveig struggles to regain his sense of self, Jane decides to give up searching for Thor. Meanwhile, as the growing tide of Ragnorak comes to claim them all, Thor uses the power of the Tesseract to open the Bifrost and bring Asgard back to its former glory.
Although this is still a parallel story, and doesn’t necessarily advance us too much beyond the ending of The Avengers, it does fill in that very important backstory necessary for the advancement of Jane Foster’s character. She can’t simply be the young woman pining for her hero anymore. In the original comics (Journey Into Mystery #125), she was taken to Asgard and granted the power of the gods, but she was unable to handle the power and was returned to Earth without memory of the event. For the second Thor film to be convincing, the character notes displayed in part here have to be those of a convincing modern woman. Yost, one of the film’s screenwriters, seems to be planning on making her determination a major factor in the coming film.
Ron Lim takes over from fellow Silver Surfer alumni Scot Eaton for this second issue, and his clean line work is completely appropriate to the material. It doesn’t have quite the same realistic rendering of the actors that Eaton strove for, but it is a convincing world nonetheless.
As we wait patiently for the next few months for the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the main achievement of this prequel mini-series has been to make us more anxious for the final product. Teasing us with the barest of hints, this is not essential reading for the enjoyment of the next film, but it will provide rabid fans with some welcome character development and backstory.
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