Welcome to #1 Comic of the Week, a series where our comics editor, Susana Polo, tips you off to a neat new story or series that kicked off in comics this week — just in time for some weekend reading.
Marvel’s Fresh Start relaunch kicked off in May, but June has been the month where it has truly settled in to stay. And since I skipped last week for various reasons, this week I’ll feature two of the relaunches most engaging refreshes of fan favorite characters
If you’re looking for a good place to start with these 50-year-old characters, here’s your chance: Thor #1 and Tony Stark: Iron Man #1.
Both Thor and Tony have had some tough times lately. Thor was stripped of his hammer and his deific role, as Jane Foster took up Mjolnir as the goddess of thunder. But after a lot of soul searching, some big battles and Jane’s cancer weakening her to the point that she could no longer withstand her transformation ... Thor is back in the metaphorical saddle.
As for Tony, he was dead. But he has a new body now, so it’s all good.
Thor #1 opens not unlike the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok — with the god of thunder battling through hordes as he attempts to obtain a powerful magical artifact for the treasure stores of Asgard. It also opens a lot like the end of Thor: Ragnarok, with Asgard and Mjolnir destroyed and many Asgardian peoples looking for a new home.
Iron Man #1 is a 40-page introduction to everything you need to know about Tony Stark — his achievements, his goals and the messy guy at the center of them, who, in a full accounting, is still kind of an overbearing jerk who’s lucky to have gotten this far.
Thor has a talking dog:
Tony Stark: Iron Man has a talking cat:
Thor is from longtime Thor scribe Jason Aaron, embarking on a new era for the thunder god, in which it looks like he’ll be bickering his way through the Nine Realms with Loki while trying to stop a war; plus a shorter backup feature about Thor and his three granddaughter goddesses in the far future, trying to safeguard the human race during the final heat death of the universe.
Tony Stark: Iron Man is a new venture from Dan Slott, who just completed a record-setting 10-year run on The Amazing Spider-Man. The energy Slott brings to Iron Man is almost infectious, pushing Tony’s interest in scientific endeavor to the fore, with all the Marvel Universe weirdness that can include.
But ultimately, Slott takes the now-famous image of Tony Stark declaring himself Iron Man at a press conference and subverts it to underscore the issue’s message: This is a new Tony, who’s all about group achievement instead of lone wolfing it through mad science.
So pick your poison: Thor #1 has epic fantasy adventure in store for you, complete with royal sibling rivalry, animal sidekicks and a trip to the underworld. Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 gives Tony Stark a jaeger (basically) so he can beat up a kaiju (basically), and has strong words about the rights of machine intelligences.
Either way, you just might get hooked.