War of the Realms #1

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Russell Dauterman, Matt Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

Following in the grand tradition of wars that are secret, infinite, and/or civil, this week sees the launch of Marvel’s next big crossover event: Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman’s War of the Realms #1.

War of the Realms is the culmination of writer Jason Aaron’s years-long saga with the God of Thunder, which began with the comic of the same name in 2012. A lot has happened since then: Thor (Odinson) was deemed unworthy; Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder in his place; Asgard was destroyed by the Mangog; Jane Thor died (sorta); and Thor (Odinson) reclaimed his name. Oh, and he’s got a golden arm now, which is fun. Meanwhile, Malekith of Svartalfheim has steadily been conquering each of the Ten Realms, and Misgard — better known as Earth — is the last on his list. Luckily, Earth has what the other realms don’t: superheroes. Plenty of superheroes to defend their home planet.

The fortunate thing about War of the Realms is that it doesn’t require extensive knowledge of everything leading up to it. I’ve only read the Jane Foster era of Aaron’s Thor run (as well as his current Avengers), but the premise itself isn’t that complicated to follow. Without undermining Aaron’s decade of planning, you could really boil down the plot to a bunch of evil Renaissance Fair LARPers invade the Marvel Universe. So, how could you not be interested?

As a huge fan of Aaron’s Jane Foster saga with artist Russell Dauterman, the reunion of the two is a major draw to the core War of the Realms title for me. They’re the kind of of creative team who seems completely in-sync with one another, and it shows on the page. Dauterman’s art is, quite simply, stunning. You really get the sense of epicness intended, and since this crossover spans the whole Marvel Universe, he gets to play with a much more diverse selection of characters and settings here. The fact that Matt Wilson returns from the Mighty Thor era to color Dauterman is just the cherry on top. Letterer Joe Sabino also deserves a mention for making Aaron’s dense script easy to follow, which can be a challenge in big event crossovers like these.

The Verdict: Buy it.

Launching the latest Marvel crossover event in style, War of the Realms #1 offers big superhero action with beautiful art and an intriguing premise.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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