Review: Ragnarok #2

Ragnarok sounds like a joke from a savvy comic book reader. Walter Simonson, writer and artist of perhaps the most beloved run on Thor, is creating his own comic for IDW about another character who is literally Thor? That’s just too bonkers, and too awesome for that matter, to be real, but low and behold, it exists, and it is so cool. In his old age, Simonson flexes his skills of writing epic, mythological fiction and drawing the Hell out of blisteringly neat action in this new comic series. The second issue gives a proper introduction to the protagonist in an action-packed installment that relies heavily on his visuals.

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Actually incidentally similar to the first issue of the new Thor: God of Thunder series, Ragnarok #1 spent time away from its protagonist, choosing instead to focus on world-building and expository teases towards said character. Here, with all of the stakes already made clear in the last issue, our hero awakens to rather exciting effect. Enough characterization is given to make him likeable, casting him as a boisterous but moral-enough of a violent, intimidating god. There isn’t a large amount of dialogue or narration to be found here, however, making this issue a simple, mostly visual affair.

Simonson is such a superb artist, making this book truly shine. He makes everything look rough, meaty and dynamic, giving a reason to keep one’s eyes locked in. It’s amazing how striking he makes every bit of movement look, causing these pictures to explode off of the page. Every punch, every hit of the hammer, every kick, it all feels viscerally satisfying. Furthermore, Simonson displays a seamless ability to characterize through art, making the big, dumb oafs look stupid in the way they look, slack-jawed, at the reader, as an example. Some more usage of splash pages would have been nice, but what’s provided is lovely.

The premise of Ragnarok is delightfully simple, this issue less heavy than even the first. It hasn’t propelled itself to something incredibly exciting, as the story is still just getting started, and so far our knowledge of the protagonist in terms of characterization is minimal. Ragnarok is off to a good start, though, and is doing all the right things to make me believe it will eventually get to a point where some truly phenomenal issues are coming out.

Story: Walter Simonson Art: Walter Simonson
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

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IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review