WotR Damage Report: Somebody’s Already Dead in WAR OF THE REALMS #1 (Review)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s here. For three months I have been waiting for this. If you don’t know what War of the Realms is, you haven’t picked up a Marvel comic this year. We have been riddled with four page spreads and cover page advertisements for a quarter of the year. It’s safe to say after the first issue of the event, it’s all been worth it.
The prelude took place in the latest issue of Thor showing the preparation of Malekith’s army and everything else needed to know before the war starts, so this allowed Jason Aaron to not have to piddle around and get right to the fight. And that he does. This book does not mess around and gets right down to the killing. We start out with Odin sitting on his throne in the what’s left of Asgard. All he wants to do is sleep, but he knows a terrible end is near. He tries desperately to close his eye again, but opens up to see a small group of Dark Elves approaching his throne. Odin realizes their malicious intent, but it doesn’t matter. One of the assassins is too quick, and Odin gets a blade to the gut. We are left to believe that Odin has fallen. In the first couple of pages we get a death. This is how I want a Marvel event to start! Keep in mind, this is an oversized issue so there is lots of story to tell still. From here we go to Newark Harbor, Midgard. Thor and his faithful companion Thori look abroad and contemplate the coming doom. No bifrost or Miljnoir to assist, things seem pretty grim in Thor’s eyes. Right on cue, Loki comes falling from the sky. Thor tells Thori to warn the Avengers as Loki warns that Malekith is on his way. Thor demands that Loki take him to Malekith before he gets to Midgard, and after the usual Thor-Loki bickering, Loki agrees. The thing is, Loki takes him to Jotunheim instead. Thor’s natural instinct is that Loki tricked him to take him the to Frost Giant King instead, but Loki did actually follow through as promised. It just so happens that Malekith is in Jotunheim afterall, he’s just recruiting a few Frost Giants before he finishes his journey to Midgard. There is a brief standoff between Malekith and Thor, but then we transfer back to Midgard. We see our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swinging around the Bronx. His spidey-senses lead him to a roof top where Lady Freya and a few other Asgardians are fighting off some more Dark Elves. Well, two Asgardians (Hildegarde and Lady Sif) and JANE FOSTER! If you haven’t been following along, the Asgardians have taken sanctuary in the Bronx and Jane no longer has cancer. After the elves are vanquished, Lady Freya inquires about her son’s whereabouts. To which nobody has any idea. Our story continues to the streets where we get a glimpse of a few more heroes witnessing the invasion. Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Punisher, and Logan all find their way right in the middle of Malekith’s army entering Midgard. The war has officially begun. The Avengers are on site, led by the faithful Thori. Some of Asgards greatest warriors stand next to them ready to face off against the Realms’ greatest threat. And Loki is forced to watch it all while his father threatens to finally end his greatest mistake. Before the Frost Giant King can end Loki’s life, Malekith runs in to claim the kill instead. Just before Malekith can end Loki, Doctor Strange shows up to stop him. Unfortunately, he is still left unguarded to his father and is eaten. Yes, HIS FATHER EATS HIM! Death number two in issue number one has taken place. That seemed to be the cue Thor needed to show up, because that’s exactly what happens, in the most “Thor” way possible, and that’s where we leave off.
One may think that a story with this much depth would be too dense to comprehend, right? Wrong. Not with Jason Aaron writing. He’s been building this war for over three years, you can bet nothing about this story is going to be rushed. It is told in a fun and enticing way, while still delivering the magnitude of the cataclysmic events going down. For instance. Loki’s death. Tragic? Yes. Hilarious? Still yes. That’s the doings of a talented writer. If Aaron chose to kill Loki by, say, beheading; that would not have had nearly the same funny feeling as being eaten. Jason Aaron just knows what to say, how to say and, and exactly when to say it all every time. I love that I got to hear Aaron voicing some characters I’ve never seem him write before, like Daredevil and Punisher. I don’t know how much more I can gush.
Russell Dauterman brought the damn thing. I absolutely love the art in this story. Really that was the only thing I was weary about with this book. Not because I don’t like Dauterman’s art, but because I was completely ignorant to his work. I could not be more impressed with the delivery of every panel and character design. Kudos also goes to Matthew Wilson on the colors. A beautifully soft tone to such a dramatically violent story could be potentially bad. WIlson pulled it off with flying colors. No pun intended.
When I closed this book I had to take a step back and think for a moment. If we get all of this excitement and death in just the first issue, how much more blood will be spilled in the next couple of months? I cannot wait to see how it all ends. It has been teased that the events of this story will play a big part in the future of our heroes, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us.
I cannot wait to see how it all ends.