WotR Damage Report: Freya, Frank, and a Few Avengers…
WotR Strikeforce: The Dark Elf Realm #1
Writer: Bryan Hill
Art: Leinil Francis Yu & Gerry Alanguilian
Color: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Marvel Comics
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Another mini-series of tie-ins commences this week as we dive into the first “Strikeforce” team dispersed by Lady Freya in issue three of “War of the Realms.” This particular team is lead and recruited by Freya herself, and what an odd-ball team it is. On paper, three Avengers being led by the All-Mother may not seem that odd, but it’s not exactly the most household names when it comes to avenging. Ghost Rider, She-Hulk, and Blade are all handpicked, but Captain America also gave Freya the inclination that Frank Castle would also make a great addition, due to his abilty to cope with harsh circumstances. Before Freya can completely trust the group, she puts everyone through an individual test specifically designed to torture the mind. Not sure why this is, but I don’t question the All-Mother or her ways. Jennifer Walters is put in a courtroom scenario with her cousin, Bruce Banner, as the judge. Robbie Reyes has to defeat an imposter Spirit of Vengance. Blade takes out an older and alternate version of himself that is more of a vampire lord than he is a slayer. Lastly, Frank is faced with them mental task of killing his teammates, but he makes sure to reiterate that he felt bad in doing so. Finally, the team must spar Freya herself before she can find them all deeming of the task at hand. Their mission is to take out the Black Bifrost so that Malekith is no longer able to ship his army across Midgard so easily. Keep in mind, all of the events up until this point take place during the time frame of issue three of “WotR”, so you would have to know at this point that the Rainbow Bifrost is back in business thanks to Daredevil possessing the sword of Heimdell. Just before she leads her team to the Dark Elf Realm, she and Frank have a good heart to heart and she reveals that after looking into the future, she warns that she will become something that will never let her go. What that means is yet to be determined, so one can only speculate at this point. Flash forward to hours later, the team stands in front of the Black Bifrost and Freya announces that there has been a change of plan. The Black Bifrost must now be protected instead of destroyed, or they will be stranded. This could only mean one thing, and that being the Rainbow Bifrost has been destroyed. Which, once again, is confirmed in the pages of “WotR” #3. The final page leads us into issue four of “WotR” as Freya’s Strike Force stands their ground against an invading army of Dark Elves.
Bryan Hill did an awesome job tying in this issue. It genuinely felt like it came straight out of the pages that set this issue up in “WotR” #3. The montage of Freya making the team prove themselves felt very unnecessary, with the exception of Frank Castle’s, but I’m sure it will make more sense as the tie-ins keep coming. The fact is that despite the unneeded individual scenarios, all of the characters felt genuine and belonging in the end, even though this would never seem like a team the All-Mother would hand pick to travel to another realm.
The art team on this book did a great job delivering the proper visuals to this story. This issue could have easily been drawn with a bright and simplistic style and it could have suited just fine. However, I was very pleased to see a darker and more detailed style for this story instead. The detail in Blade’s castle was amazing, as well was all of the beautiful cosmic panels involving Freya. There was never a visually confusing moment in this book, and was consistently pleasing from beginning to end.
I would have thought that by now the tie-ins would start to feel redundant and unnecessary, but somehow the stories all seem to keep drawing me in. The Dark Elf Realm #1 is no exception. Granted, some of the pages in this issues didn’t exactly feel necessary, it still has its moment of fan service. I highly suggest you read this book after “WotR” #3, otherwise it could come off rather confusing. Overall, this story definitely brought another cool angle to the War of the Realms.
I would have thought that by now the tie-ins would start to feel redundant and unnecessary, but somehow the stories all seem to keep drawing me in.