WotR Damage Report: Spidey Finally Gets That Shield (No, Not That One)
WotR Strikeforce: The Land of the Giants #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Jorge Molina & Adriano Di Benedetto
Colors: David Curiel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Follow all of our War of the Realms coverage with the Damage Report!
In this tie-in we go back in time a bit to before the events of issue three of “War of the Realms.” Because the outcome of what this book is supposed to be has already been revealed through the other tie-ins, I was skeptical about this book’s ability to keep me entertained. Well, it did just that.
If you’ve been following this event, you already know that Captain America is leading one of three “strikeforce” teams put together by Freya. His team also consists of Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Wolverine. Their task is to rescue the stranded Thor from Jotunheim. Like I mentioned earlier, we know they do just that, but this issue gives us more insight to the entire mission, and not so much focusing on the outcome. There have been a lot of questions raised throughout this event, and this issue answers at least a couple of them. The first pages start with Spider-Man being recruited from the streets of NY by Cap. From there, we finally get to see the moment where the Asgardian armor is dispersed, hence the shield Spidey has been wearing since the early solicits of this event. It’s not just the armor that is handed out, but the rides as well. And by rides, I mean Pegasus. We see the team riding into Jotunheim ready to go, but it’s not long before the Giants overwhelm them and all of the Pegasus but one, Buttercup, are slain. You can probably guess that Buttercup was the name that Spider-Man gave his Pegasus. Well, as it turns out, this is no ordinary Pegasus. The first indication is when it starts talking. The second being that it reveals that it’s name in not actually Buttercup (duh), but Queen Arctorius. The Queen then explains that her duty was to stay with her fallen kin while they all go find Thor. Essentially, that’s what happens, but just as Thor is found, Arctorius rides in again to make sure the team fulfills their mission. Sadly, the beloved Buttercup also falls in the line of duty before our heroes can get out of Jotunheim with Thor.
I mentioned earlier that my expectations were low for this issue due to the lack of mystery. I should have known that Tom Taylor can take a book that should have been as predictable as they come, and turn it into the best tie-in of the event so far. It’s not necessarily because of the gravity of any particular events that take place, or even because of a talking horse queen. But it is for every line of re-quotable dialog that Taylor delivers between the team. Not only is it all funny, but it all plays well into the story without forcing in out of place humor that so many other writers tend to do. Somehow, Taylor never fails to impress me, even when the circumstances seemingly aren’t’ all that intriguing,
It’s hard to believe that the art in this book could be as good as the story telling. Molina and Di Bennedetto live up to the challenge and deliver a spectacularly stunning issue. All of the panels entailing heroes like Wolverine and Luke Cage fighting on the back of Pegasus are poster worthy. It’s not just the line work that deserves to be praised though. The colors by Curiel were just as worthy as the rest of this art. The visuals in this issue really do help dignify an argument at this being the best issue of the event so far.
There is not a disappointing page or panel in this entire issue. For this being a story that I believe was released far too late in the event making it so that there is not a while lot of mystery or weight to the book, I ended up closing this issue as a very satisfied reader. This entire creative team delivered something that I did not think could be done. If I were asked to pick a favorite panel out of this book, I would have to scour every single page due to the amount of memorable and beautiful moments. In a giant sea of tie-ins, this is no doubt the whale.
There is not a disappointing page or panel in this entire issue.