Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Thor: Redux

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Thor Redux

Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Thor Redux - Credit: Archant

It’s hammer time again...

(Panini Books)

This latest instalment in the acclaimed Marvel Platinum line literally goes to Hel and back. That’s Hel with one “l”, as in the Norse Gods’ version of the underworld ruled over by the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela, who is a major protagonist in the new Thor movie Ragnarok (as played by Cate Blanchett).

The daughter of a previous incarnation of Loki and a giantess, she represents an almost primeval force, and maintains the natural balance of life and death even among the gods.

Because the gladiatorial aspect of the Ragnarok film is based largely on the Planet Hulk series, and not a Thor storyline, focusing on supporting character Hela makes perfect sense for this collection, and also offers the ideal opportunity to feature some of the strongest Thunder God strips of the past 50 years, crafted by a who’s who of comic book creators.

One of the highlights comes during Walt Simonson’s legendary run, when affronted by Thor’s invasion of her realm, Hela curses him to eternal life while making his bones weak and brittle, hoping that eventually the pain will drive him to beg her for death.

This volume also includes a classic showdown between Thor and the green goliath set during the early part of their careers, Odin’s desperate attempt to prevent the Twilight of the Gods by any means possible, and the cosmic power of Infinity, born from a sliver of the All-Father’s very soul, so you’re not being short-changed on any account.

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The roll call of talent featured herein also includes Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Erik Larsen, Kieron Gillen, Jack Kirby and John Buscema for starters, and the stories collected should be perfectly accessible to anyone with a passing understanding of Thor and his world picked up from the movies.

As always, these Platinum compendiums are a perfectly chosen blend of comics old and new, offering a snapshot look at one of Marvel’s leading protagonists, and long may they continue.