Graphic Novel Review: War of the Realms

War of the Realms

War of the Realms - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

Believe the hype! This is Thor's equivalent of Tolkien's The Return of the King, the culmination of a masterful epic of grand mythology which truly defines the character and his world. It is the end of a five-year story arc magnificently crafted by writer Jason Aaron and an assembly of awesome artists, and does not disappoint on a single page.

Over the course of many months, the Dark Elf Malekith has led a bloody campaign of conquest across the Ten Realms, with only Earth, also known as Midgard, left to be ground under his boot.

His army of angelic warriors, frost giants, fire goblins and trolls, supported by the corrupt corporation Roxxon and the Asgardian traitors Amora the Enchantress and Loki, Prince of Lies, are ready for their final battle.

But even though Thor himself is missing, Earth's heroes are not prepared to go down without a fight, and if that means taking the conflict back into Malekith's territory then so be it. The likes of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Punisher and Venom are enlisted to carry out desperate missions which could change the course of the war and prevent Malekith's final victory…

Although various spin-off books exist alongside the main narrative, there's no need to pick them up to understand the course of Aaron's storyline, which focuses primarily on the efforts of Thor and his supporting cast to achieve victory at any cost.

The term "magnum opus" is bandied around too often without justification these days, but Aaron's run on Thor is a career-blazing masterpiece which deserves only the highest praise.