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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyday stories of the God of Thunder, 1 May 2014
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David Ford "Genre junkie" (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thor Epic Collection: A Kingdom Lost (Mighty Thor) (Paperback)
This is the second Epic Collection of Thor stories, after the previous War of the Pantheons, and this one forms Volume 11 of the eventual complete sequence. Covering the years 1981-1982, the selection of stories compiled here (17 regular issues and two annuals) are a mixed bunch, nearly all one-shots (in fact, the longest story arc here is a mere three issues long).

In these tales, the Thunder God tries to renew his life on Midgard/Earth (a plotline concerns his human alter ego Donald Blake trying to adjust to an inner-city clinic), tussles with giants, dragons and the superhuman thugs known as the Wrecking Crew, and faces not one but two ex-heralds of Galactus. There are human gangsters, the two-faced android known as the Bi-Beast, and a guest appearance by Thor's fellow Avenger Iron Man, as well as many more. Being mostly Earth-set, there are not too many visits to Asgard, despite Thor being in a relationship with Sif at this time. However, several of the issues contain 'Tales of Asgard' backup features which handily make up this shortcoming, mostly concerned with the Norn Queen Karnilla's machinations against Balder and Odin's attempt to wrest Valhalla back from Hela.

The stories are mostly penned by Doug Moench, with art largely provided by Keith Pollard (although Marvel legend Gil Kane contributes an issue as well). Both creators provide solid, although perhaps not spectacular, work. Moench captures the nobility of the thunder god and provides plenty of action, while Pollard's lines are clean and in the classical Marvel style. They're certainly not bad, just... not particularly special.

And that goes for the stories collected in this book, mostly. There are no status-changing story arcs, no legendary developments or characters introduced. What these tales represent is the month-to-month regular issues of a long-running series, and frankly that is the strength, to me, of the Epic Collection project. These would have been forgotten, uncollected due to their very plainness, but with the completeness Marvel are aiming for here, they are given the same respectful treatment as the very best story arcs. If you're a casual Thor reader, you can perhaps feel free to skip this particular book. But if you aim to experience the thunder god's entire saga, this is another volume you'll want for your shelf.
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Thor Epic Collection: A Kingdom Lost (Mighty Thor)
Thor Epic Collection: A Kingdom Lost (Mighty Thor) by Marvel Comics (Paperback - 29 April 2014)
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