The Art of Thor is a 240 page hardcover art book that comes with a slipcase. The cover has a faux leather texture with the title embossed and a sticker of a piece of art pasted. The paper quality is like thicker magazine paper, just like the Iron Man movie art books, also published by Marvel.
If you haven't watch the movie, the spoilers in the book will come in the form of characters that aren't shown in the trailers. There are lots of designs for the characters, namely Thor, Odin, Loki, Destroyer, enemies and other lesser characters. Each character has several costume variations. The armor and especially the helmets are very beautifully designed. The costumes designs are done really well. Designs for the Destroyer is very cool.
The environment art are on Asgard and its various places like Odin's chamber, palace ground, Heimdall's Observatory, Jotunheim and also the sets on Earth. They aren't digitally painted - touched up definitely - and have a very CGI look with the photo textures. The concepts and design are great, you get the feeling that Asgard is a beautiful place but somehow the style of the art just doesn't bring that out.
The rest of the book have other stuff like designs for the hammer, Odin's horse, photos of the props and actors, movie posters etc. Most of the art are accompanied by commentary providing interesting background information, like why they create runes on the hammer and what they are.
The downside of the book is the less than satisfactory resolution of the art included. The image resolution isn't high enough for the large format book. Some of the pictures look pixelated, especially for those that are scaled over 2 pages, typically the background art.
So overall, the character art is great, but the background art and low image resolution don't quite make the mark for me.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
First of all, I'll kind of apologise for giving 5 stars, as usually reviews giving things 5 star are just a big fangirly chunk of text that says 'OMG I love it so much it's so beautiful everyone buy it it's the bestest!', but I thought I'd be honest, because it really is very beautiful.
It comes in a sturdy hardback kind of sleeve, which has on it some of the golden designs on the walls of Heimdall's observatory in the film, which is a nice touch. The book itself is covered with embossed leatherette and the cover features some concept art of the fight between Thor and Loki on the rainbow bridge. Inside, the book begins to tell you how Thor came about in the Marvel universe, how Stan Lee got his inspiration, and then goes on to say how the comic book Thor was translated onto film, with photographs and lots of concept art developing the aesthetics and costumes of him. Sadly, there is not quite as much detail spent on Loki as I'd hoped, considering that he is arguably the main character, Thor aside. There is also a detailed few pages on the development of Mjolnir, Thor's Hammer, as well as the other props. If I had to find a flaw in the book (save Loki's brief detail), I'd only really say that it'd have been nice to see some of the actual storyboards, or some concept art of scenes from the film.
Otherwise, this book is a highly recommendable investment, the kind of thing that is just a nice possession to have, even if you don't read it very often. I suppose the price seems fairly steep at first, but I think it's worth the extra cost, and am wanting to buy 'The Art of Avengers Assemble' now~ Who knows, this sort of thing might even go up in value after time.
I understand that i should review the product here. But others have done a fine job reviewing it already and i would not dare to presume i could do that in a better way. For once i would like to take this opportunity to write about why you should buy this product at Amazon.
After ordering this product i received it only a few days later (i live in the Netherlands). The product was sealed and because the book is encased in a slipcase it is impossible for quality control to see if the book inside the slipcase is faulty or not. Alas, after removing the seal and the slipcase i was confronted with a faulty off-centered and damaged binding. This makes it uncomfortable to flip through the pages and for an art-book like this one (which should be the pride of many a coffee-table) it is downright ugly.
My experience with the customer-service from Amazon was like a breeze. After contacting them the replacement order was taken care of before i knew it. A few days later it arived in pristine condition and no faults whatsoever.
An experience like this gives me the confidence to order new products in the future at Amazon without worry.
This book includes hundreds of great images, including: - Thor comic book to screen comparisons - Costume designs for Thor, Loki, Odin, etc. - Dozens of various designs for Thor's hammer - Asgard city and technology concept artwork - The Destroyer design - Jotunheim landscapes and creatures - Frost Giants and their weapons - Theatrical Movie Poster designs
*Please see video for detailed photographs from the book [music is from the Thor soundtrack].
**I would recommend you purchase the Hardcover Edition of this book. The pages are soaked with colors as well as black backgrounds, so there is a lot of ink. The hardcover editions seem to have thicker pages, but many who own the paperback have complained about thinner pages which causes distortion. Also, the book is quite heavy, and having a hardcover allows you to better control the book while flipping through the pages. So it may be more expensive to purchase the hardcover edition, but I think the increased quality is well worth the extra cost.
I have been wanting to buy this book for a long time now and when it arrived I was not disappointed. Beautiful art with great descriptions of the creative process. I personally feel that this book is better than the new Thor the Dark World art book.