Friday, January 6, 2012

Favorite Panel(s) Friday (The Why I <3 Matt Fraction Edition)

Did I mention comics are a big deal to me?

One of the reasons I started writing in the first place (aside from the irresistible compulsion which drives most writers I know) is that at one point I was told the best way to break into comics was to become a novelist.

That aside, I love writing my Void City novels, so it's all well and good. (Though, seriously, a Devil Dinosaur mini series. If C. B. Cebulski or Axel Alonso ever read these words, I have the first few issues scripted already. It would be AWESOME and funny and only an email away.) 



But back to my favorite panels of the week.  Now, not all of these will likely be Marvel, but I am a Marvel Zombie from way back, so it shouldn't be a surprise if many of them are. I had originally thought this week's would come from a very surreal moment in Uncanny X-force #19.1. Can you say, "That ain't what you thought was going to happen was it, Jean?" Heh.  But instead, this week's panels (which I should add are trademarked and copy-written all to hell and back by Marvel Comics, so I'm not trying to infringe on anything) are from issues of The Mighty Thor written by Matt fraction.

They aren't "new" exactly. The series is on issue #9 right now, IIRC, but they were new to me and a part of my holiday gift card funded drive to catch up on all the Marvel title I wanted to read, but had fallen way behind on because I went digital only on my comic collecting and tightened up the comics buying fund to less epic levels. (Fifty some odd long boxes is too many. I couldn't store any more than that. Seriously.)

The panels I'm talking about both deal with interactions between Volstagg and Pastor Mike (the preacher of the small church in Braxton, OK, which is now basically right next door to Asgard) If you hang out with me on Facebook, or have had lunch with me in the last day or two, you already know how much I love the way Volstagg interacts with Pastor Mike.

Volstagg never surrenders his belief in his own godhood, but he also doesn't disrespect Mike's belief in God. Personally, I think Volstagg wishes he had such a devoted worshipper. Mike, however, is having trouble with the whole idea of Asgard being real and its gods walking around in Oklahoma. Here's one confrontation from issue #4:

The Mighty Thor, issue #3

Later in the six issue storyline, where Galactus is basically being Galactus and trying to devour worlds... or in this case a seed from the heart of the World Tree which also seems to be the basis of all worlds and cycles of existence, and amidst some wonderful Loki, Thor, and silver Surfer scenes involving the phrase "silver bastard" and a line from Sif which shall live in infamy... when she must choose between grabbing her blanket, to defend her modesty, or her sword, to defend her person (guess which one she chose)... we have another great panel in which Volstagg answers the question "What is that thing?" (meaning Galactus) and responds with the line that made me laugh so hard that I woke up my sleeping wife.

The Mighty Thor, Issue #5


I simply adore the phrase "small friend of Jesus". Matt Fraction treads so carefully and so deftly here, creating humor, and enlightening without crossing the line in condescension, that it boggles the mind.  Really, though, the tale of Pastor Mike has an even cooler moment in issue six which I cannot bring myself to spoil.  So, I'll just say this: Very rarely are comics today completely worth the price of admission.  Fans like me read them for the bright points where the characters we love shine and sparkle in story-lines like The Dark Knight Returns or Age of Apocalypse or... the first six issues of The Mighty Thor.

In short: Well worth the read.


michael said...

I love Matt Fraction too,and was very sorry to see him leave X-men. He wrote some of the best stories since Claremont. Also 50 long boxes aren't too many as I just added my 51st last week.

Janet said...

Seriously? Only fifty long boxes? J, you have so many comics, we had to have the foundation professionally reinforced to keep the house from tipping inward toward your comics collection!