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Thor #9 Review

by Charles Martin on January 09, 2019

Thor #9 Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist / Colourist: Mike Del Mundo
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

A drunk, disgraced, house-arrested Dario Agger apparently put in a late-night call for help to Roz Solomon. The minotaur CEO who faces her down in this comic's first scene is (slightly) soberer and much less interested in talking to a spy with a defunct agency. He opens the book with plenty of potshots against SHIELD.

That makes the perfect setup for explaining how and why Roz is now dripping with Panther tech and packing vibranium heat as an Agent of Wakanda.

If you're looking for an AoW roster rundown, replete with the deepest of deep cuts, Avengers #12 is your jam. Here, what you get is a tight, completely Roz-centric story that shows the full "be an Agent of Wakanda" pitch in beautiful detail.

Okoye plays the roles of both M and Q as she equips Roz in flashback and then unleashes her on the world for a Bond-type adventure. Her mission is hunting Malekith's forces on Earth, and she sure doesn't come up empty. Strap in for the Cold War of the Realms!

Visually, this is another powerhouse performance by Mike Del Mundo. Although he hardly came into this series as a green-cheeked newbie, the greater familiarity he has now with his writer and his story produce stronger art. This issue handles an ambitious amount of action and it does it with commendable clarity and flow.

(Speaking of "green," though, the She-Hulk cameo has a regrettable shortage of it. More intense colours would have been welcome there!)

The artist slips in one of his trademark "ooh-ooh" faces when Roz gets her first peek at a vibranium gun. But he also throws in a striking profile portrait of Jane Foster that I'm gonna remember (in a good way!) for a long time.

There is one critique against which this book is defenceless: It's not much of a Thor comic. It's a fair shot, and if you have space in your heart for none but the Odinson, this might be disappointing.

But if you're up for a stylish superspy adventure with high stakes, shocking action, and shrewd insights into Roz Solomon's character, though? Wow, are you in luck!

And when it comes to big-picture plot development, this issue does push the War forward. It even reveals an Asgardian spy embedded deep in Svartalfheim who is, in many ways, the exact opposite of Roz Solomon.

This issue's script pulls a deft fake-out when it comes to characterizing Roz. It drives hard toward a "secret shame" sort of message, then flips it on its head in her later scenes. The effect is audacious and entirely successful. It shoves Roz well outside of Thor's shadow and reminds us again that this character is more than ready to carry her own story.

In Thor #9, the Odinson cedes starring honours to Roz Solomon, freshly-minted Agent of Wakanda. Roz flourishes in the spotlight. While the character work is impressive and the superspy action is thoroughly satisfying, the biggest accomplishment might be expanding the scope of the War of the Realms even further and reminding us that Thor is not the only hero fighting it.

Our Score:

9/10

A Look Inside

Comments

Charles Martin's picture
I have unanswered questions about what the Dark Elves were planning before Roz went wildcatting through their spy operation.