So far The War of the Realms has been a fun big event. Jason Aaron has treated the reader to an action packed story full of bloody violence that is delivered in a truly epic scale. Sure, this big event is a bit dumb and Aaron has been inconsistent with the tone and mood of the story. But, overall, The War of the Realms has been lots of fun. I am sure that The War of the Realms #3 will be another adrenaline pumping action full of violence. Let’s hit this review!
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin in the armory at Avengers Mountain. Freya says that Malekith has been using the Black Bifrost in Svartalfheim to transport his armies to Midgard. Freya says that they must shut down the Black Bifrost otherwise Midgard will be overwhelmed and will lose the war with Malekith.
Freya says that she is the only person with the proper knowledge to lead the mission to destroy the Black Bifrost. (Wait…didn’t Aaron tell us in The War of the Realms #2 that Freya had decided to go to Jotunheim to rescue Thor and was willing to do it by herself?) Freya asks Captain America for a great favor. She asks Captain America to lead the mission to Jotunheim to rescue Thor. Captain America agrees.
We cut to Asgard where Heimdall and Daredevil are standing at the base of the broken Bifrost. Heimdall asks if Daredevil is ready to be imbued with the power of the Guardian of the Bifrost. Daredevil is ready and picks up Heimdall’s sword. Suddenly, the rainbow bridge of the Bifrost springs to life. Daredevil says that he can hear everything in the universe now.
We see that Jane Foster and the Destroyer are also at the Bifrost. Daredevil, Heimdall, Jane, and the Destroyer are all that is left to defend the Bifrost. Jane tells Daredevil to send their teams on their missions and then to get ready to hold the bridge.
We shift to Jotunheim where we see the Bifrost transporting Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage onto the scene. They are all riding flying horses. They all have been armed with Asgardian swords and axes. Except for Spider-Man who only gets a shield. Spider-Man complains by asking what loser goes into battle with just a shield. Spider-Man then shuts up realizing that he is talking to Captain America. (Ha! Well played, Aaron.)
The team then follows the river of Frost Giant blood in order to find Thor. Suddenly, a massive arrow the size of a telephone pole kills Luke’s winged horse. We see Frost Giant archers attacking our team of heroes.
We zip over to Svartalfheim. We see Freya, Punisher, and Blade posing as Dark Elf soldiers. She-Hulk is posing as a troll. Robbie Reyes is posing as a fire goblin. Our team of heroes approaches some dark elves who are guarding the Black Bifrost. Freya says that she has been ordered to get the troll and the fire goblin to Midgard ASAP. Robbie says “Hi, uh, ain’t Malekith great?” (Sweet baby Jesus. Marvel so desperately wants to get Robbie’s crap character over with readers. Yet, every single writer proceeds to write Robbie like the biggest dipshit moron on the planet.)
The Dark Elf guards see through our heroes ruse and our heroes ditch their disguises and race into battle with the Dark Elf guards.
We hop over to Midgard. Specifically Europe where Malekith has defeated Union Jack, Spitfire, and Black Knight. Malekith is holding Black Knight’s Ebony Blade. Malekith marvels at the beauty and power of the Ebony Blade. Malekith says he looks forward to wielding the Ebony Blade now that he is the ruler of Europe. Malekith then rechristens Europe as New Svartalfheim.
Suddenly, the team of Captain Britain, Venom, Deadpool, Bucky, Weapon H, Carol Danvers, and Sif appear on the scene. Carol channels her inner tobacco chewing John Wayne and says that the “War Avengers” are here to kick ass and show Malekith that nobody makes war like humans do. (Says the character who has never been in a real war.)
We zip back to Asgard. Daredevil says that Midgard is slipping away. Daredevil says that Malekith’s forces are coming for them. Suddenly, we see a bunch of Dark Elves teleporting onto the scene. Daredevil, Heimdall, Jane, and the Destroyer engage the Dark Elves in combat.
We cut to Tony Stark and Shuri helping the Dwarves to fashion new weapons for our heroes. We then shift to one of Malekith’s army arriving outside of Avengers Mountain. We then zip to the Agents of Wakanda attacking a Roxxon base in Antartica. The Agents of Wakanda report back to Black Panther that Roxxon has taken over all of Antartica. (Only the penguins would care about that.) We also see Malekith’s forces attacking Atlantis and engaging Namor in battle. We then see the Wakandan army battling Malekith’s army in Africa.
We then hop to New York City and see that the Fantastic Four are still there and are battling Malekith’s army. (Wait…Aaron told us in The War of the Realms #2 that Dr. Strange cast a spell so strong that it transported everyone including civilians and heroes to Avengers Mountain. Why wouldn’t the Fantastic Four have been included in that transportation spell?)
We slide over to Jotunheim where our heroes have taken down several frost giants. Wolverine tells them that they are getting close. Our heroes then hear Thor screaming. Captain America tells everyone to run and be ready for anything.
We shift to Svartalfheim. Out heroes have made it past all of the Dark Elf guards and are now at the Black Bifrost. She-Hulk powers up her gamma bomb attack to take down the Black Bifrost.
We cut to Europe where Malekith whips out his flaming Necrosword and stabs Venom with it causing Venom to become engulfed with flames. We then see the Necrosword in the ground and both Malekith and Venom have disappeared.
We hop back to the Bifrost where a dew of the Dark Elf soldiers get past our heroes. Daredevil is overwhelmed by his new powers that let him hear and see the entire universe. The Dark Elf soldiers then destroy the Bifrost. Again.
We zip back to Svartalfheim, where Freya feels the destruction of the Bifrost. Freya tells She-Hulk to not release her gamma blast. Freya says that their mission has changed. That they now need to hold the Black Bifrost. That the heroes will now use the Black Bifrost to get their teams out of Jotunheim and Svartalfheim. She-Hulk then uses her gamma power on the new Dark Elf reinforcements that just showed up on the scene.
We slide back to Jotunheim and see a massive mountain of Frost Giant corpses. On top of the mountain is Thor. Thor is screaming like a maniac. Wolverine tells the team to stay back. Wolverine says that Thor is in a berserker rage. Luke Cage says that they got their answer as to what happened to all of the dead giants. Luke says that the God of fucking Thunder happened.
We see Thor surrounded by lightning. Thor only has one hammer left and it is nearly totally destroyed. Thor is missing his artificial left arm. Thor screams, “More giants! Send me more Odin-damned giants! Send them ALL!!!”
We then get a map the New Kingdom of Midgard. North America is now New Jotunheim: The Land of the Frost Giants. Central and South America is now The Dusk Lands: Land of the Dead. Europe and the Middle East is now New Svartalfheim: Land of the Dark Elves. Africa is now New Heven: Land of the Angels. Asia is now New Muspelheim: Land of Fire. Australia and Southeast Asia is now the Kingdom of the Trolls. Antarctica is now the Kingdome of Roxxon, Inc. End of issue.
The Good: The War of the Realms #3 was another fun read. Jason Aaron is dishing out a big event that is an absolute blast. This big event is chock full of 1980’s styled action and adventure on a truly grand scale. I have not had this much fun reading a Marvel big event in quite some time.
Let’s get right to the obvious strength of The War of the Realms #3: the action. Aaron delivers plenty of bloody violent action with this massive war. We get to see our heroes kicking tons of ass. Since the villains are all monsters it is great to see our heroes able to really cut loose with their powers. We rarely get to see these heroes get some blood on their hands.
The War of the Realms #3 is excellently paced and plotted. Aaron keeps the story moving at a furious pace. Each scene rolls into the next one with intensity and frenetic pace of an adrenaline pumping war story. There are no slow points to this issue. There is never a dull moment.
Aaron keeps his laser focus and progresses the story forward with a clear purpose in mind. I like that Aaron has our having to change their plans on the fly when they have to go from destroying the Black Bifrost to saving the Black Bifrost. It is unexpected moments that one would expect to see in a real war. This helps give the story a bit of unpredictability and more of a real feel to the war. These little swerves keep the story exciting and the reader guessing as to what is going to happen next.
Aaron continues to deliver this big event on an impressive scale. This big event feels even larger in The War of the Realms #3. Aaron has Malekith’s forces covering ever inch of the globe. I love that Aaron understands for a big event to be truly effective that it must have the proper scale and scope. Adding the map of New Midgard at the end of The War of the Realms #3 was a great touch. This helped to reinforce the massive scale of this big event. Plus, little extras like the map of New Midgard are just cool old school throwbacks to comics from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Remember when comics used to have maps or schematics of the heroes weapons, vehicles, and headquarters? Good times.
Aaron does a good job with the dialogue and character work on certain of the characters in The War of the Realms #3. The best character work and dialogue is performed on Spider-Man, Punisher, Wolverine, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Captain America, and Freya.
Spider-Man’s dialogue was hilarious. Aaron always does such a good job with Peter’s dialogue and character. I also enjoyed the witty banter between Iron Fist and Luke. Aaron nailed the chemistry between these two friends. Punisher was properly terse and bad-ass. Wolverine had some funny dialogue that was delivered in a dry manner and consistent with his character. Captain America’s dialogue was also excellent. Steve’s response to Freya when she asked him to lead a team to Jotunheim was simply spot on perfect.
I loved Daredevil’s new role as the God Without Fear. Daredevil is the logical replacement for Heimdall. Aaron did an excellent job conveying to the reader how immense Heimdall’s powers are and how difficult it is for a mortal’s mind to handle such an overwhelming load of hearing everything across the entire universe. This was definitely seem cool character work with Daredevil’s character. It should be interesting to see how formidable Daredevil can be if he can properly control Heimdall’s powers.
Aaron wraps up The War of the Realms #3 with an incredibly bad-ass and powerful hook ending. Aaron’s Thor is just so damn awesome. Seeing a battle worn Thor with his broken hammer standing on top of a massive mountain of dead Frost Giants was a serious fuck-yeah moment. This gets Thor over as one of the biggest heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe. It also emphasizes the berserker aspect of Thor that has gotten lost in the reimagining of his character as a humorous moron. Adding more gravitas to Thor’s character is vital so that he is not reduced to a walking punchline. This scene also gets the reader excited to see Thor enter the battle against Malekith on Midgard.
Russell Dauterman’s artwork is simply amazing. I cannot praise Dauterman’s art enough. The War of the Realms #3 is a gorgeous issue. The reader easily gets lost in the sumptuous artwork. Dauterman brings this big event to life in such a rich and detailed fashion. Dauterman also effectively portrays the massive scale of this war.
Dauterman can do it all. The action scenes are vivid and dynamic. The dialogue heavy scenes are equally interesting due to Dauterman drawing excellent facial expressions and packing in plenty of detail in the background.
The Bad: The War of the Realms #3 suffers from the same defects as the prior issues. I have already detailed these continual problems in my reviews for The War of the Realms #1 and The War of the Realms #2. It is pretty much a rinse wash and repeat with The War of the Realms #3 when it comes to this continuing problems with the story. I am not going to go into too much more detail with this issue.
The story in The War of the Realm #3 is a bit dumb and shallow. Readers who prefer cerebral and complex stories will probably continue to be disappointed with this big event. The reader never needs to engage their brain. This is also an issue that does not have the type of story that demands multiple readings.
Aaron continues to suffer from tone and mood issues in The War of the Realms #3. The story awkwardly slams oddly timed comedy in moments that are otherwise being portrayed as serious. Aaron schizophrenically slides from a humorous take on the events right into rather melodramatic narration. The narration ends up coming across as campy and cheesy rather than serious and dramatic. I am not sure that Aaron’s intent is for the entire story to be taken as camp rather than as a serious war.
Aaron also continues to give too many characters the same dialogue normally reserved for Spider-Man. Again, this approach waters down Spider-Man’s unique personality. It also serves to make characters who do not normally spit out witty banter look either dumb or odd. As always, Robbie Reyes continues to get dialogue that only serves to make him appear to be Marvel’s biggest dumbass. it is no wonder why very few fans have ever taken to Robbie’s character. Lastly, Aaron’s She-Hulk continues to be atrocious. Poor Jen continues her trend of being nothing more than a shallow and dull knock-off of Bruce Banner’s classic Hulk.
The War of the Realms #7 also suffers from a few lapses in logic. Aaron shows the reader the Fantastic Four still battling Malekith’s army in New York City. This is after Aaron made a huge deal about Dr. Strange’s massive teleportation spell that teleported every civilian and hero out of the city. The reader is left wondering why the Fantastic Four is still in New York. Aaron never makes an attempt to give a logical reason why the Fantastic Four would still be in the city.
Aaron also has Freya contradict herself from when we last saw her in The War of the Realms #2. There is no gap in time between The War of the Realms #2 and The War of the Realms #3. Near the end of issue #2, Freya says that she is going to Jotunheim to rescue Thor and that she does not export or demand anyone’s help. However, in The War of the Realms #3, Aaron has Freya immediately contradicting herself by saying that she needs a team of heroes to go to Jotunheim for her. It is the little gaffes that all add up to provide a bumpy ride for the reader.
Overall: The War of the Realms #3 was a blast to read. Aaron is delivering such a fun big event crammed full of kick-ass action and adventure. Dauterman is bringing his A-game and is making The War of the Realms one of the most beautiful big events in an incredibly long time. If you enjoy massive war stories with tons of action then you absolutely need to hop aboard The War of the Realms.
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