War Of The Realms came to a close this past week. Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman delivered on what fans expect from big blockbuster events with War Of The Realms. This was an event that brought together the heroes of the Marvel Universe together to combat a threat to the entire universe. At the center of this major conflict was Thor Odinson and his family of characters as Malekith the Accursed brought together an army that threatened every realm.
SIX ISSUES OVER THREE MONTHS ALL ON TIME
It has been quite common for comic books to face some sort of delays during their lifespan. That has especially been the case with big events from Marvel and DC Comics. There is always some form of delay that pushes the conclusion of these big events several weeks or months from when it was originally announced. Those delays end up hurting the plan for what the Marvel and DC Universes look like in the aftermath of these events.
That was not the case at all with War Of The Realms. Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson hit all of their deadlines and released all six issues of War Of The Realms on the date it was announced in Marvel’s monthly solicitation. Not only that, they were able to do this without having to rely on someone else to step in to help. All six issues of War Of The Realms were done by Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson.
Making this even more impressive is that Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson released all six issues of War Of The Realms between April and June. That is a rate of two issues a month over the course of three months. That is a release schedule that fans never expect from a big event. These type of stories are expected to be released once a month, especially when only one art team was working on the series. Now with War Of The Realms the team of Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson have set the benchmark of the quality and release schedule every creative team behind a big event from Marvel and DC Comics need to follow.
CONTINUATION OF JASON AARON’S EPIC THOR RUN
When it came to War Of The Realms it was just another chapter in the grand epic that Jason Aaron has been working on since he first started his Thor run. That is something that was blatantly clear in every issue for War Of The Realms. For fans of this run War Of The Realms did read like a major payoff for everything Aaron has been building. It was the story that has been built and allows the natural progression of the Thor Odinson to continue walking down.
At the same time, even if you have not read Aaron’s Thor run yet War Of The Realms was not inaccessible. Personally, I have only read about half of Aaron’s run on Thor, so I only really understood some of the references to past stories during this period. But even then Aaron never made it feel as though because you are not caught up on his Thor work that you should not read War Of The Realms.
Aaron welcomed new readers in smartly by how he used the rest of the heroes in the Marvel Universe. Just like the reader, the Avengers, X-Men, Champions, Defenders and all the other non-Thor related heroes were thrust into this event and catch up with what is going as War Of The Realms developed. Positioning the Marvel Universe heroes in this way help make War Of The Realms a story that any Marvel fan can jump into and have fun.
SPOTLIGHT MAINTAINED ON THOR ODINSON’S FAMILY
On that note, it was great to see how even with how many characters got involved and the story escalated Thor Odinson was still at the center of War Of The Realms. No matter what was going on Thor was the driving force behind the story moving forward. That made the major events in War Of The Realms come across as a payoff to the character arc Thor has been on since Aaron began his run. This was his story as he continued to grow as the God of Thunder.
Not only was the present day Thor Odinson at the center of the story but we also saw the young Thor, King Thor and Jane Foster’s Thor step up big when all is said and done. Each of these versions of Thor have been a major part of Aaron’s run. By the time War Of The Realms was coming to a close with the action reaching its peak all four versions of Thor came together to defeat the big bad.
At the same time the story still maintained the spotlight on the iconic version of Thor Odinson. This was his story as he got the greatest payoff of everyone involved in the story. For a long time Thor has been without his equally iconic Mjolnir hammer. That all changed as when Thor most needed it Mjolnir returned and he was able to lift it up, proving once again he is worthy. When Thor said “What I truly am Malekith, now and forevermore is the God of the Unworthy” that felt like the moment Aaron has been building towards since the first issue of his run. It was a full circle moment that showed the growth Thor has had over the last few years of events.
INCREDIBLE ARTWORK BY RUSSELL DAUTERMAN & MATTHEW WILSON
Before working on War Of The Realms, Russell Dauterman’s body of work included stints on Mighty Thor, Nightwing, Cyclops and Supurbia. While his work has always been great War Of The Realms was Dauterman’s coming out party as a powerhouse artist. From the quality to consistency he showed throughout this event with his artwork was phenomenal. He never lost a sense of the action going on in every panel and page. Everything in the artwork was clear no matter how chaotic things got as things continued to escalate throughout War Of The Realms.
Having that quality and consistency was further elevated by the great coloring work of Matthew Wilson. Wilson helped elevate Dauterman’s artwork to look as impressive as it did. Dauterman and Wilson’s combined work got over how War Of The Realms was an event that held the fate of the Marvel Universe on the line. Now, after his work on War Of The Realms, Dauterman has shown to the entire Marvel fanbase that he is an artist follow moving forward.
MARVEL UNIVERSE HEROES ASSEMBLE TO FIGHT COMMON EVIL THREAT
Far to often Marvel has relied on events being based around heroes fighting other heroes. That was the case for Infinity Wars, Civil War II, Secret Empire, Inhumans vs X-Men and a number of other events released in just the past few years. Going back even further in the last 15 years you can see that has been the go to storyline for Marvel. At first there was a novelty to this hero vs hero storyline. But now that has become exhausting and hurt the title of “hero” within the Marvel Universe. If we have all our heroes fighting and arguing all the time than the question becomes if there are any heroes are any of them heroes?
That was not the case with War Of The Realms. For what felt like the first time in a while all of the heroes of the Marvel were fighting as a united front against an evil that threatened the entire universe. This united front opened the door for a lot of great, unexpected team-ups. Heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Black Panther and She-Hulk were thrown into situations that they don’t normally get involved with. Whether it was mystical, mythological or cosmic, there was no shortage of evil forces that the Avengers, X-Men, Champions, Defenders and others had to go up against. The unity shown in such an end of the universe scenario was fantastic to see happen.
MALEKITH THE ACCURSED HAPPY WITH BEING AN EVIL VILLAIN
On the same respect that it was great to see heroes uniting together and being heroes it was great that we had a bad guy in Malekith the Accursed that loved to play that role. There was no question that Malekith was a villain. Malekith actually revealed in all the death and destruction he and his forces were causing in his attempt to conquer the universe.
Malekith acting like a straight up villain made the escalation in all the battles we saw during War Of The Realms remain the focus. The drama came from how this continued escalation challenged the heroes since they had to constantly answer to everything Malekith and his forces threw at them. This in turn made Malekith an even more compelling villain than he was entering War Of The Realms. That is an impressive thing to do since before this Malekith’s biggest claim to fame for most Marvel fans was likely his appearance in Thor: The Dark World movie.
IMAGINATION OF COMIC BOOK MEDIUM RUNS WILD
One of the beauties of the comic book medium is that the only budget it has is the imagination of the creative team. Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson ran absolutely wild with this fact as the story and characters involved were all over the place. Whether it was the setting or the designs for the characters involved you could see how much fun Aaron, Dauterman and Wilson had with an unlimited budget to create an epic comic book event.
This imagination helped the tie-in comic books to War Of The Realms continue the fun of the event. We were able to see things like Spider-Man step-up to lead his own band of mythological warriors in a very Lord of the Rings style side story. This is not something we would normally see from the normally street-level hero in Spider-Man be a part of. But with how crazy things got this was just a normal chain of events.
There were also the unexpected thrown moments to happen. Arguably the biggest one of these moments was Daredevil becoming the God Without Fear when he became the new master of Heimdall’s sword. This is something that came completely out of the blue that Aaron just worked in as a natural part of this wild story. It was a role that just seemed to fit Daredevil perfectly.
Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson have a lot to be proud about how well War Of The Realms. This was easily one of the best big events that we have had in the comic book industry in quite a while. From being a strong continuation of Aaron’s epic Thor run to the Marvel Universe heroes fighting together to Malekith rise as an incredible bad guy, there was a lot to love throughout this event. With how things turned out War Of The Realms set a high benchmark for how comic book events should try to reach. If you are a fan of Marvel War Of The Realms is a must-read story and make part of your collection when it is released in hardcover form.
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