After an absolutely dreadful first issue, J. Michael Straczynski recovers nicely in this second issue, which delivers a nice set-up for Thor's return to the Marvel Universe. Although it wouldn't hurt if some bad guys would show up.
The first issue of Thor was just tedious and overly melodramatic. It was just so darn silly.
This issue, though, Straczynski comes back down to Earth a bit, and as a result, we get a much more grounded story that promises to deliver some interesting future moments.
Before I go on, I need to mention the amazing work that artist Olivier Coipel does on this issue. His storytelling work is incredibly striking. He does this scene early on with Don Blake eating at a diner, and it conveyed so much character while making it look sooo simple.
And then later, to be able to draw dramatic larger-than-life drawings without losing a thing in transition?
That's some impressive work on Coipel's part. He's a gigantic asset to this comic.
In any event, the main gist of the comic is that Don Blake (the now returned to life Thor, who returned back to life in last issue, which was super lame) decides to return Asgard to existence - but to do so in the middle of Oklahoma!!!
This results in some tremendous drawings of the majesty of Asgard appearing in the middle of nowhere. Straczynski adds in a number of very nice touches, like having the local police express their displeasure with Thor's actions, and Thor's cute response to their entreaties. And then, later, when the man who owns the land Asgard is on on now comes by, Thor's response to him is also amusing.
In the end, though, what we had was Thor spend an entire issue just to bring an empty city back to existence in the middle of America. That, in and of itself, is a pretty darn cool idea. However, it's not SUCH a cool idea that you can hang an entire issue upon it, which Straczynski basically does with this issue, and all the cool artwork of Coipel and all the nice small touches from Straczynski are not going to be enough to have that translate into a really good comic book. While this issue progressed matters at light speed compared to the silly first issue (Which may very well be the worst issue I have ever read of a Straczynski comic book), it still didn't progress things much at all.
And when you've reached the end of TWO issues with not much to show for it, I think you're going a bit too slowly. This issue gives me hope that Straczynski can do a good job with this series, and these first couple of issues are just the necessary evil before the coolness happens, but for now, the book is not all that appealing.