Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson, and VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: June 5th, 2019
Jason Aaron’s culminating series hits it’s climax in this week’s penultimate issue of WAR OF THE REALMS #5 as readers get a glimpse of every last hero of Midgard coming together to fight off Malekith’s forces in one last stand. Let’s dive into this issue and see if the tides begin to change!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Jason Aaron opens this issue with Daredevil explaining to Thor that he can hear screams coming from the World Tree that has been growing from the sun. So, Thor throws himself into the sun, hangs himself with his ax across his ankle, and continues to painfully search for answers within the sun as his clothes burn off in the blaze.
Meanwhile, Aaron jumps from place to place and hero team to hero team showing all the battles happening across Midgard. The remaining fighters from the realms are forging alliances with the heroes of Midgard and pushing Malekith and his forces to the brink. Thor emerges from the sun ready to kick some $&@$ while Freyja and Odin appear to be chained up at Stonehenge as a trap for the God of Thunder. The issue concludes with Jane Foster picking up the remains of an old hammer, saying that “sometimes there must be more than one.”, and it appears as though Lady Thor will be back in issue 6.
Even though this reviewer was expecting the story to progress a bit more, the issue was still impressive and kept my attention from start to finish. Aaron jumped around from team to team recapping where our heroes were in the story, which was noteworthy for readers. However, this fan felt like that would have been better suited for a tie in issue. Why didn’t the issue spend more time describing what Thor was doing inside the sun and what he discovered? Why wasn’t more time spent explaining how Jane Foster was able to become Thor again? Why didn’t the issue explain how Freyja and Odin survived or give readers more information about Malekith’s sword and it’s connection to Knull or Venom? That said; this reviewer still had a fun time with the issue and valued the snapshots of the different teams.
Even though Aaron skipped around the issue, this reviewer loved the AVENGERS END GAME vibe that erupted from every page. When teams from across the country, realms, and alliances come together to stop a larger threat to save the world, this reviewer simply pictures the last 20 minutes of END GAME and starts to get all the emotional feels. For example, Aaron mentions the Winter Guard contributing as well as the “Thunder” She-Hulk fighting the troll Ulik. If that wasn’t enough, Aaron shows fans the Punisher leading Light Elves with machine guns that used vibranium bullets, as well as the Fantastic Four taking down Laufey as if they were finding Galactus in New York. This reviewer was smitten with each and every one of these scenes, especially since so much time and effort was spent incorporating each character throughout the tie ins. Aaron made sure that each tie in wasn’t overlooked and contributed to the main story, even if it was only a panel or two.
The way Aaron elevated the story to feel significant, destructive, and world ending definitely was amplified throughout the issue. Often times, event books seem like the effort is placed more on narrative but it loses its epic magnitude. Is it really the end of the world if only New York or America is effected? For example, the initial battle in the AVENGERS book was against Celestials, which kind of seems bigger than this event in a way. However, the focus was on the Avengers and not on the impact of something so destructive around the world annihilating Earth.
Aaron has made WAR OF THE REALMS significant to everyone in the Marvel Universe just like the Celestial story arc should have been. This reviewers point is that even though many questions were not answered, Aaron hammered home the importance of what Malekith has done, how it’s impacted the entire world, the devastation it’s caused moving forward, and how it brought all of Midgard together for a common goal.
This was by far the best part of the issue and possibly some of the most quintessential art that this reviewer has ever scene. Splash pages of this issue should be framed and mounted on walls as well as art shows. Russell Dauterman’s eye for detail and realism is simply breathtaking and his action sequences literally bring each page to life. Comic readers, as well as non-comic readers alike, could pick this issue up, flip through the pages, stare without reading one line, and be totally transported into the story.
Some of this reviewers highlights were the vibrant lightning surrounding Jane Foster becoming Thor again and the sheer detail of Thor Odinson hanging upside down within the sun while his metal and clothing burned off his body. In addition, the detailed empty space within Daredevil’s eyes, the action shots of Thor’s hammer moving, and the intensity of each lightning crash made the issue so incredibly dynamic and brought each page to life. Furthermore, Dauterman’s crisp take of Kazar soaring through the air, the progression and transformation of Dario Agger into a Minotaur, and Wolverine slashing through Sindr’s crew with the Warriors Three as his veins throbbed across his arms were the extra added bonuses that upped this issue to new heights. The art alone was easily 5 of the 10 in the score and made this comic worth the price alone.
Aaron gives readers a clips show of what’s been going on in the WAR OF THE REALMS so far but the story really didn’t move forward too much throughout this issue. It also left a few unanswered questions and tacked on a few more that this reviewer hopes get answered in the final issue. If this was a tie in, this reviewer would easily give it a 9.5 if not higher. The style, layout, and snippets of what the heroes have been doing to work together and protect the realm would be PERFECT as a bonus or tie in but as the penultimate issue…. this fan wanted more progression of the story as well as answers. Since the story began, we have seen very little Malekith and he appears to be uneventful and less threatening than his army of Frost Giants, Dark Elves, Zombies, and who knows what else. He just doesn’t seem very menacing or scary.
Even though the focus was about tying up loose ends related to our hero teams, Aaron still managed to make this issue feel large, worldly, exciting, action packed, and apocalyptic while drawing all heroes together for something truly special. Furthermore, Dauterman’s art magnifies the issue above almost anything else on the market right now. If you’ve been reading WAR OR THE REALMS to this point, it’s a no brainer; but this issue. If you are an art fan, this issue is top notch and easily the best illustrated issue too date… possibly in weeks… and we have some talented artists out there! And if you’ve been following THOR to this point, you got to pick it WAR OF THE REALMS. This reviewer is still all in and excited for the finale. Go check it out and tell me what you think!