Writer: Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk
Art: Ramon Rosanas, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Joe Sabino, Mahmud Asrar, and Matthew Wilson
Release Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
Price: $3.99 (digital only)
The Røkkva, a sort of “anti-life equation” if you will, has been released from its prison in Jotunheim. Tyr, All-Father Thor’s brother, managed to commandeer this black, anti-life fog and has come after Asgard to rule and reign over the Ten Realms. As the last issues throw down came to a close, Tyr managed to use the Røkkva to possess All-Father Thor, as well as Jane Foster’s All-Weapon which had manifested into the only weapon capable of re-ensnaring this dark smog again. With that said, how will Valkyrie and the rest of Asgard defeat this “anti-life” especially without the All-Weapon (or Darkseid… just kidding)? Let’s dive into VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #10 by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk and find out.
If I could be real with readers for a moment before this reviewer dissects the issue, can we take a step back and piece together the main reasons as to why certain comics have become digital-only? Well, according to Comichron.com, VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER has averaged around 20,400 issues sold over the past three months (excluding the hiatus) AND has averaged to be the 55th most popular Marvel Comic in that time. Sure, there were many series that have done far worse at a variety of comic companies, including there own. Nonetheless, if Marvel was looking to trim the fat on a series and explore the realm of digital-only, VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER screamed for the opportunity. Furthermore, after this week’s tale, if they were looking to merely end the series for a bit, it certainly would be relatively easy to accomplish now.
As for the story and series itself, there was simply no “wow” factor this week. There was no gut punch or shockwave that knocked my socks off. Aaron and Grønbekk open with a showdown between Tyr and Thor, seemingly possessed by the Røkkva, and Sif. However, the story quickly pans to Jane and we never see much of a battle. After three (of what felt like) long pages of dialogue, the narrative picks back up pigeonholing Lady Jane as practically the only one who can save all of Asgard from this “anti-life smog”… mind you without her All-Weapon. Can you say predictable?
Honestly, readers, the premise of the narrative seemed way too easy. For something that could end all life and turn existences into nothingness, Aaron and Grønbekk find a trite way of effortlessly wrapping up the battle (or lack thereof) with ease. This issue was too neat and too tidy and left me saying, is that it? The normal clever and almost magical way that Jason Aaron tells a story just didn’t seem like it was there. Granted, the overpopulated narration felt like Aaron’s style but the lack of explosive action and commanding plot twists felt extremely out of style for a character I feel he’s had such a connection with over the years. This team just really missed the mark on this issue.
Lastly, even though the idea of the All-Weapon was basically borrowed from WITCHBLADE, the concept is still interesting. However, it lends itself to be too advantageous at a crucial moment (i.e. an anti-life smog key that can trap the darkness forever… again). Likewise, readers could feel the tension between Jane and Thor. However, instead of giving more insight into that relationship, Aaron and Grønbekk quickly wrap this story up and brush it under the chilly Jotunheim rug. There was practically no character development and far too many lines about darkness and light that were convoluted and masqueraded as deep thought-provoking dialogue. I left this week’s tale wondering, was this story meant to be, or was the creative team urged to bandage up what remained?
Could this be the last VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER issue? Maybe? This story wrapped up way too suddenly and unexpectedly. The pinnacle battle was practically nonexistent and I’m sorry to say that nothing artistically stood out other than heavy ink work and a large floating Punisher skull in the Røkkva. There is no doubt that I have seen better work from this creative team and can only wonder if this issue was truly meant to be or solely forced to tie up loose ends of a series. Fans, this story was fine. It wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination but there were too many aspects of the narrative that simply didn’t fit what this creative team is capable of. If you’re a VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER fan, you’ll need to grab this issue to see what happened. However, if you’re a Marvel fan searching for something new to read this week with only four digital-only issues coming out, this isn’t the time or place you should be looking.
If you want to get your hands on this week’s issue of VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER, click the Amazon link HERE. Additionally, if Jason Aaron’s THOR is your jam, click HERE to grab some trades from his amazing run. Moreover, click HERE to get your hands on Donny Cates’ current THOR run. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.