Apologize To The Hammer
I've been looking forward to this arc, more so than the last one, But i have to say, that despite every issue having redeemable along with being consistently good, this was by far the weakest issue in the whole series. The idea to me of Thor chasing Malekith around the nine realms is amazing and awesome, but again, everything could be good in concept, but if not executed well....this is the result we get. Now don't get me wrong, i still have hopes for this series as ONE bad issue doesn't mean much.
Moving on, I usually really like Ron Garney's art, and he's a damn good artist, but when drawing for a comic book the combination of colors and structure is what makes the complete package, which in this case, isn't that good. Some Panels are really damn good, thor is drawn exactly the way he should be, but during the action scenes the colors seem really...dull? i don't know what it is but it doesn't have the same spark, it just seems so all over the place and quite frankly they interfere with the structure of the characters, which inevitably results in the art being a splash all over the pages. I don't want it to compare Garney to ribic as i like both artists for their own distinct qualities but garney can do better, and he actually does a good job, it's just that it doesn't go well with the Colors.
The Story had major problems as well. The first and most notable mistake was in the team itself. Now don't get me wrong, this was actually an interesting concept introduced by Aaron, because it gives us an insight of how Politics and Specific Regulations work in Asgard, but overall there were some major Issues. Before moving on to the actual problem, i'd like to mention how Aaron could have used this opportunity to use a versatile team instead of going with the generally accepted races of Dwarfs, Elves, Trolls and etc, but it's just a small nitpick. Moreover, moving on to the actual problem, while Aaron makes it clear that these team members were specifically chosen, i don't buy the fact that a high council of wise Gods would put together a team with two very incompetent wildcards in it. No seriously, they should have chosen some people more qualified for this Job, and while i understand that Aaron wants to make the team Relevant and grow as characters, it was handled in the wrong way. The Dwarf is an absolute nut who seems to care about blowing people up, the Troll on the other hand, is actually so arrogant that he wouldn't lift a finger to help his teammates. This shows his total disregard for the life of not only his teammates, but also the elves and other people suffering at Malekiths hand, which implies that he's only on the team because he just wants a challenge Jason could have made this troll arrogant and brash in his decisions, but instead he was made into a complete jerk.
The final battle was a major disappointment too, i get that we shouldn't see everything just yet since this is the second issue of the arc, but damn, there are many things wrong with it. I seriously don't understand how thor and Malekith moved from a well-lighted place to a dark corner in seconds, it really made no sense at all because of the weak transition. Also, Malekith escapes off panel again, which is odd and lazy because the reader is left with a question of how could a dark elf escape a god of thunder so easily. The last we saw them, they were engaged in a bloodthirsty battle so having thor come up to the others and say "hey guys, i blew it" was really really stupid.
On the other hand, this issue has some amazing moments. Malekiths confrontation with the swordsman was actually a great scene where we see just how vile and evil he is. In his own twisted way he is honorable to respect a specific fight and admit defeat, but at the same time he's an absolute monster who wouldn't hesitate to cheat his way out of a fight. I also loved the fact that one of the victims of Malekiths raid was actually put on thors team, because it provides a personal vendetta and actual potential for character growth, which is infinitely better than a dwarf (with the lamest name ever) wanting to blow stuff up.
This was a weak issue, it's fun, but unfortunately it's just not enough to make me reconsider the score.
recommendation: only if you're following the series. Otherwise, eh.