Thor vs. Apocalypse
Overall I really enjoyed this, and although it had a slightly poor start, overall it's been a good series, and seems to be getting better and better with each issue. Also with the new story continuing from where Rick Remender left of with The Dark Angel Saga I'm sure that this will be amazing.
This was a brilliant issue, and the series defiantly seems to be heading in the right direction. In saying that the last issue was very good, and it itself showed plenty of promise for the future of the series, but due to the lack of proper development, and excitement it made it slightly bellow the quality of this issue, whereas this issue gives us a brilliant insight in to the next story, as well as a very interesting story, and some brilliant, and exciting action, which is amazing. I had high hopes when I heard that Rick Remender would be working on this series as I loved his work on Uncanny X-Force, but due to the first story being poor at points, along with the varied shipping schedules, I just couldn't get into this series, but with the last two issues I can, and the fact that he's continuing from a story he started in Uncanny X-Force has me all the more excited. What I loved most about Remender's writing in this issue was how he handled the dialogue, especially in conjunction with the fight sequences, as it really added more drama, and made the story flow smoother. I also liked how he used elements from the last issue, and the addition of the Apocalypse Twins in the last issue more relevant, and although it'll be even more relevant during the next issue, it was still nice to see the connection in this issue.
The art from Daniel Acuña was simply magnificent, and although I've loved both John Cassaday, and Olivier Coipel's art on this series, as well as the fact I enjoy Cassaday, and Coipel's art more in the long run, on this particular series I feel that Acuña's art has out shined them, as it's both beautiful, and majestic, something that you don't get too often in comics. I've always like Acuña's art, but there were certain times on series like Uncanny X-Men when it just didn't suit the tone of the story, or certain character's, whereas in this issue it did both, which I really liked. The detail in Acuña's art was also brilliant, as even when the character's were in the distance he'd draw them in a way were they'd look realistic which I was very happy with, as some artists simply draw an outline, which I find disappointing. I also loved the way he laid everything out, as it gave the right tone for the issue, as well as adding ton's of drama, also making the fight sequences more intense. He also did a fabulous job with the facial expressions, as it showed the character's expressions perfectly, as you could easily tell whether Thor was smug, angry, or happy, as well as if other characters were similar, which also made the issue more dramatic, and life like. Another thing I've always liked about Acuña's art is that he does his own inks, and colours, which I personally think makes his art stand out over others, especially the colours, as it gives a nice shine, making the art look even more beautiful, and I'm happy that he'll be working on the series on a permanent basis.
I've been enjoying Thor in Jason Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder series, and especially seeing the different years of Thor, so seeing that come into this story was brilliant, as the Thor in this issues been handled nearly the same way as Aaron's wrote the younger Thor in his series (axe and all), as despite writers having different styles it's nice to see when they take the time to work on the continuity, as although this story would have still been good if Remender wrote Thor like he has throughout the series, showing him as more nieve, and fast acting was brilliant. I also loved how like in the God of Thunder series, this younger Thor was much more determined, as although Thor has never backed down from a fight, this time he's even more eager to get into one.
Seeing Apocalypse again was amazing, and I was very happy when I heard of this issue, as although I know that Remender's been playing with the mythos of Apocalypse, he's never yet got to the stage of showing a fully fledged version of him, so I was glad to see him in this issue. I've always loved Apocalypse as a villain, and he's had some brilliant encounters with the X-Men in the past, and I've really been wanting to see him in a story again, and although I feel what Remender's doing the now will be better, especially considering it's unique, it still made me happy to see him again even if it's just for the one issue.
The fight between Thor and Apocalypse fight was brilliant, and I loved how it started with Thor being taken unaware by Apocalypse, and that he sought revenge. What I loved most about the fights that Thor and Apocalypse were in during this issue was that both characters were very arrogant, and angry, which made for a really dramatic fight. I also liked what Odin had to say of the fight, and although I won't repeat it to avoid spoilers, it was interesting, and I look forward to seeing if there's any development from this (which there should be). Another thing that I found amusing was that at the end of the first fight Apocalypse said that Thor was, "unworthy," which I found amusing.
It was nice that Kang was involved in this issue, and although I won't go into details of what he did I'll say what I felt of the appearance. After his appearance in the last issue it was obvious that he'd play a big role in the upcoming story, and although I didn't think that he'd make an appearance in this issue, it was nice that he did, as a book with both Kang and Apocalypse is amazing. With Kang having the ability to time travel it makes sense that he could appear in this issue, and that alone made it more necessary to have this prologue, and it also made it more interesting. Overall it looks to be that Kang is operating as the perfect optimist, and manipulator, and although Kang has always been devious in the past, he appears to be taking it to another level, and I look forward to seeing it develop.
There was also a part in this story that showed an ancestor of Wolverine, named Folkbern Logan. Although this was nice, it didn't do much for this issue in particular, and as I want to avoid spoilers I won't go into any details, but I will say that appears to be a seed for something that may happen during this story, and seeing it in this makes me more excited for the main part of this story to start.
The Horsemen of Apocalypse also featured in this issue, which was another nice touch as I've loved how that's been one of the key things with Apocalypse in the past, so having both Apocalypse, and his Horsemen was brilliant, especially considering that there have been some big name characters, including Wolverine and Gambit that have been Horsemen in the past. I won't say much more as to avoid spoilers, but it was a very intersting sequence, and overall I'm happy that they appeared, as although it was the appearance of Apocalypse, and Kang that made this issue special, the addition of the Horsemen made it even more special, and knowing that they'll play some role in the future of the series (as stated in solicits) I'm even more excited for the start of the main story.
This was a brilliant prologue issue, and the best in the series so far. If this is a sign of things to come The Apocalypse Twins story arc should be amazing, and considering it's following from Remender's Dark Angel Saga story, which was amazing, I have every faith that this story will also be brilliant. This issue itself was also very interesting, and exciting, as well as being dramatic and mysterious, and it's made me real excited for the main story. I'd highly recommend it as despite the fact that it's the best issue in the series so far, it's also one of the best prologue issues I've ever read.