Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Original Sin: Thor & Loki - The Tenth Realm Review (Al Ewing, Lee Garbett)

During the 2014 Marvel Event, Original Sin, The Orb uses one of The Watcher’s eyeballs to somehow reveal all of the Marvel superheroes’ secrets. Thor’s big surprise? He’s got a sister: Angela. So he and Loki saddle up the interdimensional goats to travel to the hidden Tenth Realm, Heven (there were previously nine, including Asgard and Midgard) and meet their long-lost sibling. Predictable fighting ensues! 

First off, Angela being Thor and Loki’s sister isn’t a spoiler, it’s all over the blurb of the book. So - why do that to the reader? Not sure! We have to sit through most of the book though as a clueless Thor fights Angela because that’s… interesting? Not to me! 

Since Angela appeared at the end of Age of Ultron, Marvel haven’t really known what to do with her, or even bothered to update her very ‘90s look (lingerie model doing a space Viking shoot). She’s, um, part of the Guardians of the Galaxy! Now she’s Thor and Loki’s sis! Next… who knows! She’s Asgard’s Assassin…? We’re just throwing anything at this cypher, I mean, character!

There’s nothing much to say about the book as the “reveal” is the “story”. As soon as they enter the Tenth Realm, Thor begins fighting and Loki begins betraying - in other words, they do what they always do! Al Ewing does write a good Loki though and his/her scenes (true to form, Loki swaps genders at will) are definitely the best but when the rest of the book is so flat, that’s not saying much.

Simone Bianchi draws (most of) the pages set in the Tenth Realm while Lee Garbett draws the pages set outside it. Garbett’s art is good while Bianchi’s is an acquired taste - I find it much too thick and pancake-y to call it enjoyable. 

Like most Event tie-in books, The Tenth Realm is unimpressive and very thin on substance. I kept waiting for a story to emerge and wondered where it was headed only to discover the answer was: nowhere! Thor and Loki discover they have a sister, Angela isn’t pleased about it, they separate. It’s a totally missable volume to an underwhelming Event - just reading the blurb is essentially the same as reading the book itself.

Original Sin: Thor & Loki - The Tenth Realm

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