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They Dine in Hell

August 3, 2010

The siege of the fake Hel continues in Thor #612, which begins with the Disir trying to tear apart the spells that protect Hela’s castle.  Kelda tells the Asgardians the tale of the Disir, and Hela informs them that she has the power to bring only two with her.  Balder initially wants to go with Thor, but he realizes he must stay.  Thor asks Tyr to come, since Tyr had visions of the Disir before (in New Mutants #11).  When Hela starts teleporting them, the Disir use their magics to draw them away from the castle.  They land smack dab into the middle of the Disir, where Tyr comes face to face with the Disir that gave him the vision.  Hel sends out her forces, giving Thor and Tyr the chance to retreat.  Hel then explains that Loki had given her Eir-Gram, a sword to counter the Disir.  But this was the sword that one of the Disir took away after Hela’s hand was taken off.  Thor ultimately decides to retrieve Eir-Gram himself, and the Disir continue to try to break into the castle, though they are a bit more nervous now that Thor is here.  The one Disir delivers Eir-Gram to Mephisto, choosing to simply leave it in his sanctum, since he doesn’t actually want it himself.  Hela teleports Thor into Mephisto’s realm to find Eir-Gram, and Mephisto reroutes the spell, wanting to say hello.  He tries to tempt Thor, but Thor isn’t interested.  So he allows Thor to go into his realm to search for Eir-Gram.

Now there we go.  We’ve had the setup, and here comes the meat of the arc.  I knew that Kieron Gillen wouldn’t let us down.  The Disir have felt like a legitimate threat from day one, and the last issue was no different.  It just lacked some of the excitement you’d expect from Gillen’s last arc on this title.  But here, we’ve got fighting, we’ve got the continuation of Tyr’s insecurity subplot (which I think makes sense based on what happened in New Mutants #11), and we have the establishment of the main objective: retrieve Eir-Gram.  The first issue was just too much introduction.  Plus, we have more of Gillen’s superb work on Mephisto.  I’d say he’s probably the newest definitive writer on Mephisto in quite a long time.  You really feel like this is the same character that first premiered back in classic Silver Surfer, yet he’s adapted to modern writing sensibilities.  But half of the improvement in this issue lies with the artist, Mitch Breitweiser.  Rich Elson was a good artist, but Breitweiser is made for this title.  His art may be a tad sketchy, but it’s epic, and he knows how to give these characters the right girth and gravitas.  Plus, he draws an absolutely wicked Mephisto, one that looks almost exactly like how he was drawn in the old days.  Yes, I’m a big fan of Mephisto.  But now this just makes me sad again that Gillen is leaving the title soon.  He’s really grown into his own as a writer on this book, and it’s too bad that he doesn’t get more time to leave his stamp on this character.  Guess we’ll just have to enjoy it while it lasts.

Plot: 8.7      Art: 8.9      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 8.7

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