This week, the eighth and final issue of Thor: The Mighty Avenger hit comics shops, bringing a premature end to one of the most fun superhero books in recent memory. Written by Roger Langridge (who also did great work with his hilarious The Muppet Show comic) and drawn by Portlander Chris Samnee (whose gorgeous art graced the recent Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale graphic novel), the now-cancelled Thor: The Mighty Avenger was everything you could want in an all-ages superhero book: brisk, clever, earnest, accessible, exciting.
Thankfully, there's already a collected volume—Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1 collects issues 1-4, along with a couple of old-school Thor tales by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Beginning with a witty riff on that most clichéd of openings (page one, panel one: a dark and stormy night!) Thor soon has the dashing, exiled Norse god acclimating to life on Earth, fighting a supervillain or two, tilting at rainbows, getting drunk with his Asgardian buddies, and striking up a tentative romance with young Norse expert Jane Foster. Samnee's art is fluid and striking (as are Matthew Wilson's colors), and Langridge has a fresh take on these dusty characters: Thor's charming and tough but doofily naïve; Jane's kind and funny but smart and strong; even C-listers like Ant-Man and Captain Britain have a welcome wit and punch. Here's hoping the next time Marvel puts out a book this good, word of mouth travels faster and sales numbers climb higher. Or, even better: You all go buy this thing, and Marvel changes their mind.