THOR THE MIGHTY

Episode #2: Thor the Mighty
002a - Thor the Mighty!
Original Airdate: September 26th, 2010
The villainous Wrecking Crew is tearing through New York City. The only thing standing in their way? The Mighty Thor!
002b - The Seige of Asgard
Original Airdate: September 29th, 2010
Thor is summoned back to his home of Asgard to find the realm eternal under siege by an army of Frost Giants. Now only the might of Thor's legendary hammer Mjolnir can turn the tide!
002c - My Brother, My Enemy
Original Airdate: October 2nd, 2010
The assault on Asgard was thwarted, but the mastermind behind the attack has yet to join the fray. Enter Loki, Thorís most cunning foeÖand his brother.
002d - The Isle of Silence
Original Airdate: October 3rd, 2010
Banished to the Isle of Silence, Loki contemplates the events that lead him here. Did he truly lose the battle for Asgard, or have his sinister machinations only just begun?

*Please note this episode is comprised of four five-minute micro-episodes.

Written by Michael Ryan
Directed by Vinton Heuck
Review by ShadowStar
Media by Marvel Animation Age

Review:
Things proceed in a more linear fashion in this, the second episode of the series (which actually has a title that isnít misleading, unlike its predecessor!). It doesnít share any connection with what transpired in the previous installment (and that might be a bit of a turn-off for some viewers) but all the same, itís important to get some sense of who the individual members of the team are before they come together. Here we have Thor, whoís grown weary of the controlling nature of his father Odin (ruler of Asgard), and has thus turned his attention to protecting Earth/Midgard from the menace of super-villains like the Wrecking Crew. Alas, a lot of the Asgardians in this episode remain mute, but at least the episode offers a decent introduction to the thunder god himself, as well as Odin, Jane Foster, Loki and Enchantress.

When we see Asgard, about a quarter of the way into the episode, itís not really as grand or breathtaking as youíd think it would be. It feels like they shouldíve taken a leaf out of The Lord of the Rings (not animation, I know, but you catch my drift) in making the city and the Bifrost Bridge appear more awe-inspiring. It doesnít help that the soundtrack is quite bland and does nothing to enhance the experience of watching Thorís clash with the frost giants. The score has its moments (the Isle of Silence was made to feel quite eerie thanks to it, and it suited when Loki was pondering his unfurling plan towards the end) but itís barely noticeable at times. This was an issue I had with the pilot episode as well.

The writing is less solid than it was in ďIron Man is BornĒ. Lokiís actions arenít really explained: he talks about how Thor is gullible and remains blind to Odinís lies, but this isnít elaborated on. All we get is Thor complaining to Odin that he toys with all the Asgardians and couldíve stopped Loki easily, but didnít. Iíd like to hear more of Lokiís side of the story if heís to become a multi-dimensional villain rather than one who just wants to rule Asgard for no particular reason. There isnít enough insight into his motivation, or why Odin acts the way that Thor believes he does.

On to more positive things: the voice acting from Odin (Clancy Brown!) and Loki is quite good. The ferocity of the battle with the frost giants and Loki also yields some great moments, like Loki transforming into a swarm of moths to dodge Thorís lightning, and the thunderer using Mjolnir to smash a frost giantís tooth. One of the best bits, however, was Thorís takedown of the Wrecking Crew member who threatened Jane Foster (ďThen you should be familiar with attacking a foe from behindĒ). The surprises via the flashbacks were a nice touch too: Loki playing Thor and Odin against each other by telling the latter (while in disguise) about Jane Foster shows that heís trying to distance them from one another and ultimately drive his half-brother from Asgard so he can execute the next phase of his planÖ His attack on the city was probably a bit premature though, and I did wonder why Baldur didnít become suspicious when Odin credited him for saying that the humans can look after themselves (as Loki had done that in Baldurís place).

I do think Thor is more interesting when heís in the company of the other Avengers so while this wasnít a bad episode, itís great to know that it should be onwards and upwards from here. Truth be told, I wasnít sure of his voice at first since he seemed to be a bit softly spoken, but I think it will all click into place when heís alongside his teammates and being contrasted with them Ė heís stands out from the crowd almost as much as the Hulk. In the end, this is a serviceable introduction to Thorís corner of the Marvel Universe. Lokiís description of Asgard in ruins was quite ominous so letís hope his inevitable clash with the Avengers is worth the wait!