Thor & Hoffman, Mike
Thor-The Rock Warrior (Book review)
Released: 2011, Hoffman International
Comics and Hard Rock (and later Heavy Metal) have always been a natural pairing. From as far back as the 70’s with Kiss and Alice Cooper up to much more recent comic/band cross-over series (ie. GWAR and the forthcoming Iron Maiden comic) comics and graphic novels have been a cool and fun way to expand the cultural impact of Metal music. Bands that have a wide range in styles such as Evergrey to Jungle Rot to Rob Zombie have all produced comics of some fashion. This month I’m taking a look at a few of these Metal-themed comics, Alice Cooper (1979), Megadeth (1997), Hammerfall (2002), Thor (2011), Kiss (2103), Slayer (2016) and Judas Priest (2017). Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
Mike Hoffman and the mighty Thor have collaborated on off over the years and I believe this is one of their earlier efforts. Hoffman, the American comic book artists has worked for Marvel, (Swamp Thing), D.C. (Batman), Darkhorse and a few more publishers before going independent. His specialty is fantasy art, specifically high fantasy, which is a natural fit for Thor.
Self published in 2011, this 26 page black and white comic tells an epic tale of Thor the rock Warrior. It is one of those stories that seems like it is in the past but is really is set in the future, (the year 2997 A.D. to be precise) but in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, meant to look like the olden days. Without much in the way of explanation a man, an explorer discovers the entombed body of Thor, encased in a glacier, the great Manhattan ice shelf. He thaws out Thor and Thor takes off and has various adventures in the wastelands.
Hoffman’s art is somewhat reminiscent of Frank Frazetta and the look and feel remind me of every good thing about Conan, Kull, John Carter and all those classic manly action heroes. His quest is to do battle with the evil queen Pantera, who happens to be super hot. He battles various nefarious creatures before finally confronting the queen in a showdown. I will not spoil the ending. The story moves along nicely, lots of fight scenes and the writing might be a bit predictable, but I wasn’t looking for crazy plot-twists or deep character development in a Thor comic…I want Thor it kick ass!
The nice feature about this indie comic, no ads! Plus, the black and white gives it an old fashioned look and feel which further enhances the story. I mean, blazing colour would have been good to, but this works just as well. It’s fun, it works well and ties in nicely with the Metal artist. I don’t think it is especially rare or valuable but worth checking out for fans. This issue is followed up by 'Beastwomen from the Centre Of The Earth', which is also the 2004 Thor album of the same name. The saga continues....