ROUND 1, BATTLE 15
Holy fuck! Another battle in the Battleworld Battleworld bracket and this shit is getting even crazier. This particular battle sees Thors (an hilarious new sitcom coming to NBC this Fall) and Squadron Sinister (a slightly less hilarious sitcom) go head to head in a known-down, drag out street fight. Let us get to the meat and all of the potatoes.
In an odd choice, Thors is basically an episode of Law and Order with superheroes as all of the characters not matter how big or small they may seem. There are crime scenes, latex gloves, rookie cops being fucking idiots, veteran cops talking about how they’re not as young as they used to be and a whole host of other procedural bullshit. That said, I have to admit that the best way to make a show like Law and Order more interesting is to make people with super human strength and crushing responsibilities act out the painful dialogue. It might not be enough to make a book stand out as excellent, but it certainly elevated its source material. For all of the “single panel pageâ€ moments of superhero badassery however, this book gets mired in weird cop minutia that makes it kind of a paint-by-numbers bummer. Thors was basically a battle of flying hammers and talking frogs going up against paperwork and pouring over missing persons reports. Almost unbelievably, the latter won.
And then we have Squadron Sinister, which is, in a word, bonkerz (WITH A Z!). When a group of bad guys are your protagonists, your script, for better or for worse, will always be given a little bit more leeway. Your cheesiness is allowed to be a little cheesier and your hand needn’t be as deft as is usually expected. And even with those graces, Squadron Sinister kicks the fucking balls off of Thors. That’s not to say that Thors is a bad book, but this Squadron Sinister shit is fucking great. All of the drama, all of the passion and all of the suspense that you wanted from the Thors book is just plainly done more effectively here and with much more fluidity than it has any right to. Squadron Sinister never forgets that a comic book needs to have as much explanation as it has action and a little bit of levity goes a long way. They were making a stew and they nailed in with a perfect balance of comic book flavors.
So yes, Squadron Sinister is going to take down the mighty Thors, and that is a sentence that would have meant nothing to me 2 years ago. The thing is though, I have been reading up on these “comicâ€ books as they’re called, and I have noticed that this Jason Aaron guy is pretty fucking good at what he does. Scalped, Southern Bastards and a number of his other works are incredible. My concern was that his more mainstream books would either be elevated by his incredible voice or the iron fist of Big Comics would force his square peg into a round hole. Unfortunately, with Thors, Aaron’s edge and nuanced character work I have grown to love is all but obliterated. Again, he shits better stuff that most guys can hope to write, but when you go against a book like Squadron Sinister “good enoughâ€ is, quite simply, not good enough.
And so it is that I must say goodbye to my dear Jason Aaron (pictured above) and Thors and say congratulations to Squadron Sinsiter. You were both worthy adversaries but when a dude rips a guy’s arms off and flies away saying “weakness is a capitol offenseâ€, you fucking take note and call that book the winner.
Jason R. Noble