Jean Grey #4 Review: A Big Friggin' Magic Hammer
In the hopes of becoming a warrior, Jean Grey has decided to seek out one of the mightiest warriors around: the Odinson, AKA the Unworthy Thor.
She has tracked him to a tavern at the top of a great mountain in Jotunheim. Along the way, she spots a horde of Orc assassins out for the Odinson's blood. Unfortunately, the Unworthy Thor is quite drunk. Can Jean survive the Orc horde and the Odinson's endless stories?
On the outset, this comic makes Thor Odinson look like Hercules circa 2000. That would likely be a massive turn-off for many people, but the comic actually plays some of its cards pretty close to its chest.
This issue is also a great deal of fun in general. It's Jean Grey, it's Thor, and they are fighting a bunch of Orc warriors. Yeah, it's weird, but it's a great action romp. The two tear through the horde while Jean hopes to learn a thing or two from the Mighty Inebriated One.
It does, oddly, leave out how in the hell Jean Grey got to Jotunheim. This is also the fourth issue in a row that has a co-star that shares equal panel-space with Marvel Girl. That's a bit unfortunate, and the next issue looks to be more of the same. However, like last issue, it still manages to be about Jean as opposed to the guest stars.
To move into what I guess is spoiler territory, the Odinson is not actually drunk. He's playing it to lure the Orc assassins into a false sense of superiority so that he can ambush them. The stories he tells are not mere self-indulgence; instead, they are attempts at lessons for the young mutant.
That's pretty satisfying, even if it is still predictable. It's not trying to make Thor look like a fool — it's paying homage to his experience as a warrior.
The moment when Jean finally manifests a TK construct in the form of a certain big friggin' magic hammer was really cathartic and awesome too.
The art seals the deal on this being a genuinely good comic. Harvey Tolibao brings a detail-heavy and expressive action comic that fits the world Jean finds herself in. It feels like she truly has gone on a journey into Thor's world. That doesn't help the feeling that this comic has become a vehicle for team-ups, but it is aesthetically clever. The bright colors by Jay David Ramos and Dono Sanchez-Almara do help keep the youthful optimism of Jean Grey injected into every page.
This comic has succeeded in focusing on Jean's personality and journey, despite the constant guest stars. This issue was a lot of fun and brings an oddly underused character back to the page (his status as an antagonist in Secret Empire notwithstanding). This is a great read and easily earns its recommendation.