February 28, 2011

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Thor and Loki: In the Land of Giants

Written by Jeff Limke
Illustrated by Ron Randall
Graphic Universe

I've read a few others in this "Graphic Universe" series and found them to be fun comic-book style retellings of myths I'm quite fond of. This time it's Thor and Loki, looking rather different from their Kirby counterparts--and that's not a bad thing.

Thor and Loki are arguing over what is better--brawn or brain. They decide to go to the land of the giants to find out, stopping along the way at a farmer's house, where a deception leads to Thor taking the farmer's kids as a ransom. Soon they're battling the giants in amazing contests--but are they really?

My favorite part of this one is the girl asking why she can't have a challenge, too, and being told not to argue with the giants. A cute way of pointing out the chauvinism of most Norse mythology.

The story works well, solving nothing of course and showing how much trouble Thor can cause. My only beef is that Loki comes off a bit too nice--he's more a voice of reason than a trickster here. In places like this, it seems like Limke is willing to fudge the boorishness of the old myths in order to make sure no parents get angry with what their child is reading.

It's the only downside to what I thought was a pretty well-done comic. Definitely a neat pickup for the right age range, which is certainly not adults. There are plenty of comics out there covering darker edges of the myth, so that's no big loss. I'd easily recommend this to anyone with children who want to learn about the legends and myths surrounding the days of the week.