Walter Simonson Draws Thor (Again!)
By Andy Frisk
May 9, 2012 - 19:43
For this memory and life-long defining image of Thor as a character, Walter Simonson will always be one of my favorite sequential artists. There are many more literarily important reasons why he should be one of my favorites of all time. Many of them are much more important to the overall history of Marvel Comics, Thor, and sequential art itself, but it’s the memories of my Dad that these images jog in me that are the most important reasons. The energy in Simonson’s work, and his image of Thor as a tough, hardworking hero somehow also defined my image of my Dad from those days. As a steelworker, he was a physically big guy, but he was also pretty active with my brothers and I in those days as well. He’d often be really tired from work, but he just as often had the energy to wrestle around or throw a football with us in the backyard. My Dad and Thor were both pretty tough guys…
Walter Simonson’s art will always be precious to me, especially when he draws Thor, because of the incredible amount of emotional energy and memory that I have invested in his images of Thor. This is one of the great powers of sequential art, its heroes, and the artists that draw them. Their hopeful images and stories of hard fought victory against the world’s evils, especially when drawn by someone as talented and unique an artist as Simonson, are precious to us culturally and developmentally. This is part of the reason that Marvel’s The Avengers is doing so well at the box office and touching so many. The memories that often get locked up with, and the life lessons that we intuitively learn from, the reading of their stories are part of the great myth of the hero’s journey, which is synonymous with growing up.
Imagine my joy when I heard that Simonson was going to be drawing some issues of The Avengers (2010). His image of Thor swooping down onto the roof of Avengers Tower in NYC, his might hammer Mjolnir spinning in his hand, almost brought a tear to my eye. Not because I love The Avengers’ stories, or the character of Thor, but because it reminded me of times gone by, a simpler time in my life, and the original superhero that saw us through those both light and dark times.
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