Writer & Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
Color Artist: Mike Spicer
Cover Artists: Daniel Warren Johnson & Mike Spicer
Beta Ray Bill is an epic figure. Warrior and protector of his people, the Korbonites, from Surtur. A hero forged in battle who can lift Mjolnir and earned his own hammer, the Stormbreaker. Ever since, Beta Ray Bill has been a fan-favorite Marvel hero for years. And now, Beta Ray Bill #1 will show the cosmic hero test his mettle once more to defend the people of Asgard.
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For those wondering if this comic is canon or not, it’s part of the main Marvel Universe. It connects with the King in Black event and even the recent events in Donny Cates’ current Thor run. The big hint was Knull’s spiral pattern showing up on Fin Fang Foom’s head. Though, they never reveal or say how that happened.
The art in this comic by Daniel Warren Johnson is great from the action, the movements, the way Beta Ray Bill is drawn in action. The coloring from Mike Spicer is pretty good and shows the wear and tear the titular hero takes in a fight and makes everything stand out in the comic from the warriors of Asgard, Beta Ray Bill, and even Skuttlebutt.
One thing’s for certain, this comic is meant to be a dour story for Bill. See, the comic covers the essentials of his origin and presents readers a story in the present day as he defends Asgard, but fails to do so. It shows the admirable effort Beta Ray Bill has but then shows an emotional element to him.
A recurring element in this comic is the shame Beta Ray Bill feels. He feels incomplete without Stormbreaker, even worse, is how he lives in Thor’s shadow. It’s like all the recent failures and indignities he’s had to deal with are really piling up and coming to a head here. And there might be even more than that which goes back even further, at least as far as the comic presents it.
Granted, it’s understandable that he’d feel down. Especially when Thor destroyed his hammer and then Throg, a talking mystical Thor-Frog, did a better job fighting Thor’s evil alter-ego than he did. There are multiple examples of Beta Ray Bill sulking and feeling sorry for himself throughout the comic, with a very big moment near the end.
I can’t say with certainty if this feels true to the essence of the character. Beta Ray Bill has been depicted as a great, noble hero throughout most of his appearances in the past decade. Though, he’s had his darker moments here and there too. This could be one of those stories as he tries to reclaim his hammer, his warrior pride, and maybe more in this miniseries.
Beta Ray Bill #1 aims to tell an epic story of the titular cosmic hero reclaiming himself again. As a warrior and as a hero. The art and writing by Daniel Warren Johnson is solid and the coloring by Mike Spicer is great. The story feels like a prelude to something bigger and more personal for Beta Ray Bill. Hopefully, the next issue dives directly into the story.