Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Kano
Last we saw Beta Ray Bill, he had assisted Thor in defeating the Skrull threat on Asgard during the Secret Invasion. Now, we find him seeking vengeance against the one who destroyed his entire race and their newfound home world: Galactus.
As first issues for short miniseries go, this one works well enough. This issue starts with Bill trying to get help from a couple of familiar characters and prepare for his plan of attack. Through this, the reader learns enough of the basics of Bill to understand what is going on, such as his relationship with Thor, his hammer Stormbreaker and why he wants revenge against Galactus (not that consuming your planet while consequently wiping out your race is a hard reason to grasp).
When not conversing with old allies, Bill is out stopping galactic threats. He proves very much to be Thor’s equal in his shows of strength. Bill even has a rematch with the Galactus herald Stardust, whom he originally fought in the 2005 Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill miniseries. At the end, Bill as his confrontation with Galactus as he is about to feed, and we finally find out just how Bill plans to defeat the very large purple-hat-wearing planet eater. This “plan” seems as emotionally driven and not too thought-out as Bill likely is.
Though while his motive makes sense, it does seem odd for Bill to be on an unrelenting quest for justice and vengeance when getting back at Galactus didn’t seem too high on his list of priorities during his last couple of story arcs, namely those with Thor and with Omega Flight. Maybe that’s not a big deal, or maybe it’ll be explained.
The end of the issue does end will Bill making quite an impression, leading to a confrontation with a certain shinier herald for next issue. Seeing as his prey is Galactus, Bill most likely won’t succeed in killing him. This is only the first issue of a three-part miniseries, after all. There are still two-thirds left.
The art itself works well enough. Kano seems to put more focus on the characters. They’re decently detailed from the facial hair on an alien to the veins on Bill’s bursting muscles. You can even see individual feathers on Bill’s Asgardian helmet fall off in an energy blast.
The coloring has a variety of shading and tones. This combined with the shading and lining helps add depth and complexity to the characters. A few times, the transition into shading may not be as subtle as other times, and some of the tone differences don’t flow into each other too well. Light sources, from the lights on Galactus’ head to sources of energy blasts, give off a feeling of brightness. There’s also nice detail work on metallic metals, such as Thor’s armor which seems as clean and shiny as a god would wear.
Backgrounds and settings range from simple to a moderate form of complexity. For simple, there’s the opening panel with a shot of a Japanese harbor, yet the waves in the following panel and other shots look decent. The interior shots, what few there are, seem kind of flat though.
The cover art was drawn by Patrick Zircher. It features a bit better details. There’s a bit more detail. The colors are a bit darker, and changing tones and shading meshes a bit better than in the interior.
Overall, the art isn’t special. It’s not bad. It’s better than average. The characters are decently done. They have some depth thanks to color tones and
This is shaping up to be a fair miniseries. People who like Beta Ray Bill should most likely check this out since it’s not like he’s in a regular series. People who haven’t read any of Bill could check this out and get the basics. Until the miniseries is over though, it is unknown if will be a definitive Beta Ray Bill title. Seeing as his prey is Galactus, Bill most likely won’t succeed in killing him. However, curiosity as to how he’ll fail, as well as Bill’s ensuring fight with the Silver Surfer is more than enough to justify keeping up through the next issue. Not to mention it’s just a three-issue miniseries, so it’s not too much of a resource drainer.
Also included in this issue is a reprint of The Mighty Thor #337, the first appearance of Beta Ray Bill. If you’re only familiar with Bill from his recent miniseries, this of his 1983 appearance is a nice little addition. Plus, the two comics in one might actually justify the $3.99 price Marvel is moving more and more towards.
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10