Thunderbolt Jaxon

Author: Dave Gibbons
Artist: John Higgins
Titan Books
RRP: 9.99, US $19.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 491 3
ISBN-10: 1 84576 491 9
Available 25 May 2007

Jack, Billy and Saf are three ordinary kids who make a startling discovery: mystical relics from the fourth century that are the key to releasing the long-imprisoned Norse Gods from limbo. But once the Aesir have regained their freedom, they continue an ages old conflict, one that could have catastrophic consequences for an innocent village and its inhabitants. Now young Jack Jaxon finds himself the unwitting vessel of the greatest of all Gods, and in order to save the lives of those dear to him, Jack must decide if he can handle the true power of the Aesir. But once such a road is taken can the traveller ever return home?...

Thunderbolt Jaxon reinvents a little known British character from the pages of Comet comic for a modern audience. The original 1949 series revolved around the adventures of Jack Jaxons, a young boy who, wearing the belt of Thor, became the mighty Thunderbolt Jaxon.

This new tale tackles the origins of the character, as Jack Jaxon and his friends unearth the magical belt - only to discover that things in their hometown are not what they seem, as the Norse gods and immortal giants are still fighting their endless battle. But can Jack wield Thor's power and remain himself, or will the Norse god take control?

Here is proof, if any were needed, that even the lamest of superheroes can turn out to be pretty interesting if put into the correct artistic hands. Dave Gibbons takes the character and firmly establishes it as his own.

Generally origin stories are pretty dry affairs - how many times have we seen the origins of Batman and Superman being reinvented for a more modern audience? But as very few people will have heard of Thunderbolt Jaxon before, this collection makes for pretty interesting reading.

I wasn't so impressed with the Shakespearean nod to Macbeth. Yes, three witches! How very clever... yawn. But otherwise this is a fairly interesting reworking of an old, obscure character.

Nick Smithson

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