Giant-Man #2 // Review
Four giant heroes are pretending to be Frost Giants. They’ve been sent on a mission to kill Ymir: the king of the Frost Giants. He’s hanging out in Florida, which has turned the humid home of theme parks, Republicans and retirees into an unforgiving icy hell-scape that resembles Jotunheim. The makeshift espionage skills of Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath and Atlas are put to the test as they must spend an evening getting drunk with a bunch of giants. Writer Leah Williams delivers heart and humor to a story drawn by Marco Castiello. Color comes to the page courtesy of Rachelle Rosenberg.
The quartet of Marvel giants begin the issue running away from ice hounds. From there they encounter ice giant guards who refuse to let them pass...so naturally, their only option is to join them in an evening of drunken debauchery. In the process of doing so, the heroes find a connection with the enemy that’s going to make the quest all the more difficult...especially when it becomes all-too-apparent that the only reason they were sent to kill Ymir may have had something to do with their expendability. It’s a lousy job, but Florida DOES need to be liberated.
Williams has a sparkling sense of humor that resonates through dialogue and captions. The strange dynamic between the four giant heroes is remarkably witty. They’re clearly out of their depth. Things could go wrong at any moment. There’s a whimsical sense of doom and gloom that covers the entire mission. Four mortal men look to kill a god in Florida. They know that it’s probably going to involve killing a lot of other people. It sucks, and they know it. Taking a moment to get drunk with the enemy seems perfectly logical under the circumstances. Williams’ framing of the strange specifics of the encounter makes for a refreshingly enjoyable read.
A bunch of big, ugly guys have conversations in snowy wastes and old-timey tavern looking places. There’s really not much going on here in a fantasy action sense, but Castiello does an excellent job of keeping it visually appealing for the most part. On a broader level, Castiello and Rosenberg maintain a really brisk pace for an issue that might have otherwise felt really bogged-down in dialogue. The emotional end of the story isn’t carried as well in the art as it is in the conversation, but Castiello frames it all quite well even if all of the detail isn’t rendered with perfect clarity. Rosenberg does a hell of a lot with blue people in a frigid white backdrop. There’s a lot of variation in blue skin that adds some depth to the drama.
The second part of a two-part series, Williams’ Giant-Man is going to be kind of easy to overlook. It’s a marginal story in a much larger War of the Realms event featuring heroes who aren’t exactly popular. Williams has really managed something witty and sharp in the series thus far, though. It’s too bad that four humble giants will likely get lost in the mix of a massive multi-series crossover. This is actually a really fun story.