Giant Man #3 // Review
Four of Marvel’s biggest guys have been sent into the icy wastes of Florida to kill Ymir, God King of the Frost Giants. Things get pretty weird and substantially more complicated than any of the four of them might have anticipated when the true nature of the Frost Giant occupation of Florida comes to light in the third and final issue of Giant-Man. Writer Leah Williams wraps-up a three-part story that seems to have ended WAY too soon, but not for lack of a really fun, well-paced script that is brought to the page by artist Marco Castiello.
Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, and Atlas are attempting to scale the icy tower of Ymir. The four are uncertain as to what they might find when they get into the tower. All of the women in Florida seem to have disappeared in the giant glacier that the state has turned into. What with the tower of Ymir being the main headquarters for the occupying population of giants, they're inevitably going to find out what has happened to all of the women. The exact nature of the situation is going to be really, really weird. It's going to be an extraordinary, life-altering experience for everyone involved. War does that to people.
Leah Williams' framing of the script is a refreshing fusion of pulp fantasy elements with contemporary, comedic interpersonal drama. She adds little bits of flare here and there that cast a rather standard fantasy story in an intriguing light. The opening and closing narration have each of the four main characters' thoughts contrasted in well-written prose that might have been substantially less witty were it to dwell in chilly, little thought balloons. Her grasp of dialogue has the same kind of sharply astute sense of humor that she's shown in the previous two issues. It's a really traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy-type story that reads A LOT like something Robert E. Howard would have written for Conan, but Williams brings it to the page in a way that feels very contemporary.
Castiello's art strikes the right balance between dramatic moments of dialogue and aggressive fight scenes. The script allows him to move pretty fluidly between both in a fantastic setting that glides between the concerns of the four heroes and the danger of what they're trying to do. The fantasy feels very earthbound. The grandeur of a towering castle of ice in the middle of Florida could have been framed with a bit more of a sense of fantasy that Castiello manages, but the flow of the drama and the action might have suffered. Williams had a very definite idea of how the rhythm of the story needed to be approached. Castiello was wise to follow that rhythm without attempting to frame too much of the visual immensity of ice giants in a final show-down in Florida. That being said, it's too bad that there wasn't more time to explore the fantastic visual potential of the story.