It’s back to comics for another day of Advent Reviews. This time I take on one of Marvel’s latest reboots, Thor: God of Thunder #1, which is written by Jason Aaron and is part of the publisher’s Marvel NOW! staggered line-wide relaunch. The recent movie piqued my interest in the character, and as a fan of Norse mythology, I couldn’t really pass up an opportunity to “start from the beginning” as it were.
This was a really weird issue for me. A first read-through didn’t make me feel anything really. The narrative is divided into three parts: 893 AD Iceland, Earth; Present-day, the planet Indigarr; and many millennia in the future, Asgard, where Thor is the last god left alive. The broken narrative confused me since it didn’t appear much that there were any consistent themes between them. I suppose I have myself to blame for that, since I read this when I was really sleepy. A second read-through made things jump out at me, and I recognised what the the consistency was between the three short stories: it had to do with a threat that Thor deals between his past and present selves, as presented in the comic.
I still believe that the narrative is unnecessarily jumbled up, and that it would have been better to have done it as flashbacks from the point of view of the future Thor, a Thor who resembles Odin in his physical appearance and his deformities. That would have tied up the narrative a fair bit. But, taking each story as it comes, I did realise that Justin Aaron did in fact do a good job of showing off Thor as a character. This is an introductory issue, part of a brand-new reboot for the character. The story itself might not be compelling, but we do get to see Thor at three different stages of his life. And I’m quite interested in seeing how the character has evolved between these three identities, and who the big bad villain mentioned in the middle story is.
The artwork, pencils by Esad Ribic and colours by Joe Sabino, has a painted look to it. I’m largely indifferent to the art really. The past-Thor is weird looking and some of his facial expressions are just plain confusing, but I did quite like present-Thor and future-Thor, the last being very imposing and intimidating. Another striking thing is that there are different dominant background colours to the different timelines: soft blues with dark hues for the past, faded browns/oranges for the present (except when the location shifts), and rusty creamy whites (if the combination makes sense, I can’t really describe it!) for the future. Ribic’s pencils are clear and detailed, which make the panels stand-out, but I do wish that the colour styles had been different.
All in all, quite a decent issue, especially as an opener. I’ll stick with the series for a couple more issues before making a call to drop it, if it comes to that.