Thor #1 (Comics Review)
With the advent of the Original Sin crossover event earlier this year, Marvel set itself up for some big changes in October. The most startling change was that Thor Odinson was deemed to no longer be worthy of the great hammer Mjolnir. This storyline was introduced in Original Sin #3 where the dead Watcher Uatu’s mutilated eye (one of them) caused a psychic bomb that made the gathered heroes and villains aware of some of the deepest secrets of their lives. The storyline then culminated in Original Sin #7 where Nick Fury whispered something to Thor that caused the God of Thunder to suddenly become unworthy of Mjolnir, utterly breaking him.
Today’s Thor #1 sees the continuation of that last point. At the end of Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Odin the All-Father returned to Asgardia and now the entire court of Asgard gathers on the Moon to watch as a broken Thor continues to whisper to Mjolnir, asking it for some kind of redemption and reaffirmation. And in the meantime, Malekith the Accursed leads a raid of Frost Giants on Midgard, seeking something they value, and the stage is set for the introduction of a new Thor, a woman this time. Jason Aaron’s writing is mostly on point here, but it is the art by Russell Dauterman & Co. that really shines here.
October sees the launch of the third phase of Marvel NOW! from Marvel Comics, Avengers NOW!. This is what a lot of titles like Captain America and Thor: God of Thunder and Original Sin and Guardians of the Galaxy have building up to this year, and now that the time is finally here, it is time to see just how the various changes are going to be made.
I’ll clear something up from the start: we don’t get to see who the new Thor is. She makes an appearance on the final page of the issue, but she is always in shadows so her identity is just as much a mystery now as it was when Marvel announced the big news. The fact that the new Thor does not take on the name Thorella or Thorita or She-Thor or any such nonsense is a big change moving forward for the comics industry since many iconic female characters are legacy characters, such as Wonder Girl or Supergirl or Batgirl or Miss Marvel, Spider-Woman, and they almost always follow on from male heroes. But this time things are different. And what Marvel has done is make Thor both a title and a name. The former is gender-neutral, and that’s what I love best about the change.
But then again, that’s not what the comic focuses on. It focuses on Thor’s despair and his strength of spirit as he goes into battle against Malekith and the Frost Giants without the aid of Mjolnir. It is a desperate gamble at best, since without Mjolnir the God of Thunder is much reduced in power, and this is what the arch-villain capitalizes on, and taunts him about.
I’ve loved Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder since I started reading it back in 2012, and while I haven’t read some of the more recent stuff, the title has always been one of my favourite reads from Marvel Comics in recent years. With Thor #1, he is moving into new territory with his best foot forward and the only downside is that his Odin in this issue is an insufferable sexist bastard. He keeps yelling at Freyja and denigrates her status as the All-Mother. That didn’t sit so well with me, and I can only hope that this is corrected in some way as the series progresses.
The art by Russell is the main selling point of this series, I think. His pencilwork is bold, with clear and detailed panels on every page. His depiction of the All-Mother is different from what we’ve seen in the past and I’ll admit that I prefer his take rather than the previous ones. It is more… regal and majestic. But his Thor, his Thor is a genius. Bearded, shaggy, despondent, wild. Couldn’t be better really. And the colours by Matthew Wilson only enhance the whole effect. It is great to see Matthew working on such a big title, and I think he’s the perfect for it. One of the best colourists in the business, by far.
Will the new Thor’s identity be revealed in two weeks? I dearly hope so! In the meantime, definitely get this issue. It is a must-read.
Posted on October 2, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Asgard, Asgardia, Avengers, Avengers NOW!, Comics, Comics Review, Female Thor, Frank Martin, Frost Giants, Jason Aaron, Jotunheim, Malekith, Marvel Now, Matthew Wilson, Midgard, New Thor, Norse Gods, Norse Mythology, Review, Review Central, Russell Dauterman, Thor, Thor: God of Thudner, VC's Joe Sabino. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.