Throughout the year of 2014, I have found myself enjoying the Marvel character of “Thor” considerably more since the last film, “The Dark World.” Having read Jason Aaron’s run of “Thor: God of Thunder” since it’s debut, I was somewhat disappointed in learning that such a definitive take on the character would be ending after 25 issues. I was aware of Marvel’s plan to introduce readers to a different character worthy of the hammer, especially one of a mysterious woman, and wasn’t really sold until the debut of the six variant covers. Don’t get me wrong, I was eager to read the series, but it wasn’t something that I found myself enthusiastically talking up to fellow shoppers at local comic store, Royal Collectibles. But, once I saw the covers, ranging from the animated and slightly comedic take by Skottie Young to the majestic and wonderfully painted cover by series regular Esad Ribic, I was a little more optimistic. And then it struck me. As I was busy filing bronze and silver age comics away, and sneakily looking at my phone, I scrolled to that of the captivating, powerful, classic image of Thor. It was a painting of Thor, on top of a hill, in an other-worldly landscape, bracing herself as she lifted the hammer as lightning struck it. It was an Andrew Robinson variant cover and I wanted it. I felt invited to an event. An event of biblical proportions, one that would find Thor Odinson lose his worthiness while another found theirs. Another, a woman, who other than inheriting the power of Thor, not much else was known.
I have a confession. I have a thing for strong, powerful, female heroes. I love Wonder Woman and I proudly pull all of her books. I will gladly argue the merits of having a female front and center in a major comic book as the star, and I have absolutely no issues with Thor now being a woman. In fact, I embrace it. In a 25 issue run, that focused on the theme of worthiness and what it means to be worthy, Jason Aaron has created a character who is now almost as inviting as Spider-Man and Batman. The idea that everyone’s favorite wall-crawler could be anyone, or that if devoted and blessed with the correct resources, you too could become the Dark Knight, was now a theme being shared with The Mighty Avenger! If a woman could be worthy, and a frog, and an alien, than maybe I could also posses the power of Thor. Maybe I could lift Mjolnir.
In issue #1 of “Thor”, writer Jason Aaron continues to focus on the current situation Thor Odinson finds himself in. Situated on the moon, and left pleading with Mjolnir in one of the most touching and heartfelt moments of the book, Asgardia looks down on their fallen son. What follows is, more or less, exactly the same sentiments that Robert Lazueskas touched on in his review. Continuing the discussion we had, Thor issue #1 feels considerably less like a first issue and more like one of Marvel’s “point one/ zero point” issues. The story, entitled “If He Be Worthy”, serves as a prologue of sorts to the main action of introducing a new Thor that has been teased since the announcement on ABC’s The View. The story is handled very well, and Jason Aaron’s treatment of Thor is easily up there with Walter Simonson.
Marvel’s “Avengers Now” event, which starts with this month’s “Thor” #1, is something that should be on all of your pull lists. While not quite as an essential and urgent read as it should have been, I have full faith in Jason Aaron that this book will soon become a title that can’t be missed.
Important Moment of the book: Page 9, Panels 4 and 5. The creative team of Aaron and artist, Russell Dauterman, capture perfectly the pain and sadness of a bewitched God. If “please, Mjolnir… please move…” doesn’t tug at your heart-strings, than I am certain your heart is as cold as one of the frost giants seen attacking the Roxxon Seabase in the opening act.
Must Have Variant Cover: Andrew Robinson is a gifted painter. His original art, available on www.essentialsequential.com measures a godly 12 x 18″. The beautiful and raw cover captures perfectly the muscularity and grace of the new Thor we have yet to meet. Robinson’s cover is easily up there with some of Frank Frazetta’s best work.
Overall Rating: Three Out of Four Thunder Strikes!
w. Jason Aaron
a. Russel Dauterman