Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman’s third issue of “Thor” releases today and continues the story of the new God of Thunder. The sheer talent involved has easily made “Thor” the flagship title of Marvel’s Avengers Now! lineup and issue #3 proves no exception. “When The Ice Lords Make War” is another clearly told story that is a both fun and compelling read as they continue to tease who is wielding the enchanted hammer. Do we learn of the mystery woman’s identity just yet? Are we told what the fateful words Nick Fury whispered to Odinson were that led to him finding himself no longer worthy of Mjolnir? I can’t say, but what I will reveal is that if you’re not currently reading “Thor”, then you really need to start pulling it from your local comic book store!
“Thor” issue #3 picks up where we last left off on Roxxon Island in Midgard. Thor, while fighting off an army of frost giants, lost Mjolnir when it was trapped behind a set of reinforced and enchanted doors. While contemplating the severity of the situation she finds herself in, Malekith confronts her. The evil elf sorcerer taunts her with “has Roxxon begun manufacturing its own Lady Thors? And how might I go about placing an order?” he breaks through the doors she could not get through, as he declares himself a “mage of Svartalfheim.” In the opening pages Malekith shown brokering a deal between the realm of the frost giants and elves, promises that he’d return the lost skull of King Laufey to Jotunheim. Roxxon has unearthed the lost skull and is storing in their highly secured facility. It is for this reason that the frost giants of Jotunheim have mounted an attack on Midgard and the reason Thor battled with them in a fight that seemingly cost him his arm and life*. (*Thor issue #1)
Jason Aaron certainly knows how to write Thor and has quickly become one of the definitive writers on Marvel’s God of Thunder. Much like the epic run by Walt Simonson, Aaron has not once lost the fact that this character is rooted in mythology. And in staying true to the Norse background, he tells story after story, issue after issue, of a character’s journey that is positively and rightfully mythological! More importantly, Jason Aaron has remained true to the spirit of what Stan Lee, Larry Leiber and Jack Kirby created in 1962. Thor is more than just a mythological god; Thor is a fully realized character that has consistently been redefined by numerously talented people, and now counting Aaron, have given fans and newcomers alike a figure that is truly universally relatable in concept. It’s a major plus for Aaron that Thor is now a woman and not Lady Thor, She-Thor, or Thorita. She is Thor, plain and simple. A woman fully worthy of wielding the hammer and completely capable, while lighting her own path as the God of Thunder!
Series artist, Russell Dauterman is a welcome revelation and worthy addition to “Thor.” He draws each issue with such confidence, pride, and sincerity that it is hard to recall a time where you simply find yourself caring (and rooting) for the hero based on illustration alone! While most of Thor’s face is obscured with an Asgardian war mask of sorts Dauterman never fails to deliver a character filled with expression. Much like that of an actor relying on his/her own talent to deliver a moving performance under heavy makeup or facial covering (Robert Downey Jr. in “Fur” or Tom Hardy as Bane), every moment Thor goes through is felt. When she’s worried, we’re worried. When she’s bellowing and blustering, we are held captive. Russell Dauterman has also shown that he has an amazing understanding of action. In moments of physicality, be it Mjolnir consistently slamming against Roxxon’s doors to return to Thor, or Malekith clapping at his own accomplishments, Dauterman adds “thoom” and “clap clap” to the drawing. It’s just this touch of whimsy that makes “Thor” stand out and remain such a fun book. His art is never loud or abrasive. It’s quiet yet adventurous. Just the kind of qualities that make Thor such a great title.
You should be reading this fantastic series, with every issue I am consistently impressed with how much Aaron and Daughterman put into each installment. Three issues in I have not been let down and am only left waiting for next month’s continuation.
“Thor” issue #3 gets five out of five stars!