Thor: God of Thunder
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic
Colour: Ive Svorcina
Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover(s): Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“And this is how it ends. With blood and thunder. With hammer and sword. With one last stand at the gates of heaven…”
One of the more appealing aspects of the Marvel Now (don’t call it a-) Reboot is allowing the character’s to venture off on true solo adventures, free from continuity restraints caused by numerous tie-ins. Yes, the Avengers are still avenging but Captain America is off in Dimension Z and Iron Man is kickin’ it in outer space. This refreshing change of pace has allowed the creative teams to focus on the strengths of these characters in some truly unique circumstances. While alternative dimensions and outer-space are all well and good, writer Jason Aaron has something far grander in mind for his series, Thor: God of Thunder.
Spanning three generations of Thor’s immortal life, the first five issues in the series serve as an introduction to a new and powerful foe; Gorr the God Butcher. Gorr is a mysterious God-like villain with a seemingly infinite life span and a thirst for the blood of all Gods. From young Thor’s torturous first encounter with Gorr to Old King Thor’s final stand against Gorr’s merciless army, Aaron has craftily juggled an epic storyline that spans galaxies and generations.
Since flashbacks have been done to death, Aaron has taken storytelling to a whole new level. His decision to document Thor at three separate points in his life, from his youthful braggart days, to his hero filled Avenger’s days, and finally to Old King Thor, alone, broken and missing an arm, is a gamble that pays off in spades. Each generation peels back a layer showcasing the magnitude of Gorr’s vengeance and the scope of Aaron’s vision. The knowledge that Old King Thor is truly the last of the Gods shadows every move that the younger Thor’s make. Thor is never ahead of his foe, he is merely surviving for as long as Gorr lets him.
Marvel’s decision to include all types of deities in their own mythology is often over looked, but praise must be given to Marvel’s founding fathers. While some may deem it blasphemous, there is something harmonic about the way religion works in the Marvel Universe. Every God exists, as does every devil. While they may not be working together, they all co-exist. The fact that one entity has successfully murdered every God you have ever heard of is a concept that seems impossible to fathom. When the universe ends, all that’s left is an old God facing an army on his own. Thor: God of Thunder encompasses all of Marvel’s history; past, present and horrific future.
Since this series is about as epic as it gets, the art has to be worthy of a God and thankfully it is. Esad Ribic has created a living painting. Working seamlessly with colourist Ive Svorcina, every panel looks as if it was lifted from the renaissance. In issue #3 we see Thor, dwarfed and mourning against the backdrop of a massive deceased God and a crisp blue sky. This is truly powerful imagery that will stay with you long into the next arc.
Astute readers may notice the word ‘epic’ peppered throughout this review, but there just is no other way to describe what Jason Aaron has created here. Thor: God of Thunder is a grandiose adventure that soars above it’s own lofty ambitions making it a timeless tome for the ages. The next arc promises an origin story for our titular baddie Gorr, but in the meantime, a re-read is in order. Then another… then another…