Jason Aaron’s mighty run with Odinson and his Asgardian adventures continues. Thor #1 debuts for Marvel’s “Fresh Start” initiative with the original God Of Thunder back in the driver seat. Aaron’s superb era of Jane Foster’s worthiness is going to be a tough act to follow.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Jason Aaron has been writing Thor comics for a very long time, already cementing himself as one of the all-time greats. However, this new series unfortunately has to follow the gut-wrenching finale of Jane Foster’s triumphant tenure wielding the hammer. We got a taste of Odinson in Aaron’s Avengers series that just started, but here is a greater task.
Thor is on a mission to retrieve a stolen Asgardian artifact from the almighty Cyttorak. Their champion is the unstoppable Juggernaut at the height of his powers within the Cyttorak temple. Aaron has a great voice for Cain Marko, his teasing of Thor’s lack of two arms and a hammer is delightful.
The identity crisis that Thor is going through without his hammer is amusing. After shattering one on Juggs’ face, Thor tells Screwbeard to “send all the hammers.” It’s a great comic book moment seeing the shower of hammers rain down on the enemies of Odinson.
Screwbeard himself is also a very enjoyable supporting character. His exchanges with Thor are a joy, especially his misunderstanding the “juggler” enemy that destroyed all his hard work.
The Asgardians becoming refugees on Earth, Thor living on a small boat with his trusty dog and goat, and Loki’s deal with his brother to chase down Malekith as he sprays blood across the realms. There’s a lot going on in this issue, Aaron keeps everything tight and entertaining with a great script and playful dialogue as always.
Mike Del Mundo is one of Marvel’s “young guns” artists. He’s a much better fit on Thor than he was for Mark Waid’s recent Avengers run. I feel like Marvel has yet to put him on a title that fits perfectly, he’s clearly a talented artist. Is he still a young artist yet to blossom, or a creator that hasn’t been tasked with the proper match yet?
Perhaps even a different approach to coloring would keep these action sequences from seeming like a washed away mess. All of Del Mundo’s character models are spot-on and designed to satisfaction. There’s something amiss in the final execution. A good portion of these panels detract from the scene rather than expand on them.
There’s a back-up story starring the darlings of Thor continuity, his three future granddaughters. It’s a joy to read them as always, even with such tragic subject matter. The cliffhanger, setting up Thor #5, is bat-shit comic book craziness that’ll give you something to look forward to if this main story didn’t tickle your fancy. It also features art by Christian Ward of Black Bolt fame.
Similarly to Mark Waid’s Doctor Strange #1, this debut doesn’t quite live up to the preceding Marvel Legacy series. Thor #1 has plenty to hook readers and keep us coming back for more, but the visual approach is troublesome. Thankfully it’s Jason Aaron, so we know Thor is in the most capable of hands.