Jason Aaron has cemented his legacy in comics with his essential run on Thor, and King Thor #2 most certainly does not tarnish his otherwise stellar legacy. Aaron’s script has an almost biblical weight to it, with narration equal parts brutal and beautifully poetic. Esad Ribić’s art and Ive Svorcina’s colors are equally frayed and distraught. King Thor #2 is fittingly apocalyptic, as it marks one of the last comics in Aaron’s run on the Thor line, and he shows he still has a firmer grasp on the character and universe than few others ever had.
King Thor #2 begins immediately after the resurrection of Gorr The God Butcher, or as he is now rechristened Gorr, The God of God Butchers. Gorr begins to mop the floor with Loki and Thor, and it becomes apparent that the only chance Thor has is to get Loki to help him.
Aaron has such a firm grasp on the tone and Meta text of the Thor canon; it’s as if he was destined to write this book. The fraught narration describing Thor’s inner-thinking and the inevitable doom of the universe makes the story feel like an apocalyptic myth from a Nordic tribe. It feels that there should be a group of men chanting ominously with each blurb.
Aaron is misotheistic and harbors some conflict towards the idea of an all-powerful god, but he is still capable of imparting some beauty in the downfall of the All-Father. The reader knows that Gorr’s logic is sound, and his goal isn’t impure, but his hatred and ruthlessness cloud him. Gorr’s end goal is to make a race of humans who don’t need Gods, who can be independent, which isn’t that evil depending on your philosophical and theological perspective. But the reader feels each blow to Thor because Thor, in theory, is the good guy. Aaron toys with these stances and presumed roles in simply masterful ways.
Another highlight of this chapter is the dialogue between Thor and Loki, as Aaron shows he has a full understanding of one of the more convoluted and electric brotherly relationships in comics. The barbs Thor throws at Loki to get him to fight against Gorr is underlined by his deep love for his adopted brother. In the end, as they are being absorbed by Gorr’s all-black matter, Thor and Loki are the last things each other have, and their final dialogue is a fitting capstone to their relationship.
Ribić’s art and Ive Svorcina’s colors are the ideal complements to Aaron’s more mature story. Ribić’s figures are bulky and weighty, Thor lumbers in this fight like a sore veteran gearing up for his last battle, and Gorr moves viciously. There are also parts of this comic that look like the cover art to an 80’s metal album, which is equally rad. One of Thor’s granddaughters rides throughout space on a shark. I mean, how can you top that? Svorcina’s colors are neutral and fittingly dour. Svorcina gives each panel an accent of fraying or areas that are lighter than others make the story feel more historic and dour. VC’s Joe Sabina’s letters burst off the page, and during the action scenes are impressively vibrant and eye-catching. The script he adds to the narration also gives a more biblical or apocalyptic feel to the ensuing battle as well.
Throughout Aaron’s run on the Thor series, he has shown keen understandings of the myths, it’s characters, and the stories themes, while also being able to inject his ideas into the story. King Thor #2 is no exception as Aaron maintains that he is the best writer of Thor we’ve seen in a while.