Though I enjoyed the first 12 issues of Thor: God of Thunder, I had to skip the most recent arc — “The Accursed” — simply because of a lack of disposable income. Luckily, I just got a shiny new job, so after treating myself to last month’s Thor #18 (an excellent done-in-one featuring Spanish artist Das Pastoras and a dragon that parties too hard), I decided to jump back on board Thor’s mighty Viking ship with Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW: The Last Days of Midgard #1 (hey, I don’t make the titles). It’s billed as a new jumping-on-point, and it even features a free digital code for Thor: GOT Volume 1: “The God Butcher”. But is it good?
Thor: God of Thunder #19 (Marvel Comics)
Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW reunites writer Jason Aaron with artist Esad Ribic as they begin Thor’s battle with an enemy that may prove even more dangerous than Loki, Gorr, and the Enchantress combined: Dario Agger, CEO of Exxon Roxxon Energy Corporation. The multibillionaire oil magnate has found a way to make himself look like a hero while continuing his environmentally hazardous practices, presenting Thor with the rare challenge that he cannot solve simply by beating the problem with a hammer.
Luckily, Thor seems to be getting some help from his latest love interest, Roz Solomon, an environmental scientist and rookie S.H.I.E.L.D agent. She’s a compelling new character, and I hope she sticks around for a while. Especially for a story that places so much emphasis on Thor’s affection for Midgard (you know, “Earth” for us mortals), it makes sense that Thor would be attracted to a strong woman that’s dedicated to protecting the Earth in her own ways.
This is an exemplary jumping-on point. It doesn’t alienate long-time readers by treading too much familiar ground, yet it requires virtually no previous knowledge for new readers to sufficiently follow the plot. It should persuade newcomers to pick up as many back-issues as they can, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Under Jason Aaron’s pen, Thor is an utter delight. Whereas he characterizes Young Thor as a foolishly battle-hungry brute, and Old King Thor is a world-weary crank, Thor the Avenger is charming, jovial, and calmly self-assured. He’s a bit like Superman, but more of a lady’s man. One can’t help but smile at Thor’s attempt to invite Agent Solomon to join him in Asgardia for “warm mutton and cold mead.”
Jason Aaron certainly has a great sense of humor, but he’s still telling a high-adventure, action-oriented story, which Esad Ribic portrays beautifully. Aaron’s writing tends to be pretty dense in this series (which is definitely a good thing), but when Ribic has a large panel to work with, you can be sure that he’s going to make it count. Ribic’s had some stiff competition from guest artists like Ron Garney and Nic Klein, but he makes a welcome return to Thor: GOT’s interior pages with this issue.
Is it Good?
I say thee yay!