Now that Thor has lost his hammer (maybe he should look into erectile dysfunction meds?) the story must go on! As a threat larger than ever rears its head, a new lady Thor appears. Is it good?
Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)
The issue opens on the Norwegian Sea as writer Jason Aaron sets up the big bad threat that will drive the story forward. His favorite evil company, Roxxon, is involved in some digging and they find some rather giant monsters to deal with. Aaron cuts to the Moon, where Thor has been spending weeks trying to pick up his damn hammer. A crowd has formed from Asgard and they’re all a bit worried for his sanity and health. It’s in this sequence, not the lady Thor parts, that really show what the series will be made of.
Aaron has some great character dynamics afoot in this portion, particularly with Odin and his wife. They bicker back and forth as old married couples do and it’s a fun little interchange as they discuss coddling their son. Meanwhile, Thor’s closest buds chime in and say maybe it’s the hammer that’s broken and not Thor himself. Since Thor is blind to all of this, it all comes off as comical and supportive. It’s quite possible Aaron is trying to show Thor shouldn’t be so miserable as the guy has some awesome friends to cheer him up.
The more subtle thing going on is Thor’s mother and her desire to continue to rule. As Odin tells her he’s the king—in a bit of a tantrum no less—you can tell she won’t back down. When everyone clears out she lingers, eyeballing the hammer and one might wonder maybe she’s behind the hammer moving onto female hands. If I were to guess, Aaron is playing around with issues of sexism and chauvinism which heightens the read and gives it more importance.
Everyone is going to be complaining about the lack of lady Thor, but I for one think it’s a bit weak on Thor himself as well. As I just described, it’s his supporting cast that get top billing on the Moon, and when Thor does end up taking charge and facing Malekith the Accused it’s very quick. Thor comes off bumbling, almost drunk even, and when a very major event takes place that everyone has been anticipating since the first Marvel NOW! teaser it comes off as cursory and unimportant.
Great bickering banter!
The art by Russell Dauterman is great, with a lot of detail similar to Nick Dragotta but a more refined and larger scale. I’m sure fans of Asad Ribic will be crying their eyes out at his departure, but Dauterman certainly carries his own weight. The character acting in particular is helpful when such a large cast is used.
Sure sure, it’s the hammer’s fault!
Is It Good?
Light on Thor and the female Thor too, but strong on supporting characters and a potentially epic confrontation. This issue does a lot of things well, but oddly leaves the title characters out. Still, a good first issue to set up what could be a memorable story due to its social implications.