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The Unworthy Thor: Vol. 1 is character reinvention done right

Now this? The Unworthy Thor? This is a character change from Marvel I can get behind 100%.

The Unworthy Thor Vol. 1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics


Not really a character I ever saw with much depth. Mostly a human (godly?) battering ram, on the Avengers for two reasons: to strike fear and awe into the hearts of the many, and to be the living embodiment of the Worf Effect.

To quote from TV Tropes:

Want a quick way to show how dangerous one of your unknown characters is? Simple, make them do well or win in a fight with a character that the audience already knows is tough. This establishes them as willing to fight and marks them as sufficiently dangerous.

That, for years, has been our blond godling. His character growth has been odd at times, seeing him grow and shave beards, take over for Odin, and even become a murdering robot clone. He’s always sort of gravitated back to his normal status quo, usually even faster than the standard for comics.

This new Thor, though? I hope this one sticks.

To sum it up, Thor ain’t Thor No More. A whispered word from the Watcher (who’s now Nick Fury…don’t ask), made Thor realize something so impactful, that Mjolnir no longer deemed him worthy to wield its Uru might. This set off a massive chain of events including Thor’s old girlfriend Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, Thor giving up the hammer and title officially and referring to himself as “Odinson,” losing his arm and gaining a new one forged from black Uru, carrying an axe, hanging out with a goat, and getting blind, stinking drunk for a few months straight.

He wants his hammer back. He knows he can’t have it, but when a certain Uru-forged troll smiter crashes into this universe from the Ultimate one, does this mean he’s got another chance?

That’s the backstory. The fun? This might be the most alive we’ve ever seen this surferboy Avenger, ever. He’s still a god, so he shrugs off injury quite well but he can be hurt. He can be captured (as you’ll see), and he can be made to feel very..well human, I suppose.

Like the Uru that shaped his arm, Odinson is now being reforged. His life of god like power and ability to shrug off just about any foe made him complacent, and reliant on that hammer. Now, he has to use his wits, his tactics, and his giant damn goat to defeat those that challenge him.

I loved the hell out of this. The artwork jumps off the page (except for a few panels where Thor looks a little bit more like Volstagg than himself) and the characters are all brought to life with true deep changes. Even Beta Ray Bill–one of the attempts at shaking the Thor world up–makes a more heartfelt appearance here than in anything I’ve seen him in since the 80s.

Overall, this was an excellent read. In the days of Marvel’s odd statements about diversity causing them issues at the news stand, Unworthy and Jane Fos-Thor seem to be beating the odds. Shaking the character tree this much sometimes leads to fan outcry – but this looks to have moved the character out of the Worf/Punching Bag bin and into a compelling tale.

The Unworthy Thor: Vol. 1 Review
Is it good?
While you might have had issues with Marvel's seemingly endless shake-up and doubling of marquee heroes, Unworthy Thor does it right. By taking a character who had very little room to grow or change, and destroying the very base he stood on for years, they've uncovered a much more compelling character and a far better story.
Black Uru arm, axe, beard, fauxhawk, Toothgnasher the goat, and a murder dog named Thori. It's got it all.
Artwork that bleeds and sweats, and shows how deep into combat Thor gets
Finally a new chapter for a character that's become a bit stale, and completely reinvents him in a fantastic light.
The only negative here is the story arc seems a tad rushed--as the default for the golden god seems to be smashing or axing things, we saw far too few moments of contemplation. Compare to World War Hulk, where we see Hulk exist too.

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