I’m not a regular reader of this comic, though I’ve been excited for the concept. So when I got the chance to review a collection early in the run, I jumped at it. And overall, there is a lot to recommend – Jason Aaron does a fantastic job mixing the pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue with Jane’s regular voice. The stories are a great mix of fun and serious, and Aaron isn’t afraid to embrace some of the sillier aspects of the Thor and comics universe without losing the thread.

This collection gathers issues #6-12 of The Mighty Thor and while it luckily does gather a specific arc, as a new reader I was disappointed that its focus was more on the villains and other outlying characters than the character herself. It felt like a bit of a wrong step for the early days of a new character’s run.

Let’s start with the first two issues this collection covers, which has Loki telling a very long and involved story of an ancient Viking he colluded with, presumably to set up what will happen over the following 4 issues of the arc. However, it’s a very long set up to what ultimately is a pretty short payoff. And while it’s connecting Loki to cadre of billionaire super villains, spending 2 full issues focused on a character from the past we never meet again and the former incarnation of Thor felt like a lot of time away from the title character.

The other problem I had with the first 2 issues (and I will admit up front that this might have been my reading conditions) was Rafa Garres’ art. It’s dark and at times muddy, and I assume intentionally sketchy — I had a hard time telling the difference between characters and found the action sometimes impossible to follow.

After taking the book to work, I realized that the light in my house must have been low and there was a LOT more detail than I could make out on my initial read. To speak in marketing terms, it’s not a great user experience to have to make sure you are in the correct light to properly read a comic. Getting a look at it in better light gave me a greater appreciation for the level of detail he was able to achieve, but the style is an odd choice. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to capture art of the period or the primitive, violent era, but it doesn’t really look like any actual art from the Viking era.

The four issues of the main story are a great concise arc that manages to take a deadly serious topic and give it a lighter twist. We get a glimpse of how she spends the majority of her time being a hero as Thor, and a more concrete look at her in action during a crisis, which is pretty awesome. Not only does she kickass physically, but she also uses her smarts to problem solve and try and resolve issues.

My big critique of this arc is that it spends a lot of time setting up the bad guy cadre, and the two talented but overly driven S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in their pursuit of Mighty Thor’s secret identity than with Jane herself. The story even spends more time with agent Roz Solomon than Thor. Granted, the relationship between Roz and Jane is wonderful and I love the moment when Jane decides to trust her with her secret identity.

One of the best parts of these issues is Russell Dauterman’s art with Matt Wilson’s coloring. Not only is the art clear and detailed, but every panel is interesting, all made absolutely stunning with Matt Wilson’s glorious colors:

I love everything about this spread.

Dauterman makes each character unique and memorable, and his sense of humor is a great match with Aaron’s writing. I love how he plays with panel layouts, pairing it to the action.

The final issue in the collection also centers around a look back in time, revealing a brand new information about Mjolnir’s creation. This felt like the strongest issue in the collection, partly because we get some nice character moments with Jane, but also because of Frazer Irving’s gorgeous art for the flashback.

All in all, you are getting a lot of bang for your $19.99, with a solid arc and a really fun read.

Is it good?
Some truly fantastic art and coloring in the majority of the collection
A contained story arc with some bonus new info about an established character
A great glimpse at what makes Jane Foster worthy of being Thor
The flashback art for the first two issues is a strange style that's hard to follow
The story spends a lot of time away from the title character

  • Morse

    well it’s been a year or so that the book is spending time away from the title character so…

    • Bucky Cap, Sam Cap, Phoenix 11 times, Wolverine, Spider-man, Black Panther, Iron Man, 4 or so times, Ant Man, Giant Man, Yellow Jacket, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash (11 times),

      • Morse

        1. Thor is not a title

        2. most of the not recent marvel ones didn’t exist to fill a diversity checklist

        3. there was actually a reason behind the change and there was development for it beforehand. Bruce DIED. Superman DIED. captain DIED. Barry DIED. and the substitute had an actual reason for picking up the title and they earned their place during the years.

        4. picking up the mantle of BATMAN or SUPERMAN makes sense because the name actually means something to the people in their respective universe as symbols and beacons. taking the name of Wolverine or Hulk, by a character that already has an identity only looks like sabotage and a desperate attempt at stroking their own egos (both the characters AND writers)

        5. “Green Lantern” was always a title. for example being called a “Cop” is not specific to one officer

        6. Phoenix is a power, not a specific character, as seen in AvX and previous entries.

        7. did i mention that Thor is not a title?

        8.What does “for 200 please Alex.” even mean???

        • Jason Segarra

          1. Doesn’t the fact that there is a new character wielding Mjolnir (which states that “whosever is worthy shall wield the power of Thor”) and being called by Thor by literally everyone, even the allfather Odin, suggest that Thor is both a name and a title?
          2. Arguing that the person to supplant a white character’s title being of any race other than white somehow makes them inherently lesser is ignorant and racist.
          3. There was a reason behind Odinson losing his title. He was no longer worthy. Whether you have issue with the writing is your business, but I had issue with all the times Jean died and got brought back and that seems fine in your context.
          4. She has the powers, hammer and title of Thor. Calling her anything else would be silly. (Remember Thunderstrike?)
          5. Yes, but there is a transformer who is both a police officer and named ‘Cop.’ As previously established, this storyline shows that Thor is both a name and a title. Like Smith.
          6. The Phoenix is actually a sentient being that inhabits hosts. It is also – fancy this – a title, as it’s been used by Jean, Rachel and Quentin – and not always while they were possessed by the Phoenix force.
          7.You did. You’re still wrong.
          8. I think Patrick is making a joke about how silly your assertion that Thor isn’t the real Thor is. I’m more of the “Spell it out for you” school of thought.

          Hope that helps!

          • Morse

            0. being smug is not a point

            1. they wield the “power” of Thor, not the title. the book is also is not being written by an astral
            beings, the writer is disregarding the mythos and should be called out for it.

            2. diversity for the sake of diversity will always be bad (and the sales are currently proving that), it results in the characters being shallow and bad in the outcome (again, proven by the dropping quality which results in the sales dropping). nothing to do with them being lesser because of their race or gender, so your delusions about racism is non of my concerns.

            3. the reason wasn’t good enough

            4. you are Jason, someone wearing your pants doesn’t become Jason.

            5. established only for the sake of giving jane the title. not an argument.

            6. you just proved my point. the Phoenix has no stable physical form so it taking control of different characters makes sense

            7.it seems that it wasn’t enough

            8. well Patrick is not really a funny guy

          • Jason Segarra

            To do away with the numerical elements. I will Say that the writer, as the architect of this mythos, has the ability to take it’s established processes and history however they want. I wouldn’t have had Oberyn Martel die in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but it didn’t ruin the book for me. What the series has done is establish that the very essence of what is arguably Thor (i.e. the powers and position as god of thunder) is a title imparted on the bearer of Mjolnir. It was Odinson, now it’s Foster. It’s a mantle handed off because that’s how it was written. Sales are down across comics, as both a factor of progressing technology hastening the death of physical media and a bevy of other factors. Claiming that the diversity initiative is why Marvel is struggling is like blaming strawberry ice cream for Baskin Robbins’ poor performance. Regardless of how a story gets somewhere it’s there because the writers wrote it that way, and you can either enjoy the ride or let your own adherence to the traditional status quo (which, lets not forget, was also not doing gangbuster business for Marvel in recent years) ruin the experience because it’s different.

            To address a few of these points by number:
            6: No, I also mentioned that all three were dubbed phoenix even without the presence of the phoenix force. They take on the name when they are inhabited by the entity, sure, but also when they are just super powerful telekinetics.

            4.While that is maybe one of the funnier sentences I have ever read, if my Jason-ness was intrinsically tied to my pants and they imbued the wearers with all the necessary criteria to be called Jason, then yes. Wearing my pants would make you Jason.

            0.Smugness is an unfortunate consequence of speaking to someone who is wrong, and your complaint that thor isn’t thor because she is a woman now is demonstrably false.

            8. He grows on you.

          • Morse

            the problem is, this architect is handling this in the poorest way possible, suddenly everyone forgot about the real Thor, nobody is asking for him, and now, he’s being a side character in his own mythos; and the worst part, it’s constant agendas being pandered to.
            and in situations like this, editors are the ones who should step in, but sadly marvel hires people based on their gender and race and the amount of times they called trump Hitler on twitter. do you really think people like alanna smith, who basically have zero experience, clearly don’t have any interest in comics and only care about feeding their own rotten agendas deserve the place their at?

            oh, and comparing an over arching story from a comic that possibly doesn’t have an end, to a novel reaching an end goal is a pretty weak argument. if the writer currently working on Thor was the same person throughout his history, then you’ve had a point.

            also, you’re argument about “the death of the physical era” would have had any weight if it wasn’t only marvel experiencing this enormous slump. DC seems to be doing well, so blaming EXTREMELY low sales on the turn to digital is just burying your head under the sand.
            the current diversity approach marvel is taking IS the problem. this is not diversity, this is an idiots attempt to pander to political agendas. marvel was already diverse, with different personalities of characters differing from wolverine to tony stark to Peter Parker; DIVERSITY WHERE IT MATTERS. characters were not just their race, gender or sexuality. nearly every new “diverse” characters is either the same, “angry loudmouthed narcissistic maniacs who competes in the oppression olympics” or being an empty shell of what they used to be. America Chavez, Riri williams, Carol denvers, mocking bird, the new wasp, kate bishop and etc. all with the same habits and basically slightly different versions of the first category. all of them written by ego maniacs who were hired based on their twitter accounts.

            4. but will your family just accept that with no questions asked? you’re worth more than you’re pants!

            0. again, you’re arguing against a strawman, when did i say Jane is not Thor because she’s a woman? Jane is not Thor because she’s not THOR. anyone other than THOR odinson is not THOR. Thor is not a title just like how Zeus and Hercules or Loki are not titles.

          • Jason Segarra

            Considering your only defense is “This is bad because it’s different” you may want to look into the pot and kettle idiom. But I digress. They aren’t asking about the former Thor (whose name is still Thor, may I remind you) because they have the real Thor. It is a mantle, and Jane is far from the first person to take it. Remember Eric Masterson? He served as the mighty Thor for several years and no one questioned whether or not he was the real Thor. Your argument about books vs. comics is five shades of ridiculous. Writers are brought on to major books (i.e. the big two) in Arcs. Arcs are (ostensibly) complete stories with a beginning middle and end. That is what the writers write for. Whether you want to accept it or not they, as editorial decision makers, shape the universe you are reading. How can you judge a story before it’s finished? You don’t just a cake while they’re still making the batter.

            Your argument about sales only affecting marvel would hold water if (a). any other major comic publisher had an all digital platform to compare it to, and (b) sales at Marvel hadn’t been improving all summer. I could just as easily pin Marvels struggles on event fatigue and the booming popularity of trades, but it sure is easy to pin it on the multiculturalism of a predominantly white institution rather than admit the business issues are more nuanced than all that.

            Also, your argument for diversity includes three white men. Two of which are unabashed alpha males who are overconfident to a fault, two of which are genius scientists whose technologies allow them to do amazing thing, all of whom have scarring past experiences that have propelled them into a lifetime of heroism. All three make quippy jokes as they punch bad guys, two have drinking problems, all three have love interests that are redheads. Oh, and all three have rivals that are effectively mirror image versions of themselves (Crimson Dynamo/Venom/Sabertooth). Great diversity that.

            Also America Chavez and Kate Bishop are great, Mocking Bird and Carol Danvers have been around since the 70s, and if my family were a pantheon of space gods who literally created a hammer that passed my name to whosoever is worthy to wield it, they would probably call the person wielding that hammer Jason because that’s their title. Does it change the fact that I am Jason (or that Odinson is still Thor Odinson)? No.

            and 0. Your entire argument is constructed around a concept (i.e. diversity) that you feel is wrong. You don’t believe that Thor is Thor. Linear logic suggests that one inspires the other.

          • Brian Clements

            Hey, so I’m about to post a review of a collection that might be more up your alley, Morse. It’s from 1989-90 and features a beardless, male Thor, casual use of the word “Oriental,” boring stories, and all the other anti-SJW things your heart desires.

            I’m not as keen on changing your mind or proving you wrong in any way. I don’t care if you like or don’t like a book. I don’t care that you think you know how sales work better than one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world. I don’t care that you immediately assign some radical ideology to people who are reasonable human beings. I don’t care that you immediately assume that everything not catered towards you and people like you is a direct attack against everything you hold dear. I don’t care that you’ve assigned the word “mythos” to comic books.

            Actually, I do care about that one. You know that comic book Thor has no actual connection to the mythological Norse god, right? Like, the Swedes aren’t rewriting their own history because Marvel glommed some characters.

            What I really care about is how pathetic, out of touch, racist, misogynistic, and straight up ignorant you make the comments section of this site. Do me a favor: when I put my review of The Mighty Thor: Volume 3 out later today, don’t read it. It will piss you off something fierce. I like the book more than Alyssa does, and I like it BECAUSE Jane Foster is Thor.

            My preferred title is Social Justice Rogue, btw.

        • If the book says Thor is a title, then Thor is a title.

          The book = the final word on the Marvel Universe. You might not agree or like it, but the text is the truth. Why else would they need retcons?

          • Morse

            then you have no regards for any type of mythology and continuity.

          • Correct, because this is comic books. If I had regards for continuity, Cap would be 90 years old, seeing as he fought in WW2, and was unthawed in the 60s!

          • Morse

            being disingenuous won’t help. also, isn’t cap 90 years old anyway? 😉

          • Punisher looks pretty spry for a Vietnam Vet

        • Ken Petti

          If you don’t like a character, don’t read the book/watch the movie/tv show. No one is forcing you to consume media you don’t want to. Based on your activity on our site, you have a lot of problems with a lot of movies/tv shows/comic books, so why actively seek them out just to hate on them? Just try shrugging, saying “thats not for me” or “I prefer the male version of Thor” and move on.

          Just because the characters go in different directions doesn’t invalidate the decades of other stories that you can read. If you have a different favorite version of Thor or Wolverine or whomever, why not read those old stories instead? And if the version you don’t like crops up in some other comic you read, don’t buy it.

          It is disappointing to me that you consistently make these kinds of negative comments on our site, disparaging female characters and people of color. We all contribute to this site for the love of pop culture, and because we want to spark discussions and geek out. We’re not shills or libtards or SJWs, we are just people who like good stories (and sometimes talking about bad ones). Whenever we see comments like this, though, we’re reminded of the nasty side of our hobbies, the gatekeepers and the vocal minority of “fans” whom put down others because they feel that they have some kind of ownership over the characters, that they are entitled to their version of characters. Well like I said, luckily for you, there are decades of stories featuring those (mostly) guys. And if that isn’t enough for you, then maybe you should take some time off of comics. Save some frustration and check out something new. I hear sports are supposed to be pretty cool.

          • Morse

            maybe you can actually come up with an actual argument for once, rather than virtue signaling and beating on a strawman? “disparaging female characters and people of color.” you’re kidding me right? it’s funny how even you yourself are self aware of how much of a shill and SJW you’re being (despite me not calling you anything of the sort)
            i criticize what deserves to be criticized. the marvel books are currently riddled with gender politics and political biases, and the writers are turning it into their exclusive echo chamber. i don’t know about you, but i usually tend to become vocal when i see ego maniacs running my favorite hobby into the ground. see people like you are part of the problem regarding the sinking ship that is Marvel comics and comics in general. instead of addressing the issues these “vocal minorities” (who turns out to be the majority when looking at the failing sales) bring up, you tell them to go away and find another hobby because you have already sabotaged this one. you are the exact person who is waiting to jump on a NONtroversy train to strike their own ego, like the recent “milkshake” twitter lunacy; people who can’t handle criticism (in that case smartass and salty ones) and should be showered with the things they LIKE to hear.
            so the only disappointing thing here is you’re unprofessional behavior as a staff member of the site to tell me to get lost and change my hobby because my opinion is different from you. and you wonder why your site doesn’t have any “sparking discussions”? if you can’t handle differing opinions and arguments on your site, why even bother adding a comment section?