Thor and Odinson commune in a tender issue that sets up big action come #703.
Jason Aaron is writing a magnum opus with Thor. The longstanding series has had amazing artists to go with it, but along the way he’s weaved a story that jumps through time and space. Now it’s time to fight death itself in the form of cancer. Jane Foster is Thor and also has cancer, but it’s impossible to get treatment when changing into Thor negates any medical treatment. The journey of fighting this cancer appears to be moving towards its end as the arc is called “The Last Days of the Goddess of Thunder”. Gulp.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
As the War of the Realms continues to spread, Jane Foster has finally had enough. Will she rally the Asgardians in time to save their home? Or has Odin’s arrogance doomed them all? And as if total war wasn’t enough, there’s also the impending arrival of the unstoppable Mangog. Can even a guest appearance by Hercules avert disaster? Artist Russell Dauterman returns as LEGACY marches toward the Death of the Mighty Thor!
Why does this matter?
Fans of classic Thor should be excited as he plays a bigger part in this story. There’s also a healthy dose of Hercules and some badassery of a verbal kind.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The hero in flight!
I know Jane Foster and Odinson have had their talks before, but this issue is very different. Aaron writes a kind and conscientious Odinson here who seeks to commune with Thor and look out for her. He’s not drunk or angry; he just wants to do the right thing. Bottom line is he’s very much a good spirited hero. You get the sense he’s learned something through his trials and you see it through his words and kindness here.
Meanwhile, Thor is very much raring to fight evil and take names. In a fun scene, she’s arm wrestling with Hercules so as to gain the aid of the Olympian gods in an upcoming battle. The purpose of this wrestle adds to the intro that details a very big battle looming over everyone’s heads. This leads to an uproarious screaming match later in the book that gets an old god woken and angry. When reading this issue I had thoughts of Jack Kirby’s Odin who was arrogant and all-knowing in the most ignorant of ways. Jane Foster and Odinson are fighting amongst Asgardians who think they know better. Pride is something Odinson seems to have shed, but Thor seems to still be dealing with it as she ignores the fact that her human form is slowly dying.
Dauterman draws a heck of an issue that’s great with the details and character acting. There’s a symmetry to Dauterman’s work that’s very pleasing, be it a spherical panel that is then flipped on the next page or the use of flipped panels to create an arrow above it. Matthew Wilson’s colors continue to give the colorful cosmic world a bit of mysterious flair too. A highlight is a scene cast in mostly purples of Volstagg after the beating he took in the last issue.
Always fun to see heroes doing some sportage.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much of this issue involves characters talking quietly amongst themselves or in private without action. It’s difficult to convey an internal struggle and is done well here, but at the cost of more pages than (maybe) it’s worth. This makes the issue very much a setup issue, positioning characters and preparing them to make hard choices. That makes it less impactful as we prepare for what it sets up for the next issue.
Is It Good?
Aaron has crafted a battle that requires fists, but also a courage of a different kind. Thor’s journey as she battles cancer is going to be tested and this issue sets that up well.