Ride this lightning: the God of Thunder is back.
Marvel is currently in the process of bringing their main core of heroes into a realm where just about anybody can pick them up and enjoy them. The last few weeks have seen new series with Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Venom just to name a few. Tomorrow, Thor #1 drops into comic book stores with Jason Aaron continuing his epic run on the series with the help of Mike Del Mundo and Christian Ward (some of the most trippy artists out there).
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This is 56 pages of Odinson “no more” as Odinson sheds his name and becomes Thor once again. It picks up where Aaron left off but also brings readers up to speed in a very different world for the Asgardian people. The events in this issue not only matter in Thor, but in other series like Avengers and Asgardians of the Galaxy too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
After putting this book down I can tell you this is a lengthy read. A typical comic takes me 10 minutes to read but this took upwards of 30 minutes. Jason Aaron isn’t too verbose by any means, but he’s definitely packing a lot of captions and dialogue into this one. That’s due to the need to catch us up to speed on Thor and his hammer, the Asgardians, Asgard itself, and even more. A lot of characters pop up in this one (like Juggernaut who is in the preview) which makes the book feel a bit bigger than a singular character story. While most of these new #1 issues have focused primarily on the hero it’s clear Aaron is building on the mythos he’s already established over the years. That’s great news for anyone who has liked this long run of his myself included.
Aside from setting up our knowledge of Asgard and Thor’s place in the world this issue also does a good job kicking off a war story. The setup stuff, like seeing where Thor lives and how his trusted pets guard his home, is so good you’ll almost wish the adventure doesn’t have to start at the end. And yet, it’s an epic journey laid out that should be high excitement and high stakes.
The second story in this massive first issue focuses on a Thor of the future. If you’re well versed in Aaron’s long run you’ll know he’s explored stories using young Thor and old Thor quite a bit, usually in the same story, and there are some familiar faces that pop up that should put a smile on people’s faces. I imagine new readers may be a bit perplexed, but this second story brings a fan favorite character into the mix and sets up an eye-popping cliffhanger that’ll make you want more. If Thor #1 accomplishes anything it’s making the cosmic Marvel universe so much more important.
The art by Del Mundo and Ward is (duh) exceptional. Del Mundo uses some fun symbols to convey a good right hook from Juggernaut to Thor’s jaw, for instance, and the use of color is inspired. Marco D’Alfonso colors Del Mundo’s portion of the book and they’re very atmospheric. Sickly greens and rich purples help lift Del Mundo’s art off the page. In a scene where Asgardians are boarding a new home, D’Alfonso casts a morning glow on everything which helps set the mood very well. Ward’s second story is very pretty, opening with Thor fighting a space shark. There are some extreme close-ups and some good profile shots of old man Thor that are very good at capturing the wizened and tired nature of this now ancient hero.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’d love to hear from someone who has never read a Jason Aaron written comic about what they think of this book because it does rely on some of his previous stories to fully appreciate. I think you can make sense of it well enough, but as a #1 issue, it’s not as easy to jump into as it probably should have been. That said, the main adventure pretty much requires a basic understanding to enjoy and it’s only the second story that leans a bit more on what has come before it.
Is it good?
This is an excellent first issue that sets up so much while kick-starting new adventures that seem insurmountable. It’s the kind of comic that confirms there’s only one hero for the job and their name is on the cover. Words like “awesome” may pop into your head as you read it — it deserves an orchestra or a heavy guitar lick to truly express how cool this can be. Ride this lightning: the God of Thunder is back.