Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Esad Ribic
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool news)
I never gave a rat’s ass about THOR, or any AVENGER for that matter. My best friend in Junior High first turned me on to Muties and there my heart stayed for 25 plus years to come.
That best friend and I recently connected after far too long and after the obligatory “this is my life” banter we inevitably fell right back into our 12 to 18 year old selves . We started talking comics and there we stayed for almost 4 hours.
He has remained pure to the mutie cause. Only dabbling into those Marvel NOW titles that are half-breeds of muties melding with “whatever else makes people special” teams like UNCANNY AVENGERS.
“Gavin, you’re missing out on THOR.” I exclaimed.
Of course like any good geek he cornered me into rationalization. And I’m weary this week over the upcoming death of Robin. Not weary because he’s dying, but weary because it’s finally revealed he’s a slow kid. He totally missed when he was supposed to die back in BATMAN 17.
Sorry, oh yeah, THOR. So, my rationalization becomes content repurposing for all of you evil shunners of THOR’S goodness.
Through death, Aaron has captured THOR’S indomitable fortitude to protect life. He has given the character an essence the AVENGER plebeians like my friend and I had never seen before. Now, I have read what are considered to be watershed AVENGER books over the years, if I got paid for this gig it would be called an occupational hazard. Most of them lost me after my required reading was done, and not one of them made me feel that THOR was worth sharing my precious annually declining comic reading time at night. To quote Adventures in Babysitting, “Thor’s gay!” Or if not gay, since we all know that kid would be curb stomped by stilettos for saying that these days, THOR has been at least the stereotypical fratboy foreign exchange student…”Grog, Girls, Smash, Bro!”
I scoffed first at the antagonist’s name, Gorr the God Killer, until Ribic’s dewey pencils lulled my cynical synapses into a hypnotic trance. Seriously, other than that one moment of lapse in willing suspension of disbelief, this series has sucked me in and comes alive as a 4800FPS movie in my head. Ribic gives clarity through a Vaseline lens. I know this sounds nasty, but it’s not.
Of course Aaron gets marks for the pacing of the individual series, and it is fast, every issue satisfyingly whisks by. But more importantly the enormity of this sotry set against the ongoing series is monumental. To kill off an entire universe of Gods and thus ancillary characters for your protagonist to interact wit makes this not just a reboot, but more so a reboot to the ass. Most writers take at least a year to build to these kinds of consequences for a character’s universe. If this is truly only issue 005 of this book, and Marvel is committed to filling those front end zeroes for the long haul, the second arc will have to come shipped with a die-cut Fleshlight to increase pleasure. And the third arc will form a symbiotic umbilical cord to your brain.
Yes, THOR is that good.
The choice to play the title in three time periods was also a very warm welcoming for newbies to the Nordic side of comics. In olden times, I got to see the docuhey Fratboy THOR I met in AVENGERS, but at least he was in battle instead of in a house. It made it better somehow. There was also no getting tripped up in too much Asgardian lore for now, since the only time we are there is in the distant future where an ancient THOR, the last God, fights to hold the throne against Gorr’s assault. And also a wee little bit of time in present day to research the origins of the fallen Gods throughout the universe. Trust me; THOR is better served to the uninitiated without too much talk of the rainbow bridge out of the gate.
This issue finally brings the dance of ages to close quarters between THOR and Gorr in all three time periods. I’m going to use a little bit of STAR TREK logic here and guess that there’s a reason Gorr grows progressively harder to kill as time passes because next issue is Gorr’s origin.
Speaking of insight, Aaron also uses this issue to give us insight into Gorr’s God boner by finally letting THOR take a rest from delivering the POV. Here we finally see Gorr’s grand plan’s unveiled, and to be honest, I kind of like what he was saying. The best villains always make you feel some kind of empathy. Yes, sure he’s killed millions of Gods and now he’s laying waste to three versions of THOR, of course he’s bad. Yes, but he also has a cause that has been on the lips of atheists for years, “why should man be controlled by Gods?”
God slayer, liberator from cosmic destiny or simply just a bastard, I don’t care. I want more Gorr and THOR stat!