The latest chapter in Jason Aaron’s epic five year plus run on Thor begins. Thor Odinson has regained his mantle and with it, a wild new world of trouble! He may not have Mjolnir, but he has hundreds of new hammers! And he’s going to need every last one of them to stop the unstoppable Juggernaut! Then, the sons of Odin ride again as Thor is reunited with his long-lost brother, Balder, to face the fire goblin armies of the Queen of Cinders! War is raging across the land of the dead — but might peace come from a marriage made in Hel? With Hela as the bride, which brother is going to be the lucky groom?!
There have been several runs on Thor which have defined the character and his world. Walter Simonson’s time on the series is regarded by many as the gold standard and has influenced many future writers’ take on the character. Dan Jurgens revitalised the character in the 90s and J. Michael Straczynski (alongside Olivier Coipel) reintroduced the character to a modern audience. At this point, there is no doubt that Jason Aaron’s run needs to be held in the same esteem.
Aaron’s time on Thor up to this point has been a mix of epic storytelling and taking the title character out of his comfort zone. With this entry in the series, Thor is brought as close as he can currently get to normalcy following everything that has happened in his world. Although it has been refreshing to see how Thor would cope with the drastic changes that Aaron brought to his life and the time that Jane Foster spent in the role, there is something immensely satisfying about seeing Thor rebuilding himself and doing what he does best. Whilst he still has a prosthetic arm, no Mjolnir and Asgard is in ruins; he is slowly rediscovering his old self and his calling. In this case, it is defending the Ten Realms from the upcoming threats that await them and reigniting his feud with his brother Loki.
The highpoint of this collection though is a short story that looks at a future where an aged Thor rules alongside his granddaughters. At a point where the universe is collapsing in on itself and the age of heroes is long since over, Thor faces a new challenge which sees him and his last remaining ally from the past – a Phoenix Force possessed Wolverine – encountering an all-powerful Doctor Doom. It’s an epic story that shows a frightening possible future for the Marvel Universe and presents interesting takes on Thor and Wolverine (two characters Aaron is very familiar with).
Aaron has also been fortunate to be paired with some terrific artists on his time with the character such as Esad Ribic, Russell Dauterman and Olivier Coipel who have all contributed some of their most memorable work. And this volume is no exception. Mike Del Mundo’s style is a perfect fit for the series and is key in helping bring Thor back to his roots. Likewise, recent Eisner winner Christian Ward is a brilliant choice for the glimpse into Thor’s future and all his artistic strengths are on full display (his versions of Wolverine, Fin Fang Foom and Doctor Doom are particularly stunning).
Fans of Aaron’s previous Thor work will feel right at home and any new readers preparing for the upcoming War of The Realms event will find this a perfect jumping on point.
Thor Vol. 1: God Of Thunder Reborn is out now from Marvel
9781302912895 – P/B £14.99