Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
A Roxxon sub explores the depths of the oceans in search of an anomaly when it is smashed by a giant hand. The undersea Roxxon home base gets stormed by a horde of frost giants. Meanwhile, surrounded by Asgardians on the moon, a forlorn Thor attempts to lift his hammer unsuccessfully. Odin, newly returned to Asgardia, berates his son, trying to pull him out of his funk. Odin asks his son what could have lead to his current situation. The answer: a whisper (see Original Sin). When Odin’s blustering fails to bring Thor back to normal, Freyja tries a more motherly approach. When Odin’s ravens appear bringing tidings of the frost giants attacking Earth, the Asgardians go to war. Thor goes with them, stopping to get a weapon and then heading “home”. Back at the undersea Roxxon base, Malekith the Accursed shows up, apparently working with the frost giants. Thor shows up with an axe and fights the dark elf who gets the frost giants what they were looking for. Back on the moon, the inscription on mjolnir changes, a woman picks it up and transforms into Thor.
Though this is a #1 issue, Thor is very much a continuation of Thor: God of Thunder. Jason Aaron picks up right where the previous series left off, continuing the plot threads introduced in God of Thunder #25. In fact, the issue focuses more on plot than characters. We see Thor Odinson in a less than heroic light, devastated by the loss of his ability to wield his mystic uru hammer, but the focus of these scenes is on how Thor’s state affects those around him. He next appears for a fight with Malekith that ends very quickly and violently. The new female Thor doesn’t even show up until the last page of the story. There’s one potential clue to the identity of the new Thor, but I think it’s a red herring, pointing more toward the origin of the character than her identity.
Taking over for Esad Ribic is Russell Dauterman, who’s art does not have the same mythic quality of his predecessor’s, but is still worthy of the title Thor. His frost giants are looming devils, clad in bones. His Asgardians are a collection of medieval looking aliens. Malekith appears suitably evil and his magic looks cool while being sinister. The stunner though has to be the final page reveal of the new, feminine Thor. Surrounded by lightning and wielding Mjolnir, wearing a shimmering helmet and flowing cape, she is instantly recognizable as the God of Thunder. If I had one complaint about Dauterman’s art, it’s that his characters faces look a little funny to me. Freyja, for example, seems to have a very pinched face, but it’s a minor thing that doesn’t detract from the book. It’s just a personal issue.
Marvel seems to be sold on the television season template for their titles of late, and Thor is just a second season. That being said, new plot lines are being introduced, and everyone who missed out on the first season is getting caught up on the status quo. Once we get the setup out of the way, I think the book will be back to high quality it maintained for most of its “first season”.