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October 2, 2014

Marvel Reviews: Thor #1

mjolnir

ThorNewThor #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Cover: Russell Dauterman

After all of the waiting, debates, hype, and speculation, the new Thor title has finally made its debut! And out of all the questions surrounding the change in the status quo you probably want to know when it’s all said and done, did they bring the thunder? Well, in this reviewer’s opinion the answer to that question is “yes.” As far as this introduction goes, Jason Aaron does a superb job getting us up to speed and moving this story forward into a new chapter.

While Thor is on the moon struggling to lift Mjolnir, he is surrounded by his fellow Asgardians. Among them we see some familiar faces, but the conversation between Odin and Freya is some of the best dialogue in the issue. The two argue, debate, and protest about what could have happened to Thor that makes him “unworthy.” Here is where you get a very comfortable and short recap of the Original Sin events where this trouble began. Aside from Thor’s issues with Mjolnir, there are problems brewing on Earth as Frost Giants are rising from ocean trenches. Malekith is assisting them in locating some mysterious object, which can’t be good news for the people of any realm.

There’s been quite a bit of talk regarding how good this series is going to be, which I guess is usual when a publisher decides to shake things up with one of their marquee characters. However, Aaron has been on fire while writing Thor: God of Thunder, so you really shouldn’t be too worried if you’ve been reading that title. If not, then you’re still going to be picking up a very accessible first issue as we get to see Thor at one of his lowest points ever. He’s a very defeated character here, and even though he’s down, Aaron continues to make it worse as the issue continues on. Which is actually hinted at in Avengers #35, which takes place eight months from now. Aaron also doesn’t give everything away all in this first issue, which is both frustrating and satisfying at the same time, because we’ve been dying to know what Fury said to him during their fight. We are also only treated to a glimpse of the new wielder of Mjolnir in this issue.

The look of the story is just as good as the writing thanks to Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson. If you saw the preview pages then you’ll understand what I mean. The unlettered sequence of events that shows a tired and defeated Thor was a pretty powerful image. In this issue it still looks great, but with the dialogue now on the pages some of its impact is lost. When that happens you know the artist has already done a great job by moving things along visually without the use of a narrative. The rest of the issue is great to look at from the panel arrangements and coloring that keeps Dauterman’s artwork looking very strong. The only thing about the art that was distracting was the inscription on Mjolnir. Are we to assume that it magically flips itself right side up when the hammer itself is upside down? It’s a little thing, but when there are several close ups of the image it begins to make you wonder.

It’s going to take a while to see if the new Thor is worthy in the eyes of fans, but this issue definitely is. The creative team are off to a very good start here, and it’s certainly worth checking out. The quality of the story and art should be the primary concern here, not that the character holding the hammer now has breasts.

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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