Comic Review – The Unworthy Thor #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week I picked up The Unworthy Thor #1, the start of a new miniseries starring the Odinson as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative. The Unworthy Thor was written by long time Thor writer (and writer of the current Mighty Thor series) Jason Aaron, with art by Olivier Coipel, colours by Matthew Wilson and letters from VC’s Joe Sabino.

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Cover by Coipel

Two years ago in the Original Sin event, Nick Fury whispered a secret into Thor’s ear that caused him to become unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir, dropping the weapon on the surface of the Moon unable to lift it again. Since then, Mjolnir has been wielded by Jane Foster, taking the Odinson’s place as Thor and doing a damn good job of it. But what of the Odinson? Things haven’t been going well for him. He lost his hammer. He lost his arm (he did get a fancy new one though). But now, in the wake of last year’s Secret Wars, there is a new Mjolnir in the regular Marvel Universe, and the ex-Thor is determined to find it.

Jason Aaron has been writing this character for a long time now, and it’s very clear that he know exactly how the Odinson thinks and why he works so well when written well. Marvel do have a recent issue with holding out on a secret or plot point a little too long before the reveal (looking at you Cyclops post-Secret Wars), and the mystery of what Fury said to Thor has been held onto for so long now it is in danger of being underwhelming regardless of the gravity when it is finally revealed. However, the writing in all of Aaron’s various Thor comics since has been so strong that it is easy to forgive this point and just enjoy the story as it comes. The Unworthy Thor is no exception, with plenty of mystery and action, along with the return of a fan-favourite character.

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Art by Coipel & Wilson

Coipel’s art, probably better called ‘The Shirtless Adventures of the Odinson’, is hugely detailed and brims with a sense of the epic, and be it in the desolation of outer space or in the brutal brawls throughout the book there aren’t many artists better suited to this series. And he draws a damn impressive goat. I’ve extolled the virtues of Wilson’s colours multiple times before, but it does bear repeating. His colours bring an extra level of vibrancy to an already great looking issue, with the scenes on the Moon and in space looking colder, and the action beefier because of them.

The Unworthy Thor #1 is a great companion to the superb Mighty Thor, with gorgeous art and an interesting set up that promises a lot for the future of the Odinson and his corner of the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping that we do finally find out the reason for the unworthiness, but even if we just get a good Thor story out of it that would be fine too! Check it out at your local comic shop or digitally now.

Score: 8 Mjolnirs out of 10

 

Check out the recent collected stories that lead into The Unworthy Thor,  and support the site by picking them up through our Amazon links! Thor becomes unworthy in Original Sin; a new Thor picks up the hammer in Thor: The Goddess of Thunder & Who Holds the Hammer?; the Marvel Universe collides with the Ultimate Universe, and a new Mjolnir appears as a result in Secret Wars and Thors; and Jane Foster continues her adventures post-Secret Wars in the first volume of Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.

Comic Review – Thors #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Secret Wars continues to roll on, and this week I picked up the first issue of the Thors tie-in to the event, under the ‘Battleworld’ banner. Thor writer Jason Aaron continues on with this story, with Chris Sprouse on pencils, inks from Karl Story, colours by Marte Gracia and letters from Joe Sabino. It was published by Marvel Comics.

For those unfamiliar with Marvel’s summer event, Secret Wars takes place after the regular and Ultimate universes have collided. The resulting ‘Battleworld’ is an mismatch of different territories each with it’s own heroes, villains and borders, all ruled over by Victor Von Doom as their creator and god. To help him rule, Doom has the Thors – a police force made up entirely of worthy hammer-wielders. Hot shot Ultimate Thor ‘Thunderer Thorlief’ and his partner Beta Ray Thor have been called to a crime scene where they find a dead body. This is the fifth one found in a different fiefdom, and the investigation has been designated an ‘allthing’ – all hands on deck. The partners give out orders to various other Thors, including Storm and Groot (“I am Thor”) to chase up leads and find out the identities of the victims… or victim, as it turns out they are all the same person. A serial killer is murdering the same woman over and over again, and Thorlief and Beta Ray need to figure out who before anyone else dies, before Doom gets involved and they lose their jobs.

Jason Aaron was doing a great job on Thor, and I’m glad he has continued on with the series in a way through Secret Wars. Here he writes a gritty detective story where the cops are hammer wielding gods, played straight and complete with classic tropes such as a bar scene and a shady back alley informant. The setting seems completely alien to these characters, which is why it seems to work so well. The pencils from Sprouse use oppressive shots and angles that fit in perfectly with the detective elements, and the inks and colours from Story and Gracia add heavy shade and darkness to complete this for a great looking book.

Thors is a lot of fun, and a great addition to the Secret Wars world. Thor as a detective is the sort of mix up that shows the potential of the Battleworld setting really pay off. It isn’t necessary to read if you just want to stick to the main title, but neither is Secret Wars needed to enjoy this. This was great, check it out at your LCS or digitally.

Score: 8.5 Mjolnirs out of 10

 

 

Comic Review – Thor #8

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

As Secret Wars continues to roll on, we’ve started to see the end of a few Marvel Comics series before the entire landscape of the Marvel Universe changes at the end of the event. This week Thor finished with issue #8, wrapping up the first run for the new Goddess of Thunder introduced after Odinson became unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir and a mystery woman picked it up instead. Thor was published by Marvel Comics, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Russell Dauterman, with colours by Matthew Wilson and letters from VC’s Joe Sabino. Although this was the last issue in this run, Aaron will be writing the upcoming Thors tie in to Secret Wars, so it won’t be the end of the story.

At the end of the last issue, Thor was confronted by the Destroyer, controlled by Cul at the behest of his brother Odin the All-Father. Furious that someone else has taken the hammer, the Destroyer was sent to claim it back. However, a whole host of heroes turned up to aide her, including Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Freya the All-Mother, Odinson and Lady Sif along with various other Asgardians. The group work together to fight the machine, but it’s still a tough battle. Afterwards, Odinson speaks to Thor, desperate to finally find out her identity. He’s narrowed his list down to just one name, certainly made easier after a large number of the candidates fought alongside them just now, and just wants her to admit it and tell him how. He even promises to share the words that Nick Fury told him that made him unworthy… until the person he thought he was talking to turned up to shout at them both. Taking the opportunity to avoid further questions, Thor flies away to hide out in secret. But on the final page, her identity is revealed just to the readers.

This was another great issue from Jason Aaron, and I am very sad to see this book go as it was one of my most anticipated every time it was due. Every issue was really solid superhero storytelling, with a compelling mystery behind the new Thor’s identity, further machinations from both villains and supposed gods and brilliant dialogue. Throughout, the juxtaposition between the inner monologue of a woman that was clearly from Earth (or at least not from Asgardia) and the flowery Shakespearian language that was spoken aloud was a lot of fun to read. Dauterman’s art has been excellent too, to the extent that I found that I really missed it during the fill-in issue after the first arc. Here it really with the opportunity to draw so many of the Marvel heroines taking on the Destroyer, with an array of different attacks that look great, and Wilson’s colours help to make them pop out of the page.

Thor ended this short run as strongly as it started, and I’m reassured that the reason for it ending is due to Secret Wars and not due to sales, which were pretty good according to Aaron on the letters page. For anyone that dismissed this series because they ‘didn’t like Thor turning into a chick’, pull your head out of your rectum and actually give things a chance rather than having a knee jerk reaction. The Goddess of Thunder has been a great character to read, and while I’m sure Odinson will lift the hammer again (and Steve will return to being Cap, and Tony will stop being even more of a douche. Calm down nerds) I hope this new Thor remains, even if it ends up being through some form of comic book handwavery (I’m going to guess that Secret Wars ends with 2 Mjolnirs on Earth-616). Pick this up at your LCS or digitally.

Score: 9 Frost Giants out of 10