Thor (2014) By Jason Aaron and Russel Dauterman (#5 art by Jorge Molina).
Last time, we met the new Thor, the Lady Thor, and everyone was pretty mad at her. This time around, everyone has pretty much chilled out. Except for Odin, because Odin is a huge tool. So, in addition to battling the forces of Roxxon, and stopping them from making a Faustian Bargain with Ne'er-do-well Malaketh the Accursed, Lady Thor must also contend with the machinations of Odin, and his brother the "Redeemed" God of Fear, Cul Borson!
There's a new Thor in town! This final stretch of Jason Aaron's run begins in Midgard, where we find Thor in the midst of a scrap with Crusher Creel. Who is absolutely not being used in this context as a stand-in for certain factions within the comic fandom. He also, absolutely does not comment that this new hero couldn't possibly be Thor, because, female. And I'm absolutely NOT quoting him, when he refers to Thor as "One of the last manly dudes still left." Yeesh.
I also totally did not laugh, out loud, when Creel got knock out by his long term partner Titania, who then went quietly to prison. She was mostly quiet because Thor had knocked her out, though.
But things aren't as simple as they seem. While Thor was easily dealing with this dumbass duo, she was being watched from on high, by All-Father Odin.
It seems Odin is willing to do anything required to find out the identity of the new Thor. Anything, including working with his brother Cul. Which I'm sure will end well, for all involved.
Thankfully, he's not the only one looking, and the other searchers have far less dubious intent. The Odinson has written up a list of all the possibilities for the new Thor, and spends most of this arc striking them off, one at a time.
But, of course, our new Thor knows nothing of this. So while Odin schemes, and Odinson searches, she's off engaging in thrilling heroics.
Because all is not well, in Midgard. Dario Agger, CEO of Roxxon and all round douchenozzle has teamed up with Malaketh, and together they're basically dividing up the 10 realms between them (yes, there's ten now! Check out "Original Sin Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm" for the full story).
But before Roz Solomon, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s newest super agent, can do anything to stop them, Thor and Crew arrive on the scene and start a huge freakin' battle. Because that's what Thors do!
When the dust settles, the enemy is smote, Dario has run away, and all is right with the world. But still, one secret remains... Just who is this new Thor?
In the exciting and tragic final pages, her identity is revealed, as are her reasons for keeping it secret.
And the price that she pays, with every swing of her mighty hammer.
Why this book is so good:
Okay, time to be honest. I said it last week, and it's just as true this week, Thor (2014) is not a great book. This is basically the price we have to pay, in order to get to the genuinely enjoyable Mighty Thor run. There's nothing really WRONG with this arc, it's just that there's not a huge amount right with it, either. The first scene with Creel feels extremely forced, Odin is a mustache-twirling pantomime villain throughout, and the whole premise of the book feels weak.
Thankfully, there are upsides, too. Dauterman's art, as always, is perfection. The big fight that makes up the majority of the last two books is great. Lots of characters, all throwing down against the invincible Destroyer Armour...always fun!
And, most important, while this book may be a little weak, the final reveal of Lady Thor's true identity is excellent. Not only does it hit you RIGHT in the gut, but it sets up an arc which will be the beating heart of the whole Mighty Thor run, and if for nothing else, this run is worth reading for that.
If you want to read along with me, you can find every issue of Aaron's Thor Saga on Comixology, Amazon, or better yet, at your local comic store!
P.S. Sorry, didn't realise until after, but my article headline sounds kinda... porny.