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COMICS RETROSPECTIVE: A New War calls for a new Thor in "The Mighty Thor, Vol 4: The War Thor."

The Mighty Thor Volume 4: The War Thor Cover #1. Published by Marvel Comics

Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Valerio Schiti, Mahmud Asrar, and Russel Dauterman.

Things have gone from bad, to worse, in the Ten Realms. Malaketh has destroyed the realm of the Light Elves, and has now set his eyes on Nidavellir realm of the Dwarfs. And he doesn't seek to just invade this realm, his plan is nothing short of total annihilation. To this end, he unleashes his most powerful and brutal ally yet: Sindr, Queen of Muspelheim!

Also in this volume: The Mighty Thor and the Unworthy Thor. Viking Thor travels to the far off land of Egypt, answering the prayers of one of his most loyal warriors. But when he arrives, he finds a most deadly foe waiting.

And an unexpected ally!


In the "Generations" miniseries, Marvel created a collection of short stories, based around the idea of their "All New, All Different" lineup, having run-ins with their classic counterparts. In Generations: Thors, Viking Thor travels to Egypt to aid his Viking allies in a battle with the First Mutant, En Sabah Nur, better known as mutant super-villain Apocalypse (who, credit where it's due, is being super awesome at the moment). While there he's joined by an unexpected ally, The Mighty Thor, Jane Foster! Hilarity ensues, as they whip some mutant butt, and make lots of jokes about Thor being a woman now. Because that's not gotten old, yet!

Meanwhile in The Mighty Thor, things are somewhat more serious.

Nidavellir burns. While on a routine diplomatic mission to Alderaan... I mean, Nidavellir, Rosalind Solomon and Volstagg The Mighty fall under attack from the evil forces of Sindr, the new queen of Muspelheim.

And while the forces of fire are eventually pushed back, the victory comes at a great cost.

While attempted to save some Elven children, Volstagg is caught in a fire maggot attack. Because bad people's weapons are always called something disgusting. This leaves him with injuries that are both physical, and mental.

Thankfully, the physical injuries are easily healed. Sadly, they're not the main problem.

Overwhelmed by grief and guilt, Volstagg searches for anything to wash away the memories, to shut off his mind and allow him even the briefest moment of respite.

The anger and hatred inside of him calls out to another soul, another being also consumed by a need for combat.

Ultimate Mjolnir.

Behold The God of the Bloodstorm.

The Storm of Reckoning.

The War Thor!

Fueled by hate, driven by carnage, the War Thor begins his rampage in the lands of Fire. His only thought: Revenge.

But Mighty Thor and Odinson won't let him just wreak havoc, right? They'll stop their good friend from doing something that ordinarily he'd regret... Right?

Well, yes. They would do that, on a normal day. But the problem is, Thor and Odinson have a few pressing problems of their own to deal with.

After a somewhat awkward first meeting comes to an abrupt end, an increasingly sick Jane is faced with a difficult decision. But, does she REALLY have a choice?

Why This Book Is So Good:

There's not a huge amount to say, about Generations: Thor. While the idea is solid, and it's always fun to see Apocalypse get smacked, it feels like the concept was better than the execution. The whole run was very hit and miss, and while Thor was easily one of the better stories in that arc, it still wasn't exactly a GOOD story.

Then, on to The War Thor:

Man, I really love this arc. I told you it was going to get good, didn't I? And was I right, or what?

Aaron has been slowly building up the War of the Realms since God of Thunder. And while it started relatively light, mostly fell whispers, and Maleketh being a pantomime villain in the background, during his time writing The Mighty Thor, he slowly increased the stakes. As Realm after Realm falls before the Dark Elf war machine, the story slowly starts to get darker and darker.

Until we reach The War Thor. This is when things start to get real. This is when we start to lose friends, characters we've known and loved for years. This is when things start to hit home. Seeing Volstagg the Valiant, a character known for having a heart almost as large as his stomach, fall into darkness in such a way is genuinely heart breaking. It's like seeing Hagrid or one of the Care Bears flip out and murder someone. It hits you harder, because it's so unexpected.

But it doesn't feel forced. It's not just an edgy heel turn for the sake shock value. It all unfolds in a way that feels totally believable, and hurts all the more, because you can understand his reaction.

This emotional grounding all builds to a very satisfying climax, which feels as honest as it does well earned. Volstagg may have changed, possibly forever, but deep in his heart, he's still the big Teddy Bear that we've always known. And I think we can all take a little comfort in that.

Next week, it all ends. As Jane's condition finally gets too much for even her godlike strength. As we review The Mighty Thor Volume 5: The Death Of The Mighty Thor.

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!

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