COMICS RETROSPECTIVE: All-New, All-Different, All-Aaron, But Still ALL THOR! The Mighty Thor Vol: 1.
Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Russel Dauterman.
Sometimes, being a hero is about more than just swinging a hammer. This is a recurring theme in Aaron's Thor run, and nowhere is that more obvious, than in The Mighty Thor. Day breaks on a new era of Thor, with Jane Foster in hospital. She's there for her weekly dose of chemotherapy.
There's only one small problem; Jane Foster is also now The Mighty Thor. Being Thor comes with some rather excellent benefits, one of which is immunity to all earthly poisons.
This includes the chemotherapy.
As such, she can sit down as often as she likes for her treatments, but the moment she picks up Mjolnir and rejoins the fight, her body is purged of all its medicines, and her cancer remains untreated.
But does this cause Jane to reconsider her work? Of course it doesn't. Because, there may be many that would rather she wasn't, but Jane Foster IS The Mighty Thor.
War is here. Dark Elf Malaketh's target has been picked, and first blood has already been spilled. To the surprise of no one, Malaketh has turned his sights on Alfhiem, and in typical Malaketh fashion... He's gone for the BIG SHOW!
So, naturally, the Congress of worlds is rallying its troops, Asgard is girding itself for War, and... yeah. No. None of that is happening. Hell, the Congress of Worlds don't even seem to recognise that Malaketh is a threat. You see, they have a far larger problem on their hands. Or a more present one, anyway.
Because The Realm Eternal is in disarray. The All-Father has returned. He's seized the throne once more, he's even thrown his wife, All-Mother Freyja in prison. All told, he's being a bit of a dick, really.
So, between Odin's unsteady temperament, Malaketh's skilled diplomats, and the general infighting of the Congress, the one group of people who are meant to be doing their best to ensure peace throughout the realms are pretty much doing nothing. Typical.
But of course, Thor has never been one to just sit idly by. So, she grabs Mjolnir and heads to the Capitol of Alfhiem, to defend its golden shores against whatever comes.
In simpler times, Loki and his ever-present shenanigans would be the worst thing Thor had to worry about. But these aren't simpler times.
Because Odin is angry, and a reckoning is coming:
Why this book is so good:
Okay! Bit of a step up from last issue, thankfully. Mighty Thor's strength is that while there are mini-arcs and other plots, there is a fairly strong story running throughout the whole book. So, even if you don't totally enjoy one particular arc, you will at least get the latest section of the ongoing story to keep you interested.
And this is where it all begins! The War of the Realms starts now. And the first battles don't play out quite how we expected them to. Although, honestly, by this point we really should just stop expecting anything to go as we thought it would. Aaron does love to mess with his readers. And while the changes may seem bizarre and random at the time, the payoff is almost always worth it. Now, I feel like I need to address the elephant in the room... Yes, Jane fights Odin in this issue. This annoyed a LOT of people, because Odin is a freakin' powerhouse, and Thor's record against Odin before now was not great. And that's putting it nicely.
So, naturally, when Jane went up against Odin this time, and wasn't immediately smooshed into an electrified paste, people got a bit angry and started using some fairly choice words to describe the series.
But, as is so often the case, when people talk about "FosThor", I think these reactions were a little extreme. Jane holds her own, yes. But that's all. The fight has no definite conclusion thanks to *REDACTED SPOILER* distracting the fighters, and the whole showdown ends before it can really begin. I really do feel like the reactions to what is a fairly small part of the story were hugely overblown. But then again, that kind of sums up the early reaction to the whole of The Mighty Thor.
All told, Volume 1 of The Mighty Thor isn't a bad book, the plot starts off well and while there are still a few teething issues, they're not that off-putting. And they lay the groundwork for some of the excellent issues to come.
And, of course, when that strong plot is backed up by artwork as beautiful as Dauterman's, you can't really complain! I've never tried to hide my Fanboy nature when it comes to the art of Esad Ribic. However, while I will defend his style to the death, I don't think he would have been the right choice for this particular run. He's great at the darker, more mature stories. Like God of Thunder, or the final chapter of this saga King Thor. But for a series like The Mighty Thor, with its strange and varied worlds, Dauterman's more cartoony, lighthearted style is a far better choice.
So, thanks for joining me once more! If you come back next week, we'll begin the second volume of this epic saga. As The Mighty Thor takes on a dastardly cabal of some of the most evil... Business men?! In The Mighty Thor Volume 2: Lords of Midgard.
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!