King Thor. Written by Jason "God of Stories" Aaron.
Art by Esad "A Picture's worth 1000 words" Ribic.
Well, we've done it people. 18 retrospectives. 7 years worth of comics. One damn near perfect story. All of it has lead us here. The final chapter in Jason Aaron's legendary Thor Saga "King Thor". Are you ready for everything to end? No, me either. (For an index to all Thor Retrospectives, click here!)
Many, many, MANY years into the future. Long after everything should be dead, there is only Midgard. The last fitful scraps of humanity struggle to survive, watched over by the unblinking eye of All-Father Thor.
But, all good things must come to an end. And Necro-Loki, God of Asgard's End, is here to ensure that this good thing ends in a storm of screams and an ocean of blood.
Wielding All-Black, the Necrosword, weapon of Gorr, Loki has returned to do what he has been trying to do since the dawn of time: kill Thor, once and for all.
But here's the thing: Thor is actually pretty hard to kill. No one knows this better than Loki, who has killed Thor about 10 times, over the years. So, while their fight is epic, and stretches from one end of the planet to the other, and even into the depths of space, Loki simply cannot overcome his brother, even now.
But, of course, Loki had planned for this. He may not be strong, but Loki is smart. Everything with him is a scheme. So while he may not be able to beat Thor, he knows someone who can. Someone, in fact, who HAS. Someone who nearly killed ALL the gods.
Yup, we knew he was coming. We knew there was no way Aaron could end everything, without bringing him back, once final time.
The God of God Butchers returns.
The greatest fight the universe has ever seen commences. King Thor: All-Father of a ruined Asgard, broken and weary. Loki: God of Lies, blinded by darkness. Even working together, they are no match for Gorr.
Fueled by hatred, and a grim certainty in his duty to murder every God who has ever drawn breath, the Brothers Odinson fall before the wrath of the God of God Butchers. Could all be lost, here at the end of time? Is this really how the Saga ends?
Or, to see its true ending, must we go back and look not to the end, but to the beginning?
To the small, desolate planet of Indigarr. Where once, a lonely girl prayed to a God she wasn't sure was listening, to help her world in their darkest hour. And by doing so, set all these events in motion.
The true legacy of Gorr the Redeemer. The Sky-Lords of Indigarr! The new Gods of a world who lost it all. Wayward souls, who found new home and purpose thanks to the actions of Gorr, and of Thor.
It's time for them to return the favour. It's time for Thor and the Sky-Lords to show Gorr once and for all that the universe NEEDS them.
That gods don't just take, that when they're really needed they can give back, too.
So, with the combined power of Thor, the Gods of Indigarr, and the Goddesses of Thunder, Gorr: God of God Butchers is struck down, once and for all. End of the story.
I really wish I could end it here. But we all know Jason Aaron is far too mean to end it like this.
Because Gorr is more than just flesh, blood and hate. He is the living soul of the Necrosword. A dark force that consumes anything, everything, that crosses its path.
So, while his mortal form may have been struck down, Gorr is far from dead.
All is darkness. All is GORR. There is no hope. No light.
How do you fight something, which has become everything?
With a heart full of thunder, a hand full of Uru... and a story.
A story of hope, triumph, sacrifice, and what it means to be worthy.
And when the battle is over, we're left with two unanswerable questions:
How do you breath life into a universe that has died?
And what IS the Spirit of Thunder?
Why this book is damn near perfect:
Oooh man, I am feeling some things right about now.
When I heard Aaron was ending his run with a 4-part miniseries, I really wasn't sure he'd be able to say everything that needed to be said, in such a short run. But, as always, I should know not to doubt the God King.
King Thor is the ending this series deserved.
While its run time is fairly short, Aaron manages to pack in everything that made his time writing Thor so captivating. It's not just the great writing, or Esad Ribic's achingly beautiful art. It's the SOUL that fills his work, that makes it so wonderful to read.
Thor, for many years, was a big dumb god with a heavy hammer that he used to pound things into paste. And that's fine. It's a decent niche that he was well suited to fill. He was a blunt force, wielded by the Avengers to smash stuff out of their way.
But by taking away his hammer, by showing him fall over and over, by showing the very human side of the Mighty Thor, Aaron made him SO much more than a cheat code the Avengers could use, when they were stuck on a boss.
And never is this more evident, than in King Thor. We see Thor, at the very end of time, the last God standing. He has the power to rebuild life on Midgard and to safeguard it for centuries. Even against the predations of evil gods, Final Doom, and the very collapse of existence itself.
But still, even surrounded by life that only exists because he made it, we see Thor doubt. We see that even now, he doesn't understand how strong he is. It's a very real, very human flaw, to a character that should be far beyond human comprehension.
It was great to see the return of the Gods of Indigarr. A small nod to where this whole tale began, and yet another example of how even the tiniest details in this story can have consequences that reach further than you could ever imagine.
But, of course when the final blow was struck, it wasn't by them. The final blow in the epic showdown, between Gorr and the Brother's Odinson had to come from Thor. While Loki did was Loki does best, and whispered in Gorr's ear to weaken his spirits, Thor summoned all his anger, all his rage, all the doubts that have plagued him for millennia and channeled them into a universe-shattering storm.
We see a brief montage, of the many varied and almost all rather bizarre adventures Thor will go on, between his time as an Avenger and his time as a King, and then, finally, the greatest story Marvel have ever told, comes to its end.
And so, Thor says goodbye to the world he has saved many times beyond counting. Gives his granddaughters a last hug, and says a few final words to his beloved, cursed hammer... and goes off to do what only he can do. Save us all. Again.
Because, when all is said and done, you have to remember.
Gorr was right.
But Thor is THOR!