THOR: THE GODDESS OF THUNDER by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Jorge Molina
I remember all the hoopla that went along with the debut of the female Thor. There were arguments on all sides, that it was just a gimmick, that it was to build onto the diversity package Marvel was hoping to bring to the brand. I didn’t buy into any of it. I figured it was a mixture of all of the above. And probably a little wish fulfillment on part of the writer to create something new and different out of something that had so many years and so many incarnations under its belt.
When Thor first came out on the spinner racks under the name Journey Into Mystery, I was there. I read the books and loved Jack Kirby’s art splashed across those pages. I remember all those early adventures and the unrequited love between Dr. Don Blake and nurse Jane Foster. I liked all that.
But I had trouble understanding how Blake and Thor were the same person. Or maybe they were two different people. The concept was much easier to understand when Captain Mar-Vell and Rick Jones did it in Captain Marvel, and when Dr. Bruce Banner and the Hulk swapped back and forth in that strip.
It got even more confusing when Asgard became more and more of Thor’s story. I enjoyed the Warriors Three stuff a lot, featuring Thor before he lost his hammer and had to find it again on Midgard (Earth).
I dipped into the series occasionally, enjoying the brief run of Thor in Oklahoma as he rebuilt Asgard, but I never really got hooked.
So, after all that controversy over the female Thor dating back to December 2014, I finally picked up the graphic novel (it was on sale at Amazon) and dug into it.
Although I knew who the female Thor was, I still enjoyed the mystery of who she might be, and Thor’s subsequent investigation into her identity. And I enjoyed the female Thor’s own shock at discovering she now wielded Mjolnir. What Nick Fury whispered into Thor’s ear remains an enigma that gnaws at me, but I’m betting we don’t find that out for a while.
Jason Aaron had already pulled a stint on the Thor comic, and he’s obviously in love with Asgard and all the machinations of the nine (now ten) worlds on Yggdrasil, the World Tree. He’s got his own Game of Thrones going on between the realms as the movers and shakers shift their pawns.
The new Thor is complete and three-dimensional, with plenty of clues in place for long-time readers to guess again and again at who she is. Aaron has a blast planting his clues and teasing his audience, and who can blame him.
When Blake picked up the walking stick and became Thor, his speech patterns were pretty much his own. Then they changed, more and more. Supposedly, as I recall, it was because the Thor persona was growing stronger, returning to be in control.
I always wondered where that left Dr. Don Blake.
In this incarnation of Thor, we have those same archaic speech patterns that must be a part of Thor, also this woman obviously can’t be Thor because the true Odinson is still knocking around in these pages as well.
Mjolnir has learned some new tricks as well, but the familiar threat of being out of Thor’s hand too long and returning this Thor to her true identity tantalizes readers as the story unfurls—and for once I think we’re all hoping it happens! Which would have been a bad thing.
Aaron’s choice of villains for this story is an interesting mix of mortal (Roxxon—though, as it turns out—not really) and Asgardian linked characters. Odinson’s own mixed feelings about the “pretender” provide an extra dimension to the frenetic events unfolding in this first graphic novel.
Russell Dauterman and Jorge Molina’s art is really good at pulling the reader from panel to panel and into this new fabulous world. The shift in angles is dramatic and subtle, depending on the mood of the scene.
I’m looking forward to continuing the saga. On one hand, I’m thinking eventually Odinson will once more have to take up Mjolnir, but since Marvel is currently giving us two Captain Americas, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. I hope the Goddess of Thunder is with us for a while.