Thor #1 Review

Posted June 13, 2018 by Alden Diaz in Comic Books

Written By: Jason Aaron

Art By: Mike Del Mundo & Marco D’Alfonso, Christian Ward

Published By: Marvel

Jason Aaron has been on an absolute roll with the work he’s been doing throughout the various Thor titles over the past few years. From Aaron’s beginnings in Asgard with the epic and grand God Butcher saga, to the colorful and joyous Jane Foster era, he’s proven time and time again that he has a delightful voice for these characters and a truly metal mind for the mythical. This brand new jumping on point featuring the ridiculously talented art team of Mike Del Mundo and Christian Ward continues that streak. Yes, Marvel might be guilty of breaking things up into too many series and volumes. I totally understand that viewpoint. But when it comes to this run on Thor, it’s truly a series of books within what I hope will someday be one huge tome. It feels like an organically connected saga with chapters, and after reading this issue, I immediately felt that we’re in the beginning stages of a truly amped up and special chapter for the God of Thunder.

Once again, Jason Aaron has beautifully shown us that he has plenty of weird and fantastical cards up his sleeve. 

The opening of this issue is unadulterated classic Marvel. Aaron uses a confrontation with a familiar villain (and some hilariously grim cult cronies) to present to us the status quo of our hero. This is a Thor who, despite having his name and purpose back, is still down on his luck. He’s making it up as he goes along, and it’s honestly a lot of fun to see. The banter between Thor and Screwbeard is excellent, as is the rest of the dialogue in this book. From Jane Foster and Heimdall, to Odin and my new favorite character ever, Thori, Aaron fleshes out the story with unique voices for each of them. There’s a command of the heightened speech in this issue that prevents it from ever feeling unnatural, something that longtime Thor readers will surely love and feel familiar with. And man, this book is funny. It isn’t ridiculously over the top or anything like that, but it’s legitimately really charming in its way. It feels sorta like the perfect middle ground between what we’ve come to expect from Thor in the world of comics, and what millions of people have grown to love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe interpretation. Overall, when it comes to the feel of this issue I just can’t stress how spot on it is. This is the kind of book you give someone to sell them on the lead character.

With this issue you’re getting more bang for your buck. So yes, it is a $5.99 issue, which I know will instinctively make the hairs on any comic book reader stand up, but fear not, because both the main story and the backup story have serious meat. The main story is an adventure about rebuilding and tying up loose ends. It’s fun and it moves at a clip. The aforementioned opening scene and the subsequent moments with the supporting cast we’ve all come to know and love in the Thor books all tie together seamlessly to serve as a wonderful opening chapter. The only thing I will note on the story is that it doesn’t do as much hand holding as I could see some people wanting. The story doesn’t depend on prior knowledge at all, but the status quo here is different. So if you aren’t keeping up you sorta have to do the Star Wars thing of accepting that this is part of a huge piece.

Now, despite that great main story, it’s the backup feature that has me jumping for joy. Aaron’s use of the future King Thor has always been a delightful thread in his run, and this issue is no exception. The backup story has weight, beauty, and true theatrical emotion packed into just a few pages (with some space shark action too). It’s honestly a truly touching piece of work, and it made me feel similarly to how I felt much earlier in this run with Thor: God of Thunder #12 from 2013. That issue emphasized the humanity within a god, and this backup explores that god’s love and hopes for the people and world that imbued him with that humanity. I don’t want to give anything away, but I can’t wait to get more of that storyline. And oh boy, that ending has implications that’ll make any Marvel fan’s head spin.

Now of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take some time to gush about the art in this book. The Prince of Asgard has been blessed with some pretty awesome artistic talent gracing his pages throughout this big run. From Esad Ribic to Russell Dauterman, we’ve seen some glorious visuals, and this issue delivers on that trend.Mike Del Mundo and Christian Ward are masters of their craft. The art in this book is just stunning. The line work and the lovely painted quality are just top tier. Del Mundo and Ward each bring a heightened sensibility to their respective chapters that just oozes with personality. The facial expressions and action are crafted with care and you can tell in every panel. The only small criticism I have (and it is small) is that there are occasionally some coloring choices that don’t jive with the entirety of the book. This is likely because the book does have Marco D’Alfonso credited with “color assists.” Nothing is poorly done, not at all. But it does feel like maybe their was a slight bit of idea clashing in a couple scenes, particularly those on Earth. But that’s such a minor complaint in an otherwise gorgeous issue.

When I finished reading this issue, I felt excited and eager to read more. This is the stuff that proves why Jason Aaron has ascended to the heights he’s reached. This is the stuff that proves why Del Mundo and Ward are two of the best in the business. This is the stuff that makes the case for superhero comics right now in the business.

This is a relaunch with validity, a relaunch with power, a relaunch with beauty, and a relaunch with, well, thunder. Check this book out, I definitely don’t think you’ll regret it.

About the Author

Alden Diaz

Alden Diaz is a WTN writer whose roots go back to the site's two predecessors. So basically he has a seat on the Council AND the rank of Master? Right? He's a geek with lots of opinions on film, comics, TV, etc., a graduate of broadcasting school, a smark, and a shameless collector of Funko Pop figures. Ask him why pigs are the best animal.