Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s 11-issue ‘Godbutcher’ epic comes to an end with this issue, and wow, what an ending it is.
Gorr thinks he’s won, the Godbomb has been detonated and is reverberating throughout history, killing all Gods everywhere and everywhen. But of course, he doesn’t actually win, as Thor the Avenger is inside the bomb, and he’s wielding two fucking Mjolnirs and he saves the day. I know this sounds kind of basic, but just like with every other issue of this run, Jason Aaron’s amazing narration really kicks things up a gear. The way he describes everything in this story just makes these events feel truly epic, makes them feel God-sized. There were so many awesome moments in this issue, starting with Thor wielding both hammers. Then there’s the moment where Thor has absorbed Gorr’s power, the brilliantly-named ‘Necrosword’, where Thor is oozing that weird black stuff, and just looks intimidating as hell (Hel).
Of course, this comic is not just mad cosmic stuff exploding all around, Aaron grounds things in the characters. You get a really interesting final insight into who Gorr is, and the tragedy within his character, how in his desire to kill Gods, he became one himself. He’s a fascinating villain, and since I am personally an atheist, I can empathise with him somewhat. He just took it too far, and that’s what this story is all about really. Aaron doesn’t come down too much on one side or the other of the ‘are Gods necessary?’ debate, even Thor himself acknowledges that Gods should do better.
The other great character moments in this issue involve the 3 Thors interacting. It’s been a lot of fun seeing the different incarnations of the Thunder God running around in this story, but here, it’s more than just fun, and Aaron brings everything back around to Thor’s role as a hero, and how much he wants to prove himself to Odin. A character hook like that works really well in making the character relateable, even if he is ‘the greatest God who ever lived’.
It was also cool how Aaron brought everything back full circle to the opening scene of #1, where the little alien girl prays for Thor because she doesn’t have any Gods of her own. Now she does, and this epic story really does work as a standalone entity, which is all too rare in superhero comics.
Of course, Aaron’s run isn’t over, and it’s a little annoying that Thor won’t remember much of this, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next and if he can keep up the pace and scale of this long story. Esad Ribic’s artwork was once again excellent, his painted style really goes hand-in-hand with Aaron’s narrative tone in making this feel like an epic fantasy story, rather than a superhero tale. I love his style, and it’s perfect for Thor, I hope he sticks around, but if not, he’s done sterling work on this excellent story, and hell, it’s probably my favourite Thor story ever (although I haven’t read Simonson).