After wrapping up the epic ‘God Butcher’ story in style, Jason Aaron slows down the pace a bit for this issue, as all three Thors return to Midgard/Earth, and whilst this issue is light on explosions and action, it’s still a fantastic comic, and one that really nails just why Thor is such a good character, and why he always returns back to Earth.
The opening scene shows Young Thor back in Iceland, and back to shagging wenches, and in a great speech, Aaron really shows why Thor loves Earth and the Humans, and that throughline of why he always returns is present throughout the issue.
The bulk of the story focuses of course on ‘Thor The Avenger’, our Thor, and Aaron packs the issue full of great little scenes that show Thor interacting with the world. We see him return to his favourite Pub in New York to drink mead, we see him feed street-children with alien fruit, we see him have a chat with the Dalai Lama, we see him hanging around with Army veterans and we see him bring rain to the desert. In just these small vignettes, you see how Thor is much more than just another superhero.
The longer scenes were also very interesting, is Fulton, the death-row prisoner who Thor visits a pre-existing character or someone totally new? Either way, Thor giving him his final meal and walking with him to the execution chamber was very touching.
Aaron also deals a lot with Thor’s love life, as we meet what looks to be a new love interest in SHIELD environmental scientist Roz Solomon. After only a few pages, I already like Roz as a character, her interactions with Thor are very charming, and her role as an Agent (sort of) of SHIELD should make for a cool relationship. The best scenes in this issue however involved Thor’s ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster, who we discover is undergoing Chemotherapy for breast cancer. I really enjoyed these scenes, especially Jane’s insistence that Thor leave her to battle this with Earth-science rather than fine some ‘healing runes’ or some shit. A close family member is currently dealing with cancer, so this stuff hit close to home, and I really appreciate Aaron not treating lightly and having it be cured.
I also loved the scene of Thor and Jane sitting on the moon, it’s almost as good as the classic Superman and Lois bit from All-Star Superman. When your book draws comparison to Morrison and Quitely, then you’re on to something special. Whilst this issue is mostly a standalone, slice of Thor’s life type of thing, the closing few pages do kick-start the plot a little, as we see King Thor return to the Midgard of the far-future, and it’s a blackened ruin. How did this happen? Well, it looks like we’re going to find out.
Nic Klein steps in to provide the art for this issue, and he does an excellent job, his Thor is nice and imposing, and from his work with Ivan Brandon on Viking, we know he can handle, well, Vikings. This was another top-notch issue of Thor, and one which demonstrates the versatility of Jason Aaron, he can go from huge epic battles, to smaller personal stories, and they all ring true. This was a nice breather before the next big arc and the return of Malekith. With that character set to be the villain in the next Thor movie, I expect big things.