by Miller C. Lashbrook
“Oh my gods!” That is my initial reaction to Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s work of art that is Thor: God of Thunder.
I am sure that many comic book fans and people with humanities degrees would agree that comic books can be art and often are. But, I am sure that anyone would see that Thor: God of Thunder is a piece of art.
This series is my first dive into Jason Aaron’s writing (save some issues of Thor where Jane Foster was wielding Mjolnir). I have heard for years from friends, podcasts, and social media alike how good Aaron’s work with the Thor corner of Marvel was. I went in with high expectations and I still was blown out of the water. Aaron tells an epic that plays with Marvel mythos yet still reads like a tale the likes of Beowulf, the Odyssey, the Ballad of Mulan, or Once and Future King. Specifically, I think the special sauce of this run is Aaron’s masterful use of the third person narration bubbles.
Married beautifully with the writing is the romantic art of Esad Ribic. I first encountered his art in the Secret Wars event, and his work is just as perfect here as well. His ability to show the most human of fear on the face of a god, grounds the comic in a way that sits with you long after you put the issue down or lock the tablet.
I cannot write this review without discussing the villain of the arc, Gorr the God Butcher. His arc of impoverished Twilek-esque alien to unstoppable weapon to “god of hypocrisy” puts power and its ability to corrupt at the core of this run. Gorr is a tour de force of metaphor and story wrapped into one and Aaron’s dialogue, the grotesque alien body (almost Voldemort like), and the opaque mystery of the Black Necrosword create a villain that is powerful, terrifying, but also human.
5 out of 5 cracks of thunder.