It’s not easy picking a set of comics to invest in every month. Great talent, great art and a schedule that is adhered to for once in this industry means that there’s plenty worth reading. But top of my list right now, has to be the latest series of Thor comics. Because Marvel just put the god back into this magnificent myth.
A while back, Marvel comics did a reshuffle of sorts in a response to DC Comic switching their universe off and on again. Dubbed Marvel Now, the reset wrapped up a ton of storylines, settled old scores and brought in new writing and art teams to start those comics off with brand new stories.
Thor: God of Thunder featured Jason Aaron on scripting duties, while Esad Ribic handled the art for a storyline that saw the prince of Asgard tracking down and battling a butcher of Gods across various eras in time and space.
It’s a story that goes all the way into the mythos of the Thor universe and beyond, painting a reality where the Asgardians aren’t the only gods in town. And as big and reckless as what Thor is, there’s something out there which even he fears.
A mysterious being that has been killing his way across the cosmos for millennia, in a scheme to rid all civilisations of their gods. A god butcher so strong and fearsome, that not even Thor can hope to defeat him in single combat.
Fortunately, there happen to be three such Thunder Gods, as the comic has past, present and future Thor combine forces for the first and last time in order to take down the mysterious Gorr.
It’s a tale that features a bomb designed to kill all gods, castles littered with dead pantheons and a young Thor wielding a space shark as a handheld weapon on a cosmic long ship that is sailing through space. If it sounds ridiculous, just imagine how bad it could have been if an artist without the skill of Esad Ribic had drawn this series.
Every page looks magnificent, every panel flows beautifully and despite being the same person, all three Thor’s come off as distinct characters with a love for battle and a thirst for ale that cannot be sated. Ignoring the obligatory tie-in issues to the recent Thor: The Dark World film, the current God of Thunder comics feel epic in nature, and larger than life.
And yet, that’s not why I’m enjoying the comic book so much. I mean, I like big screen action as much as the guy, but the job done on making Thor a better character is just icing on this hammer-cake. He’s a god amongst men, but between throwing a god-killer through a moon and exploring the nine realms of reality, he’s remarkably down to earth which is fitting when you consider how much he loves Midgard.
He’s a hero who has time to bring rain to a poverty-stricken country or sit down for a quick beer at a blue collar bar where he happens to be a regular. And as brave and eager as he is to head into battle, he’s also become something that his Allfather Odin has always wanted him to be.
Humble. It sounds simple, but it goes a long way to make Thor that much better. With the current Malekith story arc finally over, Esad Ribic returns to art duties on Thor, and CBR has some preview art as well as some variant covers. If the next storyline is anywhere near the quality of the God Butcher saga, then consider me a subscriber for life.
Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.