Friday, November 7, 2014

I Reads You Review: THOR #1

THOR (2014) #1

WRITER: Jason Aaron
ART: Russell Dauterman
COLORS: Matthew Wilson
LETTERS: VC's Joe Sabino
COVER:  Russell Dauterman with Frank Martin
VARIANT COVERS:  Sara Pichelli with Laura Martin; Esad Ribic, Andrew Robinson; Alex Ross; Fiona Staples; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2014)

Rated “T+”

Marvel Comics' version of Thor is, of course, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.  Marvel's the mighty Thor is the Asgardian god of thunder; possesses the enchanted hammer, Mjolnir; and is also a superhero, as well as being a member of The Avengers.

Thor first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 (cover dated August 1962) and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.  For most of his 52 years of existence, Thor has possessed Mjolnir, which, among other superhuman attributes, grants him the ability of flight and of weather manipulation.

Thor has possessed that “enchanted hammer” for most of his comic book existence, but there have been times when Thor:  the Prince of Asgard, the one true God of Thunder, and the Odinson, has not possessed Mjolnir.  One famous example of another being wielding Mjolnir was Beta Ray Bill, a character that debuted in The Mighty Thor #337 (cover dated: November 1983), the first issue of Walter Simonson's acclaimed run as writer-artist of The Mighty Thor.

Now, another new era of Thor begins.  Thor will be the “Goddess of Thunder.”  As part of Marvel Comics' “Avengers NOW!” initiative, there is a new ongoing Thor comic book series written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Russell Dauterman, colored by Matthew Wilson, and lettered by Joe Sabino.

Thor #1 (“If He be Worthy”) opens in the Norwegian Sea at the Roxxon Seabase.  It is about to be visited by some monstrous denizens of the deep, spurred on by an old adversary of Thor's.  Meanwhile, on the moon, Thor finds that no matter how hard or how often he tries, he cannot lift Mjolnir.  His father, Odin the All-Father, has returned and is not helping the troubling situation.  His wife and Thor's mother, Freyja the All-Mother, seems to have accepted this sudden wave of change.  The attack on the sea base makes Thor remember that he still has to be a superhero.  How will that work out for him without Mjolnir?

This year, I have been reading more Marvel Comics number-one issues than I have in a long time.  That's why I picked up the new Thor #1.  I am glad that I did; it's an exciting first issue.  I didn't think Thor in a state of ultimate humiliation could be such an enthralling character and compelling situation.  I didn't think I could yearn so much for him to be healed, but Jason Aaron's script is a thing of wonders.  Every scene hits the notes it needs to in order to make this new state of Thor work.

Now, I can't say that I am equally enthralled with Russell Dauterman's art.  I liked him more as the artist on the current Cyclops comic book series.  Dauterman is not bad here; maybe, the art just needs time to grow on me.  I'm curious to see what the second issue is like.  I think that's where the real force of change will be felt.  In the meantime, I recommend that readers at least try the first issue of this new Thor.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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