Thor: God of Thunder has been a stalwart of Marvel comics since Jason Aaron took the reigns in 2012. It is his work that has influenced events and styles not only in the Marvel Comic Universe, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. Through his tenure, the character of Thor has evolved, become unworthy, changed names, was replaced by a mysterious woman, and found his worth and strength through love and sacrifice. Throughout his nearly seven-year run, he worked with some of the most talented creatives in the industry and his full run with Thor is finally being collected in one place.
Vol. 1 collects issues #1-18 of Thor: God of Thunder, with art by Esad Ribic — along with Ron Garney, Nic Klein, Emanuela Lupacchino, Butch Guice, and Das Pastoras — and deep, brooding colors by Dean White and Ive Svorcina. Beginning in pre-Christian Iceland, Thor tracks the God Butcher to the present, fighting for his own life and the lives of gods across the world and through time.
This is the first time we meet Thor as the All-Father, thousands of years in the future. We are also introduced to the All-Black Symbiote. Both of these characters — and a TON of foreshadowing — are key parts of not only this collection’s story, but the entire arc written by Aaron. Now that we are at essentially the end of his run with the completion of War of the Realms, we can see the moments peppered through the past seven years that lead to moments promised and hinted at. There are moments as we meet Thor All-Father and see him interact with “present” Thor that Aaron drops hints towards their future interaction and collaboration.
My single quibble with the collection is one I have with many long-term works that shift artists: the inconsistency between artists in the same story can tear the reader out of the story. Switching from Dean White’s colors to Ive Svorchina’s is jarring. Svorchina’s work is good, but when put right next to White’s amazing tones, it clashes. The same can be said as we switch artists throughout the issues. Marvel solves this issue eventually with the addition of Russell Dauterman on pencils in 2014 and Matt Wilson on color in 2016. Small quibble, really, as White and Ribic are a phenomenal team and the remaining artists work well with Svorchina’s style.
Thor is at a key point in his journey at the beginning of Aaron’s work. This is not the beginning of Thor’s story, for certain, but it is a beginning. This is a mature-ish Thor, post-adolescence in god-years, but still not sure of his final place in the universe. There are still trials that await Thor, stronger and more deadly than the God-Butcher, deeper and darker than his moments of self-doubt. He must still find what it means to be worthy and unworthy. This is a beginning and it is really damn good.
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