If Thor Vol. 2 was the “Road to War of the Realms,” That would make Vol. 3 both the tie-in and also the epilogue to War of the Realms. Collecting Thor #12-16, this collection features one-shot style check-in stories with Loki, Cul, Young Thor, and finally what the newly minted King Thor is up to while all of Asgard parties after the war. For the most part, this book serves as a complement to the bigger story, but it can still be read relatively easily on its own.
The biggest pro of this book is how Jason Aaron keeps the focus on single characters. With event style storytelling, it’s easy for characters to get lost. The first issue collected here focuses on Loki after he was eaten by his father. We find out what his version of hell is and it helps explain who Loki is by seeing the sort of hell he is put through. It’s clear Loki isn’t all bad, and Aaron keeps teasing that out just as he continues to do in his King Thor series. The second focuses on Cul who is a somewhat unfamiliar Asgardian character, but it’s a good tale in its own right. It’s another example of how Aaron is aware of the rich history of Thor and how side characters like this deserve their times in the sun too. Like the Loki story before it, it helps add weight to the event and show how other journeys are taking place outside of the main event.
Following this is Thor #14 drawn by Scott Hepburn with colors by Matthew Wilson. Of all the stories collected here, this ties into the War of the Realms event the most. It not only complements it, but fleshes it out in different ways. I’d wager this story is as important as any of the six issues in the event and should be read to fully appreciate it. It also serves as a momentous moment for Thor as it reveals when he first got to wield Mjolnir. The art is sharp with detail and suits the event caliber of comic books.
Following this is Thor #15 and #16, which both serve as an epilogue to the event as well as directly tie into King Thor. There is a lot going on in these pages, and yet at the same time not a lot. Aaron is basically showing us what Thor is up to now that he has more responsibility while also revealing where other characters like Jane Foster may go from here. Longtime fans will love these issues as they are right at home with most of what is great about Jason Aaron’s run.
Michael Del Mundo draws all the issues but #14, and continues to do amazing work. His use of color suits Thor so well, creating a sense of magic and alien grandeur like no other. He’s one of the most unique artists on the stage and it’s a real treat to see him evolve and almost always surprise with inspiring visuals.
Overall this is a good tie-in, although one without a singular identity. I’d say this is a must buy to fully enjoy the War of the Realms event and may be the most important tie-in to accompany it.