Now that Jason Aaron’s epic 7 plus year run on Thor is over what better time to collect the whole dang thing into massive trade paperback collections? Out now is volume 2 which runs 442 pages. This book features 20 comic book issues wrapping up Thor: God of Thunder, rebooting Thor (2014) and collecting all of Thors. If you’re at all frustrated with how difficult it can be to read old issues in the right order this is the best way to stay on track and not get confused. Plus, for the price you’re saving $60!
This book opens with Thor: God of Thunder #19-24 with art by Esad Ribic and then dives into a one-shot for #25 drawn by R.M. Guara, Simon Bisley, and Esad Ribic for three short stories. The first five issues are a nice example of how in serial comic book storytelling nothing changes as Thor goes up against Galactus who is rendered epically by Ribic. He has a cool futuristic look thanks to the story taking place in the future against King Thor and his daughters. Thor is up against Roxxon in the “now” and Aaron balances the different Thor timelines well. The annual wraps this chunk of story up with three tales each taking on different monsters like Ice Giants, elves, and finally teasing upcoming story arcs like Mangog. The annual also ends with Thor unable to pick up Mjolnir which is kind of a big deal for the rest of this book’s focus.
Next up is Thor #1-4 (art by Russell Dauterman) and #6-8 (art by Jorge Molina) and then Thor Annual #1 with art by Timothy Truman, Marguerite Sauvage, and Rob Guillory. Joining Aaron on the annual for writing duties is Noelle Stevenson and CM Punk. This is the chunk of book where Jane Foster takes over as Thor, which is drawn in epic fashion by Dauterman and to this day is still some of the most iconic Thor imagery ever. The voice and tenor of this Thor reads differently and somehow more classic than male Thor. She also relishes this new found power which is a fun aspect that differs from male Thor’s long history of being kind of over the whole hero thing or arrogant about it at the very least.
Wrapping up the book is Thors #1-4 with art by Chris Sprouse and Goran Sudzuka. This is a tie-in to “Secret Wars” where the 616 was destroyed and now Battleworld is all that is left. The title is plural thanks to the Thors being a kind of police force in this new world. If you dig police procedural stories you’ll dig this book as the Thors attempt to solve a crime. It’s a neat idea to spin Thor as a cop — Aaron must think so too since he played around with a police Thor in the 616 later and it serves as a nice reminder of how complex Secret Wars was as an event. This is also a cool way to honor and hold up all the versions of Thor as they join up into one force here. That includes the Ultimate universe Thor and Beta Ray Bill just to name two. Sprouse’s art is solid hammering (heh) home the detailed art style we’ve come to expect from superhero stories.
This is a great collection further showing how amazing Jason Aaron’s run was on Thor as well as how eclectic. The only fault I can see is how it is missing context for Secret Wars and Thor becoming unworthy, but for the most part, you can piece that together and focus on the good work here.