As they say, “All good things must come to an end.” The statement isn’t more true in comic books than with Jason Aaron’s recent final Thor story. Almost seven years ago (way back on November 12, 2012) I wrote a review for Asad Ribic and Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder #1 which started it all, and in this new collection out now in comic shops, we’ve reached the end. Jason Aaron certainly isn’t done writing Thor in some respect–he shows up in Valkyrie and in Avengers–but this is the final period on his take with the character. Over the seven years of this story, Aaron introduced three versions of Thor and in the eldest version meet his end of the line. It’s epic, incredible and without a doubt one of the most fulfilling endings to a series, especially if you’ve read along the entire way.
Collected here is the four-issue story arc featuring art by Asad Ribic with every Thor artist that has worked with Jason Aaron contributing to the final issue. It’s a testament to Aaron’s understanding of the character and the audience in how this book wraps things up but also reminds us stories never die. It first gives us a conclusion to the fight between Thor and Gorr that has been raging since the beginning of Aaron and Ribic’s run. There are some rather poetic plot twists in this story that not only lend Aaron’s depiction of Thor and Loki as true gods of myth but serve as examples of how well Aaron knows these characters. Loki makes one last-ditch effort to defeat Gorr and how he does so makes so much sense to the myth of the character, for instance. The captions here may just bring a tear to your eye due to their finality but also their beauty. It’s fabulous stuff.
Much of the final chapter in this book breaks away from this finish to sprout many more stories. It’s a love letter to stories and their ability to carry on for all time. We see it in a cop version of Thor that is filled with great touches–so much so you might be wishing Aaron writes a full series of this–and the art matches the grandeur of it too. We get a look at a few other versions of Thor all of which occur in time, but also don’t, or maybe not yet. It’s a fun way to reflect on the fact that Thor can never die as long as his story continues to be told.
The art is excellent, which is no surprise. Ribic draws eyes so damn well, with an intensity that screams never-ending life, or those that peer into your soul making you fear for your own life. Loki’s face is positively haunting in this book and his costume is unreal and quite cool too. The colors by Ive Svorcina (and letters by Joe Sabino) never get in the way of Ribic’s art, especially when it comes to the shadow work and dripping black costume of Loki. There are many great moments of intense lighting from Svorcina from a foreboding sunset, to the bright burning light of a sun dying. A portion of the book takes place in space and the use of color and light helps remind us of that.
In the final chapter, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Andrea Sorrentino, Chris Burnham, Nick Pitarra, Aaron Kuder, Olivier Coipel, Russell Dauterman, and Mike Del Mundo all offer their beautiful lines to the book. Color artists Chris O’Halloran, Dave Stewart, Nathan Fairbairn, Michael Garland, Laura Martin, and Matthew Wilson help to make this book feel like a final farewell as every ounce of color and art in this book is reflective of a different period or story arc in Aaron’s 7-year run. Bravo.
This is a finish that reads like a love letter to Thor and to storytelling in general. If you’re a lover of comics you can’t miss this finish.
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