Monday, 20 January 2014

Thor, God of Thunder, Volume 2: Godbomb Review (Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic)

Yea and I did look upon thy second tome of Thor, God Of Blunders, and I was not well pleased to see logic and common sense has forsaken this story and Scribe Aaron is determinedly taking thine piss! 

Ok I’m gonna stop talking like that because I can’t keep it up. But yeah, this one isn’t good. I did read the first volume and had numerous problems with it, but fans of the series told me, no dude, you’re only seeing half of the complete story - you’ve got to read the second volume to get how awefrikkinsome it is! So I did – I’m an open-minded guy always on the lookout for awefrikkinsome comics – but unfortunately no, it wasn’t better. In fact it was worse because it made less sense than the first volume! 

The story is: a madman called Gorr is killing gods left and right giving him the name The God Butcher. He’s built a bomb to kill all of the gods and is determined to set it off, destroying every single god that ever was or will be. Only Thor can stop him - all three of him, past, present and future! 

The stuff I liked: as you might expect from having three different Thors showing up, time travel is a factor, and I hate time travel, but Thor does acknowledge the inherent stupidity of time travel as a storytelling concept. I also liked that present Thor and future Thor got drunk and drove their space boat - galactic drunk driving! – which was funny. I liked Thor’s granddaughters who’re crazy and cool and should get their own series, plus Thor swinging two Mjolnirs is all kinds of awesome. And lastly, I liked the godbomb itself. 

The godbomb, when detonated, will explode through time killing every god who ever lived or ever will. While it’s so out there conceptually, nuts and over the top, I like that about it. In a story about Thor fighting a time travelling monster through time and space, this doomsday device should be as weird and crazy as it is - it’s a Marvel comic after all! It’s like Jim Starlin himself came up with it. 

That’s the good stuff and it’s mostly little things. The bad stuff is to do with the bigger aspects of the story. Oh, and fair warning – spoilers ahead. 

One of my problems with the first book was that Gorr (Gorr = gore, and he’s a butcher, geddit?) didn’t have a motivation for doing what he was doing. Well, in the first chapter of this book we see it. Why would a man want to kill a god? It’s because he believed in them and they didn’t answer his prayers and let his family die. In other words, bad things happening to good people. Oh, boo hoo! Can you get more clich├ęd? How many times have we seen a man lose his faith and turn against it? Like Jason Aaron’s version of Thanos’ origin, recasting him with a serial killer mindset, it’s unoriginal and deeply unimaginative. 

For some reason there’s a lot of Christian imagery in a book without any Christians. I get that many people in real life believe in the Judeo-Christian god, but we don’t see him (or any Earth deity besides Thor) in the story – so why all the Christian imagery? Gorr crucifies gods left and right (Jesus’ death), he allows his god-slaves to rest on the seventh day (the Creation myth), Thor dies and is resurrected three days later (like Jesus), and there are three Thors (the Holy Trinity). It’s a contrived idea because these things would mean something to many readers but nothing at all to any of the characters in the book – why is Gorr so enamoured with the Christian religion above all others? We don’t know, but we do know he’s obsessed with Thor – so why don’t we see any references to the Viking religion? 

What is a god? Is it just a being with superpowers like Thor who is worshipped by lesser beings – are the X-Men gods? Why do gods need to be worshipped? Why is this concept of a god universal to billions of star systems in the universe? This is inherently a humanistic concept isn’t it? And why is there a God of Bombs? Are bombs sentient? Do they worship Shadrak, the God of Bombs? Did he give himself the title? What makes him a god? What makes any of them a god? There must be varying levels of powers, so Thor is obviously a god to humans but what about other alien races to whom he might be less powerful and therefore not a god? In a story where there are literally a billion gods, are they all of the same power level as Thor? If not, why are they considered gods?

If Gorr is able to time-travel whenever he wants to, why not travel to when Thor was a baby and kill him then? Why wait until there are three adult, fully powered Thors to fight (and defeat) him? The god-slaves have somehow secretly built their own bomb without Gorr knowing about it? When past Thor throws this bomb at the Godbomb, he suddenly appears on the ship with present and future Thor – how?! 

But probably the most damning plot hole in the book is at the end when present Thor is killed but brought back to life by future Thor. This is why I hate time-travel stories: if present Thor died, future Thor would’ve died as well, right? They’re the same person after all. Future Thor should’ve disappeared rather than stuck around for three days, giving him the time to raise present Thor back from the dead. 

I really tried with this story but I honestly don’t know what people love about this comic. Verily it is terribly overrated!

Thor: God of Thunder Volume 2 - Godbomb

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