Wednesday, 29 June 2016
The Mighty Thor, Volume 1: Thunder In Her Veins Review (Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman)
Marvel relaunch their female Thor series after just two volumes because of Secret Wars despite there being no real change after that event. Le sigh. It’s easy to see why irregular/non-comics readers get confused trying to read superhero books in a certain order when the fucktards at Marvel/DC are constantly pulling the rug out from under them.
Anyways, if you’re not caught up on this series yet (despite this being a Volume 1!), SPOILSIES AHEAD if only because I mention the name of who Thor is and her mysterious identity is a big deal in the last two books.
Odin and his brother Cul Borson have returned to Asgard to reclaim the throne and Freyja is imprisoned for treason. Malekith is up to his old shit-stirring tricks again leading to conflict between the Light and Dark Elves. While the Congress of Worlds debates, the War of the Realms begins and Thor must face an allied force of villainy - including the God of Lies himself, Loki. And where is Thor the Unworthy in all of this?
The first issue is really good. Jason Aaron juxtaposes brutal reality and pure fantasy perfectly with Jane Foster’s frailty in undergoing cancer treatment and her superhero side as Thor, literally catching a falling space station! I love how well the two go together despite being polar opposites, the real-world stuff adding depth to Jane’s character.
I like that Aaron made Loki evil again too, or at least ambiguous in his alignment, because that seems more like his character than the awkward hero angle he’s been playing for a while now. Also, Russell Dauterman draws him exactly like Tom Hiddleston so if you’re a fan of movie Loki, he’s right here in this book! And I like that “evil” in this world translates to patchy, wispy beard, that Loki has, unlike the mighty beard that Thor the Unworthy (and Jason Aaron) has.
I started to get uneasy though when the Congress of Worlds was introduced - started getting Star Wars prequels vibes (shudder) like in those Galactic Senate scenes where characters stand around reciting dry, boring dialogue. It’s not as bad here but it’s still not interesting either.
And then the rest of this book takes place between Asgard, where an insurrection against Odin’s authority kicks off, and Alfheim, where war erupts between the Light and Dark Elves. The action is pretty cool in both realms - Thor does some epic stuff in Alfheim and takes on the Thunder Guard in Asgard - but behind it all is a lot of finickity politicking. This character’s forcing someone else’s hand to give them power, and then back in Asgard characters bicker about laws, and Loki’s doing bitty things here and there. Ergh, it’s just convoluted crap. I hate when fantasy ends up focusing too much on its own made-up bullshit rules. It’s FANTASY, guys!
Despite a powerful first issue, Jane never really becomes that as compelling afterwards. She’s just bland tough girl for much of the book while Aaron’s Loki is more annoying than playful/amusing, and Malekith is his usual one-dimensionally evil self.
I still like Jane Foster as Thor but I’m not really feeling this War of the Realms storyline or even the Asgardian powerplays. Also, I’d love to see more of Thor the Unworthy, who unfortunately only gets a cameo in this book. Hopefully the storyline improves and Aaron/Dauterman are given the space to really develop their series before Marvel inevitably relaunch everything with their next garbage event!