REVIEW: Thor: God of Thunder #1

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Thor: God of Thunder #1 is the latest offering out of the Marvel NOW! stable. This Major Spoilers review answers whether this first issue is all thunder and no lightning.

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Dean White
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Esad Ribic
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

 

THE GOD BUTCHER

Thor: God of Thunder #1 has an ambitious structure. Writer Jason Aaron is trying to tell a story about Thor in three different timelines: in the Viking Era, the present day, and the far future. It’s a complex juggling act, but Aaron puts the focus squarely on Thor as he battles an entity known as the “God Butcher.” No other Marvel characters appear, and the narrative spans millennia but still comes across as economical. There’s some good stuff here about how religion is handled in the Marvel universe, a topic that is to my mind largely underexplored, even as Aaron slots it into the wider science-fiction vibe of the universe. And above all else, Aaron has a good handle on Thor as a character – he’s alternately funny, brooding, heroic and frightening. The last pages, focusing on future Thor, are chilling. This is an epic story, which when you’re talking about Thor is pretty much what you want.

ART FIT FOR A GOD

For my money, Esad Ribic and Dean White are my favorite artist pair at work in Marvel’s art department. The art looks almost like it is done in watercolors, with vibrant but soft colors that suit the epic nature of the work. It is attractive stuff and unique. Joe Sabino also deserves mention for his lettering. The “Asgardian” font can often be difficult to read in many comics, making me dread when Thor gets dialogue. But Sabino nails it here – almost all the text is rendered in the archaic-styled font, but it is very readable here.

IT BRINGS THE STORM

Bottom line, Thor: God of Thunder is pretty darn rad. Aaron has made it tough on himself by juggling three intertwining timelines, but it comes off as an interesting experiment in storytelling rather than some flashy gimmick. This is a good example of a creative team working perfectly in-sync – what could be a very complex story flows smoothly, tying together different narrative streams with well-drawn action and comprehensible structure. So far, this might be the best thing out of Marvel NOW! Check it out.

Rating: ★★★★½

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Reader Rating

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