As the War of Realms looms, Odin must deal with his greatest failure… Being a decent father. Your Major Spoilers review of Thor #10 awaits!
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Colorist: Mike Del Mundo & Marco D’Alfonso
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Previously in Thor: For months, the realms have burned with the flames of Malekith’s war, while Almighty Odin did nothing. Now Asgardia is lost in the sun, the Rainbow Bridge is shattered and the All-Father sits alone in the empty ruins of Old Asgard, drunk on mead and despair. If Odin is going to save what’s left of the realms, he’ll have to undertake the most difficult labor of his very long life.
Not by being the omnipotent All-Father, but by finally being just a father to the mighty Thor.
THE SUM OF HIS FAILURES
The first thing I want you to know is that the quiet, mead-driven family moment of the cover is not what you get inside the issue. And, honestly, that’s fine. This issue is told almost entirely from the perspective of the All-Father who has driven away his wife, his son and nearly everyone in his kingdom by being pig-headed, sullen, angry and drunk, and now he sits alone in an empty throne room of an empty kingdom. He has enough of his wits about him to send brother Cul to the realm of Svartalfheim in search of intel on Malekith, whose plans threaten the Ten Realms. before confronting his son. As their angry words turn into a fight, we hear Odin’s thoughts, remembering his own abusive upbringing and thinking about what a terrible father he has been to Thor. Thunder God and All-Father trade bone-shattering blows, smashing their weapons and turning to fists, beating one another bloody, with Odin hurling the most terrible insults at his son while thinking to himself how much he loves Thor. Thor finally strikes the deciding blow and raising his hand once more, only to hear Odin taunting him to finally kill his father. “And I’ll finally be proud of you.”
A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE ISSUE
I admit it, this is a hard comic to read, especially if you have any issues with abusive parenting in your family. Odin’s inability to get past his own failings and just TELL Thor how proud he is of him becomes even more tragic as he recalls how the only time he knew his own father, Bor, loved him was during the beatings. Still, as difficult as it is to read about near-patricide, the closing pages show a wonderful moment wherein Odin, knowing he has hit rock bottom, calls in a friend for support. That his new sponsor turns out to be Tony Stark is a truly lovely, funny and touching moment, especially when Odin explains that the problem all started eons ago when he invented mead. Del Mundo’s art in this issue is dark, with a painted feel, helping to add to the drama of a father and son on the brink of murder. The look on Thor’s blood-stained face as he realizes that he’s about to kill his father is horrifying, made even more so by the obvious pride Odin has in this moment. It’s a story that absolutely deserves a full issue to itself, especially with the big ol’ crossover mess on the horizon, and as unpalatable as the events of the story are, it makes for a very good reading experience.
BOTTOM LINE: WELL WORTH THE DISCOMFORT IT CAUSES
Even with the focus on one relationship, Thor #10 doesn’t forget about the war waiting in the wings nor the large cast, now spread across the multiple realms, but it still manages to deliver a serious (you should excuse the expression) punch with the very personal fist-fight, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. As always, Aaron manages to show us a whole new angle on stories we’ve been seeing for decades, and this one is absolutely worth the cover price.
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A tale of dysfunction and rage and terrible parenting, all shown through a prism of gods on the night before their final war. It's hard to read, but very much worth it.