(MARVEL NOW!, 2012 – Present) – Reviewed by Feral Fang
Marvel NOW! has turned me on to a number of characters that I never really paid attention to, for whatever reason. Another one of these is Thor who, after years and years of seeing him throughout the Marvel Universe, I have always thought was a dorky, useless character. I was either unknowingly wrong then, or this new title has upped the ante on Thor books and made this something both epically powerful and tightly character-driven at the same time. The writing from Jason Aaron (‘Scalped’, ‘PunisherMAX’, ‘Ghost Rider’, ‘Wolverine’) is tightly woven and never dips (as I had originally feared) too far into the things that made Thor annoying to me all this time – mostly the cheesy way Thor speaks. I get it, and it makes sense, but it is what it is. Not to mention I’m not really the biggest ‘Fantasy’ type. Another thing I was afraid of was how much the video game Skyrim might be an influence, since that game seems to have rekindled the ‘Fantasy’ genre pretty well, and across the artistic spectrum as far as mediums go. I went in with fears, and came out of the very first issue with all of my fears dispelled and an unexpected excitement. The artwork is by Esad Ribić (‘Silver Surfer: Requiem’, ‘Loki’, ‘Sub-Mariner: the Depths’) – and it is *beautiful*. With a mixture of seemingly painted panels and very well textured line art and detail, this is a book like none other I’ve seen from the ‘Big 2’, as far as being a main launch title, and not just a quick arc or graphic novel. It is stunning artwork, stuff that keeps me excited with each of the first four issues. Okay, the story. Thor is battling the Godkiller, who obviously kills – you guessed it! – Gods. The story takes place in three different time periods. One of the three is about an early, young Thor. The second is our modern Thor, and then a future Thor, who is near his death – he is now the Ruler of Asgard, but also the only living God still there. These three views of different ages not only all ties to the main Godkiller story, but do so without pause. They roll into each other so well, going from a couple of pages of one time period, then right into where we were at the story taking place in another. It’s perfectly paced for such an idea and, with the exception of issue #3 feeling a bit rushed, it has worked perfectly. This version of Thor is much more accessible to the average comic reader, I think, due to the strong art and captivating story. Having read through issues #1 through #4, I must say I am looking forward to issue #5, and I am excited to get it once it’s there for me to read. I highly suggest this to any Marvel fan, as this title won over a die-hard Thor hater, making this one of my favorite books Marvel is putting out right now. Go check out an issue, flip through it. You just might be pleasantly surprised with what you find inside! And, hey – look! – it is already the top scorer for our brand new review scoring system! Now, that’s got to tell you something, right?
WRITING: 9 / 10
ARTWORK: 9 / 10
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 10 / 10