A little more than a year ago, Marvel caught a lot of attention by creating a new female Thor. The first arc of that story is now available in the trade paperback collection The Goddess of Thunder.
The action picks up where Original Sin left off. The familiar Thor, a/k/a “The Odinson,” lost possession of his hammer when Nick Fury whispered a secret that made him feel unworthy. Neither the Odinson nor anyone else can lift the hammer, which rests on Earth’s moon. Until an unseen woman lifts the hammer and is transformed into the new Thor. The Odinson isn’t pleased at first, but when he sees the new Thor in action, after dark elf Malekith and a cadre of Frost Giants invade Earth to recover a Norse artifact from Roxxon Oil, he agrees that the hammer has chosen her to be the Goddess of Thunder. Which doesn’t stop Thor from trying to uncover the identity of this mysterious-yet-familiar new heroine. This plays out against a backdrop of familial intrigue, as Thor’s long-absent father, Odin, returns and tries to reclaim rule of Asgard from Thor’s far more competent mother, Freyja.
Jason Aaron came up with a rather intriguing concept for The Goddess of Thunder. This isn’t the first time that Thor had been replaced. But going with a female Thor is a stroke of genius. It puts a very different spin on the familiar trappings of the character and deals a true wild card into the political intrigue of the Asgard story. Aaron craftily works the dual mysteries of why the Odinson has become unworthy and the identity of the new Thor as a compelling framework for the series. He does some rather nice work with both central characters, as well as the colorful supporting cast. It’s smart, compelling work that has room for lots of surprises and crowd-pleasing action beats.
Russell Dauterman had been in the “artists to watch” category for awhile by the time he took on Thor. The assignment launched him to the A-list for good reason. His art is detailed and dynamic, with strong, beautiful linework, inventive layouts and a first-rate storytelling sense. He crafts some impressive bigscreen images; a two-page depiction of the Frost Giants attacking an underwater base; the first appearance of the new Thor; and a two-page scene of Thor and the Odinson ripping into the Giants are especially noteworthy. Colorist Matthew Wilson wraps the images in bright, crisp colors that enhance the action with canny use of blues and shadows and a real facility for the lightning effects. The artists give Thor a strong visual identity that’s a nice mix of fantasy and superhero. Jorge Molina subs in for the regular art team for one issue, going with a dark, muted approach that suits the Odinson’s slide into melancholy and quiet investigation into the new Thor.
The new Thor has quickly become a crucial part of the Marvel universe (and the revelation of her identity in a future arc was very well received). The Goddess of Thunder is a core Marvel story that fans of the line should take in.
Originally published at thunderalleybcpcom.ipage.com on January 27, 2016.