I’m still surprised by the quality of Thor: God of Thunder. Jason Aaron writes as the series as if he’d created it. Maybe that’s because he works so hard to make it his own, because Aaron’s Thor is something different and new while staying honest to cannon. This is olympic level comics, as far as mainstream titles are concerned. It reads like something from Image, not Marvel, and that’s why it’s quickly become my favorite Marvel, Now! title.
Issue 3 builds on the suspense of the previous 2 issues, with enough mystery to keep the pages turning and enough reveal to make turning the page worth it. It’s a special kind of balancing act that’s often missed in comics. Aaron put’s Gorr back into the shadows, which makes him much more menacing. While I enjoyed reading their first battle in Issue 2 , seeing Thor and Gorr circle one another is somehow just as satisfying.
Aaron continues to play with the triple story line, showing each Thor in his respective era when applicable. My favorite moment comes midway through the book, where present day Thor is fighting one of the eternal guard dogs. He curses Gorr in an internal monologue, hoping that Gorr knows that his “end is near.” Of course, when Thor thinks those words, the panel flashes to an older Thor fighting the same guard dogs in a distant future. It’s haunting and perfect.
The art is, once again, operating at a level far above most mainstream comics. Esad Ribic is an accomplished talent who’s sci-fi chops from Uncanny X-Men transition masterfully into this Connan-esque fantasy epic.
A common criticism of the title has been centered on Gorr. I admit, he looks somewhat archetypical, a white skinned reptile figure in a black shadowy cloak, very reminiscent of Lord Voldermort. Thought, I think it works. He is some kind of immortal figure who has been murdering gods for centuries, he should be archetypical, because in this reality he likely set the archetype. That makes sense, right?
And while Gorr is a villain who best functions behind the scenes, I have no problem with his over-powered assault on Thor in issue 2. Again, he butchers gods. While the bulk of his menace comes from a deceptive nature, he’d have to be terrifyingly strong. It makes sense.
Issue 3 ends, like the two issues before it, with a cliff hanger. I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens next.