In case you’ve been living under a rock or refuse to get caught up in the latest comic book related internet drama (a wise decision, my friend), Thor has been found to be unworthy of carrying Mjolnir and the hammer will choose another instead. A woman will wield the power of Thor, and issue #1 introduces her, albeit ever so briefly. To be clear, this is a new (or at least currently unknown) female character who will take up Thor’s mantle, Thor has not been transformed into a woman — an idea the fanboy masses and mainstream media alike glommed on to “justify” their outrage. As much as I dislike event books for the sake of boosting sales, I really enjoyed the lead up to this, and more surprisingly, how Thor becomes unworthy upon learning a secret from Nick Fury. It’s a cohesive thread woven throughout several series’ and a testament to Jason Aaron’s artful storytelling that he can integrate essential character development into an overarching event like that.
But back to Thor #1. This issue focuses on Thor’s emotional turmoil as he tries to get Mjolnir to move. The hammer is solidly lodged in the moon and will not shift for anyone. And I mean anyone. Odin, Freyja and an assortment of other Asguardians have come to see what has become of their son, some with more empathy than others. I’m sure you can guess who isn’t impressed by Thor’s sulking. But it’s a nice change to see the mighty, boastful son of Odin struggle with something like this horrible secret we have yet to discover. It’s the perfect balance of mystery to keep readers intrigued without feeling like a gimmick. As is the introduction of the new female Thor. Aaron doesn’t make it feel like fan service or a way of crossing off a box in gender equality bingo. It’s a great setup for the new run that doesn’t dismiss or ignore the Thor we know and love.
Russell Dauterman’s art on Cyclops was tremendous and his treatment of Thor is even better. Every character is so distinctive but familiar, and Dauterman doesn’t make any unnecessary changes to the way people look simply to put his stamp on them. They’re expressive, impressive, and every panel adds depth to the proceedings. Matthew Wilson’s colour work is perfect for this book, especially the way he treats the moon scenes. The colour palette makes Thor pop against the stark background, but he still manages that within the moody blues of the ocean scenes too. It’s a very well rounded series, a great jumping on point for new fans, and one book I’m very excited to watch grow in the future.