On recommendation by ComicBookGirl19 (one of my favorite YouTubers), I decided to check out Thor: God of Thunder. I wanted to expand my reading collection and always wanted to get into comics more after reading All Star Superman and Superman: Red Son – among others – for a class my senior year of college. I was glad I picked up Thor. According to CBG19, there weren’t many good Thor reads up to this point. I’m going to take her word for it, but I can see how. It seems to me the Lord of Storm hasn’t been the most popular figures in the Marvel-verse.
One thing I really liked about this (and in literature generally more than films) is we get to see Thor using his powers and doing what gods do: answering prayers and (for Thor) socializing with the Vikings. We hardly ever get to see heroes enjoy using their powers on screen because there isn’t enough room in the time allotment for tangents.. They’re going from little skirmish to great climactic battle without superheroes just being superheroes. Which is a great reason to read the print version of their stories. There’s so much more attention to detail. The seamless hand-in-hand compilation of artist and writer makes them a perfect blend of graphic and written art.
Off the bat, I’m going to give major props to the artist Esad Ribic for leaving me studying many of the panels for their intricacy and beauty. The expressions of the characters in their reactions to cataclysm and victory were so compelling. It seemed impossible they resulted from human hands. Props also to the writer Jason Aaron for reminding me why I love reading Marvel’s stuff. Thor was written not only well (with accurate vernacular and phrasing to his character), he was believable. I could get behind him and want to watch him grow. He may have been a god, something that’s above our heads as mortals, yet the way he was presented showed me he had just as many flaws and problems to deal with as regular people: his readers. That’s what I look for in a story. It makes me want to support the creators and for them to do more great work.
The plot structure was solid from the get go. What is more, Aaron took the unorthodox method of story-telling by rendering plot in an out-of-order sequence, which is to say it jumped back and forth between past, present, and future. That means there wasn’t just one Thor, our Thor: Avengers Thor. There were THREE GODS OF THUNDER all at different points of his life, all connected by the villain. I had little trouble keeping up with what happened where, when, and which Thor it happened to. This presentation of the story made time a dotted line where characters and relevance could meander freely, weaving a far tighter tale than if they were separate; everything was important, and I loved that.
Speaking of villains, Gorr was a grade A baddie in my book. He wasn’t just maniacal in butchering gods. He had a REASON for doing what he was doing. They devoted an entire issue (#6 in the collected edition) to the backstory of Gorr. That is something lacking in many major franchises even stories in general. Villains aren’t given their due in court. They’re just painted off as bad just because. That only happens in a few rare cases. For me, villains have just as much cause for what they do as the heroes. It all is determined by point of view. So thank you for giving Gorr’s point of view, for showing how he was betrayed by his gods, and how he seized the opportunity to do something about that negligence. I admired Gorr’s urgency for us to depend on each other rather than the divine providence of timeless beings. I especially loved how at the end he became exactly what he fought to exterminate! He became so powerful; he was called “god” by his wife. That didn’t end up well for her. . . .
Calling back to the artist, the sheer scale of the story was entrancing. Elongated battle sequences fought in the sky, in space, and inside a bomb! this comic does not hold back with its epicness. The setting literally stretches across space and time. I’m glad this wasn’t formatted in movie form and hope it never does. If filmmakers tried to do the comic justice, I believe the product would look too corny and unbelievable. It would certainly cause headaches from the CGI required to recreate this visual treasure.
Finally, on the same tune as the epic-scale of the comic, the weapon Gorr took and wielded to butcher the gods was virtually unstoppable. Because of its potency, I got to see Thor genuinely fear for his life in his defense of fellow immortals. It made me, therefore, root for him even more in his chase to find Gorr. As a matter of fact, the chase for me made the story all the more inviting. I could not wait for Thor to get to his goal as he followed the trail of butchered gods through the cosmos in three timelines. Thor nearly met his match in Gorr both physically and mentally. He had to use his intellect and brawn to defeat the God Butcher. It was only fitting that in the end, Gorr was struck down by the weapon he sought to end the god of gods, the Lord of the Storm: Thor.
I read the final installments of Thor: God of Thunder about what happens in the other nine realms including Midguard. Hang in for thoughts on them in my next post.