I heard (actually read) many cries that Marvel turned mad and got twisted by political correctness with all the changes that their flagship characters underwent. Without getting into political discussion I believe that in any area of life, especially in art and entertainment change can be good and when it helps to tell good stories it is even necessary. Does a woman picking up Mjolnir deliver on this?
The Mighty Thor is a direct continuation of Thor from 2014 committed by the same creative team. It revealed that the new Goddes of Thunder is in fact dr Jane Foster, ex-girlfriend of the original Thor, currently an ambassador of Earth to Asgardia and dying from cancer. Yeah I know that Thor is a name not a tittle so it really makes no sense that now everyone calls Jane Thor, including Odinson’s own parents (yeah he is called Odinson when hammerless), but let’s just go with it.
I love Thor’s lore. It is a near perfect mixture of high fantasy, science fiction and super hero with the 10 realms, magic, outer space alien empires and the Avengers in the mix. It offers an embarrassment of riches to a talented writer and Jason Aaron most definitely is one. There is a lot on Thor’s plate. She is an Avenger, her identity is secret, Asgardia is under martial law after Odin reclaimed the throne and imprisoned his wife, Goddes of Thunder is wanted in her realm, Loki is up to his regular schemes, Malekith the Accursed and the rest of his Dark Council plan to burn the ten realms, Odinson is missing and what is probably the most interesting dynamic Jane is battling cancer eating through her body but every time she turns into Thor, her transformation negates any effect that chemotherapy has on her body. Busy girl, right?
Such wide variety of plot lines is really exciting but it requires a lot of characters and does not leave space for any of them to be developed. All character are one-dimensional and each of them can be described by a single characteristics. Maybe except for Loki, but he is Loki and that was to be expected.
What shines the most in this book and I do not say this light hearted, is art. Usually I focus on the story, the pictures are just the vessel for it. Sometimes the art not only compliments the story but also extends it. The Mighty Thor tells a high octane fantasy story with a super hero twist and by God I fell in love with Russell Dauterman’s art! It is beautiful, cartoonish and fairy tale like but also highly detailed.Everything from onomatopoeias, to lighting and blurry backgrounds is just perfect. The layout of every single page is dynamic and interesting. And the characters! While reading I anticipated every single new character just so that I can gaze upon the beauty of their design. Kudos to the colourist Mathew Willson; without his vivid colours it wouldn’t be half as beautiful. I want the two of them to redraw every comic book I ever read. I am serious. Just look at this!
I hope that this book with its amazing art, flat characters and variety of conflict sets the ground for something epic in scale. I am willing to overlook its flaws and treat is as just a prolog, a tease. No, more than that; a promise. This series promises something fascinating that I want to witness. Gentlemen, I hope you will deliver.
Four out of five hammers.