This is the year I’ve been steadily increasing my digital comics reading–and now I’ve got yet another subscription to add to my growing list of female-led titles I’m following from Marvel. Namely, the first of the new Thor series, introducing a female Thor.
I don’t have much familiarity yet with the Asgardian mythos as depicted by Marvel, at least in the comics–I haven’t been following the current Avengers line, or the Thor titles that’ve led up to this. My experience so far was with a couple of complimentary digital issues that came with the Blu-ray of the second Thor movie. So I was coming into this issue pretty much cold.
To my amusement, my immediate reaction as soon as I started reading was to observe how much Thor, at least as drawn by this artist, looked suspiciously like Chris Hemsworth. For the record, I am on board with that. Because yum. And in general, I liked the art, though the font the letterer uses for the Asgardians’ speech is a trifle hard to read. I get why they’re doing it–it’s a visual cue to signify how their speech is more formal and archaic than that of us modern folk of Midgard, I expect. But it’s still a bit of a hitch to me as I try to read the dialogue.
As a more or less new reader to Marvel’s Asgardian mythos, with enough familiarity from the movies to recognize the characters, I felt like I didn’t need any prior backstory to know what was going on. The story sets it up for us pretty clearly: the Avengers were in a great battle upon the moon, and Nick Fury whispered something to Thor that threw him into a morass of despair. Ever since, Thor’s been on the moon, desperately trying to lift Mjollnir again, and unable to do so. We are not told what this whisper was, and there’s great consternation on the part of Odin and Freyja as they try to rouse the despondent Thor.
We’re also told that Odin has returned from being away, and that Freyja has been ruling Asgard in his absence as the All-Mother. Odin accuses Freyja of coddling Thor, only to discover that he can’t lift the hammer either, and in his anger he snarks at Freyja about remembering her place now that he’s back to rule again. Odin, Odin, Odin. How long have you been married to your queen? Haven’t you figured out yet that pissing her off is unwise?
Meanwhile, OH HEY LOOK FROST GIANTS FROM UNDER THE SEA. And Dark Elf Malekith makes an appearance, and I have to say, I rather liked him. (But then, I’m rather partial to snarky Dark Elves, as anyone who’s read Faerie Blood could figure out.) It’s this that finally rouses Thor from his despair, and even if he doesn’t have the hammer, he puts up a valiant battle against Malekith. Which does not go well.
I’m a little bummed that we don’t see the new female Thor until the end of the story–but it was rather nifty nonetheless to see the mysterious figure picking up the hammer, and to see the inscription on it shifting pronouns from ‘he’ to ‘she’. I’m given to understand that there will be several suspects for who the new Thor actually is. And so far, I’m definitely on board for finding out.
Bring it on, new Goddess of Thunder! Let there be lightning!