Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor is the best Marvel comic currently being printed that only some of you are reading. At least according to the Diamond sales charts from April. The Mighty Thor currently sits at position 50 in the top 100. I’m here to tell you that 50 isn’t good enough and this title has been consistently incendiary every issue.
Aaron has placed all his chess pieces like a grandmaster ever since he took up writing for the Odinson back in 2014 with his Godbutcher and Godbomb arcs elevating Thor, and more importantly his mythos, to new comic planes.
With issue 19 of the latest series staring Jane Foster as the new handler of Mjolnir, Aaron brings into play some of his secret weapons from other titles he’s written (Quire and Kid Gladiator plucked from his run of Wolverine and the X-men) as he continues to examine the themes he’s focused on in the new run. Namely what it means to be worthy of the Hammer, especially emphasizing at what cost it comes to the individual that holds the hammer. We continue to see the bond that Jane has cultivated with Mjolnir as it’s true cosmically elemental powers that it encompasses are revealed.
Quentin Quire has joined the fray for the finale issue of the current arc as Asgard reinforcements battle against the newly unleashed Phoenix force at the hands of Sharra & Kythri, deities that rule over the existence of the Shi’ar Empire. Deities that have coaxed Thor into a competition of Godlike feats in a masochistic effort to prove who can gain the most disciples and prove religious superiority.
If that last plot summarization doesn’t have you racing to the shop to pick up the last 5 issues, I don’t know what else I can do for ya.
Aaron’s sly commentary on Old Testament parables and their would-be motivations have been worth the price of admission alone. But as this series continues to deconstruct the nature of what it is to be ‘worthy’ punctuated with intimately intense Jane Foster moments, whether she’s asking the impossible of Mjolnir, or finding herself serving time in the white hot room face to face with the consciousness of the Phoenix preying on her illness and doubts. What emerges is a better built God.
Speaking of better versions, no one should be allowed to write Quentin Quire other than Jason Aaron.
The book’s art team of Russel Dauterman and Matthew Wilson (handling the 1st half of the book) work so well together, you’d swear that they are from the same womb. Bold multiple action scenes occupy the same page without feeling crowded. The scenes are the epitome of powerhouse that are also able to convey the whimsy and snark that so many of Aaron’s characters encompass.
The 2nd half of the story’s art duties are held down by Valerio Schiti & Matthew Wilson, who do the difficult task of complementing another teams’ art style in the same book and also bringing a grave finality with their thicker line work and ominous color shading that hints at more to come.
Again, what still stands out the most is watching all of the moving parts set up since the very beginning of the run start to come together in a completely organic way that makes sense after the shock of the previous issue’s cliffhanger wears off. Almost to the point that you ask yourself if it was all just a happy plotting accident. In less capable creative hands, this issue could have turned into one big deus ex machina trope trainwreck which would have been completely fitting given the nature of the story. But it doesn’t. It only reinforces that Jason Aaron and co. have a plan that will continue to reveal itself in mysterious ways.
Verdict: Feels as good as punching a god in the face.