Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I applaud what they were trying to do with this comic book, to hand the title and powers of Thor to a female in order to shake things up and break readers’ calcified thought processes. That said, I felt the story execution was poor. The art was well done, the dialogue was solid, but the story did not impress.
The story picks up with Thor having spontaneously become unworthy for reasons that are teased but left unclear, and the God of Thunder is pining for his hammer. The hammer, Mjolnir, is inscribed / enchanted with a spell: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Then Frost Giants attack a Roxxon (Marvel’s Evil Corp) deep drilling facility, with the support of Malekith, the Dark Elf King, to add a cleverer and more competent adversary to the brute power of the giants. Over the five-issue arc, the main action is involved with battling this incursion into Earth (Midgard) by the Frost Giants.
My biggest problem with the story had to do with the fluctuating rules of Mjolnir. First of all, I’m no fan of having all of the power and capabilities of Thor being contained in the hammer. I know that’s what the aforementioned inscription reads, but I think it makes for a poor hero because one has to wonder why the person is necessary, why not just a hammer flying around thrashing enemies. I prefer the way the “Thor: Ragnarök” movie handled this by insisting that Thor isn’t “the god of hammers” and that it is he who holds the power. However, that aside, there’s a point during which [Goddess] Thor becomes separated from the hammer. As I read this, I thought, “This is great, now she will have to do something clever and self-empowered to at least stall or escape.” But she didn’t have to because she was still every bit as powerful as before (maybe more so, it’s kind of hard to judge the wandering power levels of insanely overpowered superheroes.) Long story short, I was tripped up by the “the hammer is the source of all Thor’s power” to “the hammer is irrelevant” quick change. My only other problem with the story was that it felt like they left more unresolved baggage to serve as hooks than they reconciled.
I can see that a lot of people like this story, but I found it unworthy.
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