Rise of the Thun­der God­dess

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: Marvel Writer: Ja­son Aaron Artists: Rus­sell Dauter­man, Matthew Wil­son

Over the last

few years, Marvel have been prov­ing them­selves masters at pro­vok­ing fan­boy in­ter­net rage, but lit­tle has made cer­tain close- minded ar­eas of fandom quite as mad as the an­nounce­ment of a brand new, fe­male ver­sion of Thor.

Ad­mit­tedly, Marvel hasn’t been quite as brave or dar­ing as to ac­tu­ally change their char­ac­ter’s sex. The orig­i­nal Thor is still around, and still the son of Odin, but his story is head­ing in some new di­rec­tions in the wake of Marvel’s re­cent minis­eries Orig­i­nal Sin.

Af­ter hear­ing a dark se­cret that ren­dered him in­ca­pable of wield­ing the mighty ham­mer Mjol­nir, Thor has lost his pow­ers and is a bro­ken man. When a deep sea in­va­sion by Frost Gi­ants oc­curs, with the aid of dark elf sor­cerer Malekith the Ac­cursed, Thor tries des­per­ately to fight off the in­va­sion but fails – and then a mys­te­ri­ous masked fe­male ap­pears, able to lift Mjol­nir and sum­mon all the pow­ers of the Thun­der God…

One of the big ques­tions since the an­nounce­ment has been the iden­tity of the mys­tery woman tak­ing over as Thor, but if th­ese first three is­sues are an in­di­ca­tion, writer Ja­son Aaron is in no hurry to re­veal that se­cret. Some will dis­miss this new fe­male in­car­na­tion as a gim­mick, but so far it’s an in­ter­est­ing way to ex­plore the na­ture of what makes the Thun­der God truly “wor­thy”, and we’ll still be fol­low­ing the orig­i­nal Thor at regular in­ter­vals. Aaron pulls off an en­joy­able sense of en­ergy and colour, while also util­is­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous stylis­tic choices – in­clud­ing a strong re­liance on tra­di­tional thought bub­bles rather than in- panel nar­ra­tion.

How­ever, while this re­launched ver­sion of Thor shows po­ten­tial, along­side some en­ter­tain­ingly mus­cu­lar art­work from Rus­sell Dauter­man and Matthew Wil­son, it feels like some of the mys­tery is work­ing against the story. Keep­ing the new Thor’s iden­tity se­cret makes it harder to get to know her ( es­pe­cially since she doesn’t even ap­pear un­til is­sue one’s fi­nal page), and Aaron’s sto­ry­telling choices mean that for large chunks of the plot she’s alone and talk­ing to her­self.

Is­sue three’s ac­tion se­quence does a good job of giv­ing us char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion as well as some epic punches, but given how im­por­tant this new ver­sion of Thor is, this isn’t the most ideal or ac­ces­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially for any po­ten­tial new read­ers.

How­ever, while Aaron may have dropped the ball a lit­tle with th­ese flaws, he’s also de­liv­er­ing the kind of over- the- top ac­tion and mytho­log­i­cal colour that a comic like Thor de­mands. Time will tell ex­actly how in­ter­est­ing a char­ac­ter the fe­male Thor proves to be, but for now this new era in the Thun­der God/ God­dess’s life is off to an en­joy­able and promis­ing start. Saxon Bul­lock

Weather fore­cast: storms ahead.

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