Rise of the Thunder Goddess
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.