The long awaited reboot of Thor has just about everything a gal could want. There are Frost Giants, a smart talking Dark Elf villain, a smart talking (and quite ticked off) Freya, and oh yeah, remote control attack sharks. Roxxon, the environment pulverizing, all around bad news oil company is drilling out in the Norwegian Sea when the earth begins to shake. Meanwhile, on the surface of the moon, Thor mourns the loss of his hammer. Previously, in a great battle (the Original Sin storyline) the mighty warrior dropped his hammer when something mysterious was whispered in his ear. Thor has been unable to lift it since. As an army of Frost Giants rise from the ocean floor a mysterious figure lifts the hammer.
Is that enough action for you? The first issue of Thor jumps right in. Even though it is a ‘reboot’ the creators immediately start up the action of a new story. It is a nice reprieve from the traditional reboot in which the writers re-hash the origin story yet again, for about the thousandth time (for a character that has been around since the 60’s). Since they are changing characters, this can be avoided. The story is not confusing if you are a new reader, but if you are already familiar with the comics it is clearly a logical continuation.
The dialogue had me chuckling out loud. Malekith is an excellent villain, particularly in the taunting department. I do love a good taunting, and Freya, too, just cracked me up. If the dialogue for Freya is any indication of how the women in the series will be written, I have high hopes. In Asgardia, Odin the All-Father returns from the Odin sleep to find his kingdom under the rule of his wife, and his son desolate on the surface of the moon. If you have read any of the past issues, or are familiar with actual Norse mythology you may be well aware that Odin is well…kind of a dick. He doesn’t take kindly to his wife not immediately backing down and handing back the reins to the kingdom now that he has returned.
“And yet, the walls of Asgardia have not crumbled into dust, how strange,” she retorts.
He goes so far as to tell her to “Remember her place in the world” a phrase that’s sure to make female readers writhe on the floor and hiss just a little bit (which is kind of the point). Freya takes it all in stride, though, and hits back, blow for blow. She is the All-Mother, but she is also a bad-ass mother who isn’t going to put up with his crap. Freya ran all of Asgardia on her own, and isn’t about to obediently back into the shadows. Yes, it’s still a little bit tropey. Yes, it uses some obvious ploys to grab your attention and reinforce the female readership. Did I still get a little emotional in the panel where the mysterious hand reaches for the hammer and the “S” appears changing the hammer to “If SHE be worthy? Hell yes I did.
It gives a powerful message to female readers. You can be worthy, you can be a superhero. In fact, you can be any super hero you want to be. At the same time, it’s not so over the top that it will push away male readership. The plot was still a Thor plot. It was the same Asgardia we’ve come to enjoy and our favorite characters. Thor Odinson was still there, smashing villains; frost giants were still wreaking havoc over the earth. The story was well written and the dialogue witty. My husband laughed out loud as much as I did. The point being, gender of Thor aside, it was a good comic, plain and simple, and that’s really what matters.
Now then, that leaves the elephant in the room, the new Thor’s identity. Sadly, if you’ve seen the cover of the issue you know about as much as the rest of us do. Despite very heavy implications we are still not sure who it is. In this interview with the Wall Street Journal writer Jason Aaron admits that the true identity will not be revealed for some time and that there will be several “suspects.” For those of us who are on the impatient side it seems a bit too mystery for mystery’s sake (grrrrrr), and they will have plenty of time to drag it out. According to Aaron, the I.D mystery will last most of the first story arc. The good news is that additional arcs have been planned out as far as 2016, so indeed, she is Thor for the foreseeable future. We will get plenty more stories after we know who she is.
Whether you are an old Thor fan, or a new one, I highly suggest checking out this comic. It was a great balance of story, action and humor. As someone who highly values smart talking characters and a good chunk of snark, this comic had it in spades, and besides, who doesn’t want remote controlled attack sharks?
Thor #1 is now available from Marvel Comics