Thor 3: Midwinter with the Frost Giants

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Thor 3There was much to be learned in the 3rd issue of Marvel’s Thor. For example, did you know that Frost Giants have a holiday? Yes, the good old Frost Giant Midwinter Festival, complete with snow, ice, and chucking your toddlers out into the cosmic winter (it’s a Spartan-like ritual to test the toughness of the offspring). We also learned that harumphing old men complaining about how the next generation has gone soft crosses species lines and all types of life. “The nights are never as cold as they were when I was a boy, lost in that storm,” rumbles the head Frost Giant.

More importantly we learned several important bits of ploty goodness. For one, our new Thor definitely does suffer from separation anxiety when away from Mjolnir. Issue #3 revealed her beginning to change back to her original form when separated for too long. Also, Dario Agger CEO and occasional minotaur, is not in fact a real minotaur at all. Rather, he carries a magical axe plundered from a monastery that gives him the powers of transformation.

All in all it was another fun issue of the new Thor story arc. This month focused on combat as the fight continues in the Roxxon base. The skull of the Laufey is revealed, and while I won’t say exactly what happened, I will say I enjoyed the new Thor’s method of “problem solving” (though it may have a few consequences). As always I love the art, the colors and the detail of the drawing. This series interpretation of Thor is one of my favorites in awhile, in particular, the way his facial features are drawn (as compared to some of the previous interpretations).

thorthreeI do finally have one small issue with the comic related to gender. I feel like the writer may be trying a little too hard on the “appealing to women” side of things. A strong heroine is great, but really what I’m looking for is a great character. My favorite stories are those in which the main character is so well written, well layered, and real as a human being (or Asgardian) that their gender is a non-factor. For the most part she is very well written, however, this series has been using a lot of a particular trope, the “strong female that proves the boys wrong.” You know, that one where the main character is underestimated and then she has to charge out and teach them the error of their ways? I don’t mind that here and there (hell, I’ve been there). The problem lies in the frequency. It seems like every single villain so far has made some sort of comment before battle. Used in excess this trope doesn’t actually change the current system is of gender roles, it’s just another trope within the established system.

I will cut them a break for now, because one, she is totally new and unknown as a hero, and two because most Thor villains tend to hold very high opinions of themselves, anyway. They would probably talk down to Galactus himself. I do hope, however, that this is only an introductory thing and they only do this for the current story arc. Generally, I love the writing, and I do think she is written very well, very realistically, and quite witty.

I recommend picking up the new Thor series and giving it a try. They a a great balance of action, humor and those great Norse villains and heroes we love. I’m very curious to see where they go with this, and the return to a hero that is fully dependent of Mjolnir for their identity. We’ll be back next month for issue #4 Thor versus Thor.

Thor #3 is now available from Marvel Comics

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