Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thor: The Goddess of Thunder

Thor: The Goddess of Thunder, collects the first five issues of the new female Thor. I'm one of those readers who tends to buy comics electronically when they're on sale. This volume was on sale recently for $3.99. I've heard a lot of the grumbling about it and figured for that price it was worth a look.

Depending on how long you've been a reader, how old you are, and a host of other things, you may hate the whole concept or sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm a tiny bit of the former and a lot of the later.

The whole thing starts off from a few years ago with the forgettable Original Sin. That was where Nick Fury had all the secrets of the Watcher and he acted as "The Man on the Wall" to protect Earth from aliens. A huge retcon.

But Whatever...

During that time, Nick said something to Thor that made him unworthy to hold his hammer. Some time later, the new series, The Goddess of Thunder, kicks up with Thor being unable to lift his hammer. Leaving it on the Moon where it last was.

The author sets up the return of Odin who immediately is portrayed in a negative fashion in several ways. His general rudeness, his hostility towards his wife, and his bringing of the fold of his previously unknown brother, the Serpent, into the ranks of power, make him instantly unlikeable.

Remember, the Serpent is from another older storyline, Fear Itself,  where this previously unknown brother actually KILLED Thor. So yeah, the whole bit there stinks. I kept expecting the Guardians from Green Lantern to show up and be like, "Damn Odin, you make us look good!"

Seriously, Odin is just unlikable here. The only good thing? When he talks to the birds. "I should have baked you into a pie" he pipes at them in one scene.

So Odin is angered that Thor can't lift the hammer and decides to show his son how it's done. In theory, this should work perfectly.

At 44, I've been reading Thor since the late 70s when comics were like a quarter. As I grew older, we got to see Odin do all sorts of things. One of those bits was in the famous Walter Simonson run. Beta Ray Bill has taken the hammer of Thor and been transported to Asgard. Beta Ray Bill is unphased by this and attacks the All-Father with the hammer!

The All-Father catches it.

But hey, it's comics, right? The enchantment could have changed. After all, Thor bound some of his life  force into it with Doctor Strange's help at one point no?

 So what happens when Odin goes to pick up this "new" hammer? Not much.

In terms of the new hero being called Thor?

I see it more of a title at this point than anything else. She wouldn't be the first person called Thor that wasn't the Odinson, she won't be the last person called Thor. After all, we've seen a Thor from the future who wields the hammer.

But not everyone sees it that way. The Absorbing Man probably speaks for more than one person when he battles against the new Thor.

I think the authors enjoyed 'baiting' what they considered trolls but I get the issue. Even with the new star of Iron Man, she's not called Iron Man. But again, it's best to think of "Thor" as a title.

One of the things that may annoy some? The hammer shows itself to have better grace, finesses and well, power under the new Thor than under the Odinson!

Some may see this as nonsense!

But it's actually part of a long established bit to showcase how powerful a character is.

Happens all the time.

If you've read anime or manga, check out Dragonball. Remember when Demon King Piccolo was a top tier villain? Then when it was Piccolo that was a top tier villain? Then it was Vegeta? And every time a new enemy shows up, they usually wind up putting the beat down on one of those old top tier characters.

Marvel used to do this by taking out someone like the Wrecking Crew of the U-Foes and showing how dangerous some new character was. God, they need people to develop some new enemies for the heroes to fight.

Anyway, some people don't like the hammer showing more power for the new Thor, but to me, it's a device well worn and used in many forms of media.

I'm actually more upset by Thor losing his arm. Not being able to wield his favorite hammer, Thor picks up his Celestial killing battle ax (introduced in Uncanny Avengers first run!) and the first thing he does is get his arm cut off.

Odin has the dwarves forge him an arm out of black uru.

This bugs me for a number of reasons.

First, you don't have the luxury of saying, "Well, it's Marvel Earth, but it's still Earth, they can't just regrow his arm!"

It's Asgard! Super science would regrow that, or Odin could just sigh and do it.

But instead, we have to get this stupid thing.

Hey, Odin, why not Tell Thor, "Hey, remember when after your whole Disassembled thing you came back and were smart enough to wear armor? Yeah, since you don't have the hammer, maybe you do that again? Or did you like it so much when Hela gave you that curse and you were forced into sending your soul into the Destroyer that we eventually go that route again?" Mind you we got some cool designs out of it in terms of Thor's armor but man...

How about, "Thor, I love thee, but thou are as smart as a jack ass. I have had this armor of black uru forged to protect thy remaining limbs."

In terms of the new Thor's action sequences, her integrity, her dedication to the cause? The 'readability' of it?

Thumbs up.

Her battling against the Ice Giants, her vocabulary, which is cribbed from Thor's old methodology of speaking, her working with Frigga? Her fight against the Odinson?

All thumbs up.

In terms of Odin, Thor, and the whole "men evil" vibe, or at least "men stupid" vibe? I'm hoping it's lazy writing and Marvel comics is like, "Oh man, it was the Serpent controlling Odin all this time!"

If the other volumes go on sale I'll gladly check them out but as currently, I'm just a poor boy from a poor family, I'll be reading other comics that hit the sales rack.

How about everyone else? Like it? Hate it? Want to see something else? Looking forward to seeing the Odinson in his own split off title where he hunts down the Ultimate Thor's hammer?