Every so often, I remember some series I read a few trades for, liked quite a bit, and then stopped for some reason. That applies to Jason Aaron’s Thor run where I stopped reading at the time a woman first appeared as Thor, and I never got back to it for some reason even I can’t name off the top of my head.
But I rectified that (for now) with the first volume for that portion of the run, subtitled Goddess of Thunder.
After the events of the Original Sin crossover story, Thor Odinson found himself unable to lift Mjolnir. This volume opens with a mopey Thor still trying to lift it. And, we learn, he asked a lot of his friends to try too. No one can budge it off the moon. Not even a particularly impatient Odin can budge the hammer. Will it be stuck there forever?
Nope! Some woman picks it up and becomes the new Goddess of Thunder.
That is more or less where this series starts. Now, reading this multiple years after the fact, I know full well who this woman is. It’s longtime Thor supporting character and occasional love interest Jane Foster. She isn’t identified in this trade, and the only real clue is the new Thor’s thoughts read like regular modern English while her spoken dialogue comes out as the fake Shakespearean English Asgardians use in Marvel’s books. So, she’s not an Asgardian, and we learn for certain she isn’t Thor’s mother Freyja. But I suspect my knowing may have influenced how I felt about this book, so let’s move on.
Mostly, Aaron uses this book to both set up a new status quo and drop the new Thor into the pre-existing one as she grapples with some leftover plot threads from Aaron’s previous storyarcs with the Odinson. These mostly work. Odin emerges as something of an adversary for the new Thor while the Odinson ends up championing her while not knowing who she is. He even gives her the name “Thor,” a move that was always my biggest issue with this run. Give a worthy woman Thor’s powers? Fantastic idea! Give her Thor’s actual name? Uh, it’s his real name, not a code name or a superhero title. Even a “goddess of thunder” title works, but calling a woman “Thor” always seemed a little weird to me.
Regardless, there is a nice scene in the trade where Thor decides he needs to figure out who the mystery woman is, and after a disastrous conversation with Lady Sif, checks his suspect list. Jane’s name is there, but at the very end there was “Loki?”. That makes me smile.
However, much of this book had some intrigues set up as a somewhat despotic Odin names his evil brother Cul Borson the new guy in charge of Asgardian Law Enforcement and decides the new Thor is an unworthy thief, and as Jane/Thor faces down Malekith and an army of Frost Giants to start her superhero tenure. It’s a good start, but somehow not as compelling as I was hoping. Then again, it would be very difficult to top the God-Butcher storyarc.
8 out of 10 shattered enemies.