Warning: Minor Spoilage Ahead!
For some reason or another I stopped reading Thor comics when Marvel Comics started it’s initial Marvel NOW! campaign. Whatever those reasons may have been, I know now that it was a BIG mistake! But thanks to Chaz, who pushed me to pick up Jason Aaron’s current run of Thor: God of Thunder, I now have a new favorite series. I really didn’t start reading Thor comics until 2008 when J.Michael Straczynski resurrected the God of Thunder. Dealing mostly with Thor and the Asgardians’ return after Ragnarok, JMS crafted a story that brought Asgard to Earth. Though this and the tales that followed I really enjoyed, none have impressed me more than what Jason Aaron is currently delivering! Aaron started off his run with a 12-part story split up into two chapters entitled “The God Butcher” & “GodBomb”, introducing a new character that will stand among Thor’s greatest enemies for eternity!
The aspect that I really enjoyed about this story was the appearance of three different Thor’s from three different timelines. The beginning of the story starts off with a young and headstrong Thor, before he became the God of Thunder and wielded the mythical weapon known as Mjolnir. He is leading a Viking army into battle when they discover a dead God. In the present time, we see how Thor is balancing being Thor “The Avenger” and Thor “The God” and how he is more than just a mere superhero. This aspect of the character that we have all grown to love is explored on a level that I think Aaron expressed very well in his story. The fact that Thor is a God and that he answers “prayers” puts the character on a whole different plane than I have ever envisioned him on. The prayer in this part of the story comes from a young girl on a planet that needs rain, and when Thor arrives to fulfill that prayer, he learns that the poor girl’s gods have disappeared. In the far future, in an empty Asgard, the elder All-Father Thor sits on a lonely throne. Thor is the last of the Gods, and not just in Asgard, throughout the universes and throughout time. So now, the mystery is why are these gods disappearing and whom is responsible?
The who and the why are the best part of this epic story; which lead us to the introduction of its villain, The God Butcher. Gorr is one of those villains that you actually feel sorry for, but just a little bit; and that’s due to his heinous acts. Gorr’s motives originate from early in his life when his mother is eaten by predators while protecting him. She prays for help from their Gods but there is no answer; which marks the beginning of Gorr’s hatred for all deities.
As time goes on, Gorr experiences terrible things that he relates over and over again to the fact that Gods don’t care; which drives him to believe that there are no gods. After being called out for blasphemy and then exiled from his clan, Gorr wanders through the desert and nearly dying, when he comes across two fallen Gods who had been in battle and one is near death. The God asks Gorr for help which drives Gorr into a fury, he then murders the God and acquires the weapon that would help aid him in his genocidal mission.
Gorr then sets off into the cosmos, fueled by his hatred and his quest for revenge. During the story Gorr’s character and mission is questioned several times; and what it really comes down to is that he becomes what he hates most, a God himself. The weapon he took from the fallen God grants him the abilities to create constructs of destruction that aids him in his murderous ways, and basically grants him immortality. Especially since he has lasted for over 3000 years! Gorr is the perfect opponent for the Thunder God as he is just as strong and can endure and outlast Thor in battle.
I really enjoy reading comics that deal with Gods, I am one of those fans who believe that comic characters represent a modern day pantheon of sorts. At the same time, I like to see them challenged, see them have to jump through the hoops and deal with issues that we mortals experience on a regular basis. I guess seeing them humanized is what helps us realize that we shouldn’t be putting the full weight of our lives in their hands and always expecting them to make things better, and this is the lesson that is learned by Gorr.
Gorr becomes what he hates most and that is why he ultimately fails. On the other side of that coin, I like how much Thor is concerned with making sure that the Gods are “doing their jobs” and that he keeps his promise to the little girl. Even in a story with such serious and heavy tones you can’t get too far away from some comedic banter. The trio of Thor’s share some great page time together, but I think one of my favorite humorous parts of the story is when we see Thor’s grand-daughters and how they react to meeting their ancestor.
If you are a Thor fan, you have to read Jason Aaron’s run. Get out there and pick it up, you will not regret it. Esad Ribic’s artwork on the series is beautiful and worthy of such a “Godly” book. Currently Aaron is tackling Malekith the Accursed as the villain in his current arc “Accursed“, which concludes in issue #17 due out this Wednesday! You can find “The God Butcher” and “GodBomb” collected in graphic novel form over at your local comic book shop or at our favorite online geek store!