He does so first by identifying Thor's friends and enemies. The enemy category is, not surprisingly, long. Odin is hellbent not only on discovering her "true" identity, but also destroying her for her insolence. Perhaps more disturbingly, Odin has brought Cul into the fold, naming him, of all things, Asgard's Minister of Justice. Aaron plays his cards close to his chest on this one. He uses Odinson to stress the obvious insanity of this move, but we get no greater clarity on Odin's motivations. It seems entirely possible that Cul is manipulating Odin, but, if he is, Aaron isn't ready to reveal that right now. The good news is that the friend category is pretty solid. Odinson makes clear his support of Thor to Odin, and Freya pays her a secret visit, giving Thor her blessings and warning her of dark tidings.
But, it's not all Asgardian maneuverings. Thor's fight with the Absorbing Man and Titania is thoroughly entertaining, particularly Crusher's misogynistic ramblings, where he waxes poetic about the old Thor being one of the last manly men. I loved Titania giving Thor a one-time "girl power" pass. I can't wait to see Thor make her way through Odinson's rogue gallery. If we get these sorts of battles every few issues combined with some Asgardian intrigue, I'll be a happy camper. Meanwhile, Odinson is trying to get to the bottom of Thor's identity, a side quest that promises to keep him prominently engaged in this series, even if it involves skulking around the background.
In other words, we're settling into a good rhythm here. Aaron is juggling a lot of different characters, but keeping everyone true to themselves. In the "Batman Eternal" era, that's a fear worth celebrating.
*** (three of five stars)