Friday, April 24, 2015


Although Odinson's quest for Thor's identity is the framing device for this issue, Aaron actually tells a number of different stories within it.

First, the Dario part of this issue was great.  We learn that a group of pirates slaughtered his family as they vacationed on his father's island when we was a child.  Dario managed to escape from the pirates and hide in a cave, where he prayed for power near an altar dedicated to the minotaur.  He got his wish, and, well, let's just say, we're reminded why you shouldn't really mess with him.  But, I also loved his present-day deal with Malekith, giving him the Giant King's skull in exchange for the mineral rights for every realm that Malekith conquers.  (Malekith warns him from making deals with powers greater than him, as he did with that god in the cave, but Dario doesn't seem too concerned.)  It's just such a clever reason to keep the two of them in cahoots.

Moreover, as Odinson rants to himself on the moon, we learn that he wants to know Thor's identity so that he can learn why he's unworthy but she is.  It's a solid motivation.  But, that said, he also makes it seem like he became unworthy because Nick Fury told him something about himself that made him feel unworthy.  It makes me wonder how learning Thor's identity is going to change that.

But, it's Odinson's moment with Jane Foster that really steals the show.  It's honestly one of the most emotional sequences that I've ever read in a comic.  She's losing her struggle with breast cancer, but she refuses magical treatment, because magic always comes with a price, as she reminds Odinson by noting his metal arm.  Thor struggles to respect her decision, at one point begging her to let Asgard's healers help her.  Instead, she chastises Odinson for his new name, telling him that he's more than just his father's son.  She then leaves, and Odinson realizes that she's not Thor, given her rejection of magic.  But, he does so wistfully, since he wants nothing more than her to accept said magic so that she can become well.  Seriously, Aaron is just damn good.

Finally, Agent Coulson is unable to help Odinson, because S.H.I.E.L.D. also doesn't have a sense of Thor's identity.  But, suddenly, looking at the monitors, Odinson asks where Agent Rosalind Solomon is, and we see her empty flying car hovering over the Roxxon HQ where Thor just happens to be attacking...and then the Destroyer appears and everything goes to hell.

In other words, this series just continues to be excellent.

 **** (four of five stars) 

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