Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jorge Molina
Release Date: 11th February, 2015
After gaining a significant amount of validation following her receipt of the “original” Thor’s stamp of approval in the previous issue, this issue sees the Goddess of Thunder going about her business as all of the different strands of Jason Aaron’s carefully constructed story inch gradually forwards.
From a humorous and dynamic showdown on Midgard with The Absorbing Man and Titania – complete a gloriously un-subtle response to a certain portion of the internet community’s initial reaction to the announcement of this series (“that’s for saying feminist like it’s a four-letter word!”) – to a tense, subtext-laden conversation with Freyja near of the issue, Aaron is gradually developing this new female protagonist in a truly relatable way. Regardless of gender, introducing a new take on such a well-established character was always going to have its pitfalls, but Aaron has nimbly sidestepped them all thus far, painting a picture of a young woman battling her own inner insecurity at the role she has been thrust into while being beset on all sides by threats, doubts and naysayers.
There’s a lot going on here without much actually happening, which is more of a compliment than it sounds. Aaron’s style is clearly better suited to ‘big picture’ writing, and his trade paperbacks are simply stunning in their execution. As a result, taking one chapter out of the larger story and trying to review it is always going to be problematic – although that could be argued for all single issue reviews, I guess. Regardless, this issue serves as something of a deep breath – a readjustment of all the pieces before the next surge forwards – and goes a long way towards establishing the riveting status quo which Aaron has created.
Jorge Molina steps in on guest artist duties here, providing a whole new aesthetic to the series. While I personally prefer the more detailed, thin-lined style of Russell Dauterman, Molina proves himself to be no slouch as his more lavish approach adds an extra resonance to the heated conversations, and a sense of solidity to the physical exchanges. Horses for courses I guess, but the temporary change in artist definitely cannot be viewed as a negative here.
Overall, it’s no real surprise that I’ve been loving this series, being that I am such a die-hard Jason Aaron fan. Objectively speaking though, this is still undoubtedly a deftly handled take on what could be a fairly contentious transition period, and should, five issues in, be more than enough to prove to the doubters that this quote-unquote “publicity stunt” is so much more than that.