Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Thor: God of Thunder #1
Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Dean White
(Once again, Tucker already covered this over at Comics of the Weak, so check that out too.)
Ever since Matt Fraction's four excellent Thor one-shots (the ones that preceded his just-ok run on the Thor series), I've come to realize that the Thor for me is the hard-partying asshole Thor, the fun and brash Thor that knew nothing of responsibility or humility, so it stands to reason that I am onboard with this Marvel NOW! relaunch as Jason Aaron seems to be of the same opinion. The story looks to follow Thor in his irresponsible, Giant-killing past, his heroic present, and his grisly, last god standing future.
We start in the past where Thor parties hard after killing a giant in iceland (duh). All that hard partying gets interrupted when Thor's buddies find the body of a dead American god washing up on the river. Thor does some boasting, tells some kid to build a funeral pyre (to show that he's not a complete piece of shit), then tells his bros to stop worrying because there's still SO MUCH more ale and women to be had at the party mansion.
And what do we get as a result of Thor choosing partying over solving a murder mystery? An unchecked secret THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD. Anyway, the same mystery bad guy has been up to his same deal of butchering* gods all over the universe, and our new, more responsible (but not too much-- dude canNOT turn down a swig of victory ale or a chance to talk about all the other times he won a battle and consequently swigged victory ale and fucked victory wenches) Thor has to deal with the consequences of being drunk for 1,000ish years. Oh, but don't worry, we're not done yet, because right as Thor figures out that this could've all been prevented with a quick investigation and a 12-step program 1,000ish years ago, we jump a few thousand years ahead to see a future where a one-armed, one-eyed Thor is surrounded by the hench-demons of this yet-to-be-revealed God Butcher. I'm hoping that present-day heroic Thor got a case of the "Fuckit, This-is-hards" and decided to put off trying to find our bad guy for another couple thousand of years.
So that's what we get here, a cosmic mystery for the ages. Sure, that's fine, but what really sells this book is how it refuses to apologize for how much fun its having. Jason Aaron's script is silly and clunky, but it's so confident it's hard not to make all sorts of pleased grunts while you're reading. Esad Ribic and Dean White are great at letting you know what to look at and who to care about. The backgrounds and landscapes are vast and exciting, the characters of note are muscular he-men, and the characters of, uh, not-so-much note are a bunch of sniveling weaklings who need a hero. It's a pretty book that's never embarrassed of itself and that goes pretty far for me when it comes to superhero books these days. I like it so far, and as long as we get some more Thor victory parties, I'm into it.
*a fun idea for a Thor drinking game is to drink every time someone says "butcher" or "butchered." It happens a lot, and I'm still not sure if this is due to editor's oversight or if this is a deliberate device. Either way I'm cool with it. Also, I'm drunk.