"I'm not following THOR: GOD OF THUNDER but I'm going to check out the new female Thor series." If that applies to you, then you'll be happy to know writer Jason Aaron's final chapter of THOR: GOD OF THUNDER is basically pure buildup for what's to come. Seeing as the events in T:GoT are spilling into the next series, this "God-sized" issue is basically a well-written way of making sure everyone knows what they need to know before moving forward. Who's Malekith and why is he such a not-so-nice person? What's young Thor like? What's going on in the future? Those questions are mostly answered. The big questions regarding new Thor? Well, you're just going to find a tease about what's to come (said tease is the double-page spread in the preview). Now, I know that sounds like a bit of a bummer if you've been following along since the very first issue, but there's still some nice developments in here and a few small teasers (there's apparently nothing regarding what Nick Fury said, so don't get your hopes up).
The story with Malekith takes some predictable twists and turns, but it's still engaging and you can't help but love how Aaron handles the dialogue with this genre. The young Thor one simply embraces fun and everything else is doing its best to make sure you want to pick up THOR #1. Honestly, it would probably be best if you didn't view this as the end of THOR: GOD OF THUNDER but instead as the prologue for Aaron's next story involving Thor. Even if you are upset that the Son of Odin isn't "worthy," it's not like he isn't going to be present. We're talking about three periods and Aaron's been doing a whole lot of worldbuilding this entire time. I'm definitely curious to see where this will go.
This big issue has three different art teams: Esad Ribic & Ive Svorcina, R.M. Guera & Giulia Brusco, and Simon Bisley. "Whoa, three different artists? That's going to be way too jarring, isn't it?" That's an understandable concern, random reader! However, the narrative makes the changes between styles feel organic. For the "present" (which happens to be the future), we're treated to more solid visuals from the latest art team (Ribic, Svorcina). It's more of what you've come to expect and that'll be good news for your eyes. They don't have the opportunity to present over-the-top action and diverse locations, so they instead focus on strong, expressive character work. They serve as our transition into the other tales, too (it'll make sense when you read it). Guera and Brusco handle a dark, twisted, and violent story which reveals Malekith's origin. Why is he such a warmonger? Why is his face like that? Aaron's trip into the past reveals these answers and the gritty style and emphasis on heavier shading suits this tale particularly well. Meanwhile, Bisley's focus on muscular physiques, big energy and grand scenes is the perfect look for young Thor and humans taking on Frost Giants. Bisley's style just oozes the right atmosphere and it does killer job with one of the chapter's most memorable bits.
The biggest gripe here is that this is a pricey issue and it's pure hype building. Sure, there's a cool moment or two, but when it comes to THOR: GOD OF THUNDER, we've come to expect big and epic things, right? I know the word "epic" gets tossed around a lot, but it really does apply to this series on a regular basis. We all have a general idea of what Thor's future has in store for us, and this finale seemingly exists to make sure everyone has a proper handle on who the key players are and what's going on. Basically, it seems like it's mandatory reading if you haven't been following along and want to check out the upcoming Thor series. In fact, the only storyline that seems to be missing is old Galactus -- who I can't wait to see more of -- and Roz Solomon. None of it is necessarily "bad" but it isn't quite as impactful as many of the previous chapters.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #25 feels like it should really be THOR #0. It's meant to help prepare readers for what's to come in the new series, not answer any of our questions or even offer any big hints about the identity of the new Thor. Simply put, it's primarily buildup and it's mostly captivating stuff. I adore the dynamic between the Goddesses of Thunder, so it was great having them serve as the leads for each of the stories. As for the short stories, they don't offer the kind of oomph we're used to getting from this series (how can one top the Gorr and Galactus conflicts?), but they're still interesting and obviously huge teasers for what's to come. Plus, young Thor slices a Frost Giant in half, so there's that. This may be the end of THOR: GOD OF THUNDER, but this chapter makes it clear that the new THOR volume will essentially be more of the same. If you've been reading along, you know that's definitely a good thing.