Thor: God of Thunder #4
The “The God Butcher” story arc continues as the three time-specific plot threads advance. The bulk of the issue concerns present day Thor and his quest to locate Gorr and put an end to his massacre. Past-Thor remains in the clutches of Gorr, chained and unable to avoid torture, while Future-Thor, the last surviving Asgardian, is locked in perpetual battle with Gorr’s army. The plot threads begin to converge by the end of the issue and the bigger picture begins to be revealed.
What I liked
· The plot: To be perfectly honest, until today I had not read a single “Thor God of Thunder” issue. I have read every JMS and Gillen issue and was particularly fond of Journey into Mystery – so this series had a lot to live up to – and it did. The split narrative offered an excellent balance of suspense and intrigue (for those who read my New Avengers review – this is how suspense is built properly). The premise is simple, but then made complex and interesting by very pure conventions of storytelling.
· The differentiation between the storylines: Each plot thread shows a different time, and with it a different Thor. Thor in the past is brash and foolhardy, present day Thor is noble and altruistic and future Thor is defeated and spent. All three of these are very different personas; however Aaron manages to string a thread between these personas which remains constant: the “essence of Thor” as such.
· The sense of motion: The art in this series is full of life. From the heavy swings of Thor’s blows, to the nimble yet deadly strikes of Gorr as he tortures past Thor. The whole issue is so fluid, and every detail has some form of motion to it. Thor titles are often excellent representations of artists’ true potential, and this is no exception.
· The reveal: The end of this issue suddenly drops a bombshell on the somewhat bizarre story. A lot of the genius of Aaron’s writing really shines with the dawning realisation of what this story has become.
· Gorr: Gorr is a convincing villain. In a series with such a dominating and regular villain (Loki), it is nice to see other characters step up to the play and be almost as effective. Put simply: Gorr is scary. Moreover, our suspicions of Gorr actually being triumphant are only heightened with the use of the future plot tread.
· Accessibility: This issue does not need any prior knowledge. For the first time in a long while I have picked up an issue #1 and been surprised how easily accessible it is for new readers. If you want a good Thor story arc but aren’t familiar with the previous volumes, this arc is where to begin.
What I didn’t like
· Minor inconsistency: There is a tiny, insignificant detail that just nagged me a tiny insignificant amount. The first time Thor encounters on of Gorr’s beasts it takes him hours to kill, yet we see in this issue that he dispatches them somewhat easier. Yep, that is my complaint.
You can tell by simply scanning the page that I had very little to complain about with this issue. The difference between this being a good arc and a great arc will be determined in issue #5 with the story’s conclusion. As it stands, I feel very comfortable saying that this new series of Thor has been meticulously planned and incredibly well crafted.