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Marvel Pick Of The Week – April 15, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Thor 7, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman

Jason Aaron has blown me away with his relaunch of Thor, making it to Pick Of The Week twice in the previous six issues, and he earns the top spot again this week. For this volume of the character’s adventures, the Thor we all saw in the movies has become unworthy of carrying his magical hammer, so he loses the title of Thor to a mystery woman and as Odinson, he pursues her secret identity. Meanwhile, she’s fighting Malekith’s wicked magic, Roxxon’s ecoterrorist Minotaur CEO, and the way men keep underestimating her. While many of Marvel’s female-led titles (such as Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and Silk) have fluorished in the company’s new feminism, this book has carried the brunt of explicitly addressing the gender divide. Jason Aaron sets this up gently but overtly, with the male gods of Asgard fearing the novelty of a woman Thor but gradually learning to slow down and listen to why her actions are so significant.

This issue spends most of its time exploring the way the most likely candidate for Thor’s identity could have gained her powers. Roz Solomon was a character Jason Aaron created in his last Thor run, a SHIELD agent who specializes in crimes against the environment. She was a potential love interest for Thor, but she’s complicated and interesting in her own right, and I’d read a Roz Solomon solo title. Thor 7 follows her on a mission that lands her right next to the magical hammer, but it stops short of letting us see if she picks it up. I want to believe it’s her under that helmet, but the first issue of this relaunch convinced me Thor’s mother was the new goddess, and that was a fake-out, so I’m getting a strong Red Herring vibe from this angle.

I can’t finish my defense of this book as a Pick Of The Week without mentioning Dauterman’s art, because these sounds effects are unreal. The font, the color, the angle of the word, this comic is as close as we come to synesthetically seeing sound.

The muzzle flashes say “BLAM.”

The bullets “ding” off Roz’s car.

Thor’s helmet “kronks” the Destroyer. Nothing about these sound effects looks the same because these actions don’t sound the same. Prose can’t communicate sound like this. Yet again, Marvel’s range of artistic talent shows the readers the value of this medium of storytelling.

Honorable Mentions:

Uncanny X-Men 33, because this is what friendship is like.

Spider-Man And The X-Men 5, because I know many teachers who need this panel as their background at this point in the semester.

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