What does it mean to be a god? This is a question that Thor has constantly asked himself recently after being declared unworthy. But, the real question is, where did Thor learn what it meant to be worthy in the first place?
One thing that has consistently been great about Jason Aaron’s run on Thor is his ability to play around with the concept of immortality. Thor’s immortal, so it makes sense that he would have stories that span across time that simply haven’t been explored to this point. And, that’s where this issue finds it at its best: exploring a young Thor on a journey to worthiness and finding love along the way. It’s amazing how many emotions Aaron can pack into one issue.
Aaron does a fantastic job in this issue exploring a young Thor in a way that he hasn’t done before. Most of his stories involving the young or old Thors feel very intensive to the larger plot at hand, but this issue absolutely doesn’t. It feels completely like a standalone story. A love letter almost to the character and showing the journey of the god to as we know him in the modern day. This is a story built around love and seemingly written with love, which makes you smile, while also making your heartbreak.
Another interesting thing that Aaron is able to do here is that he brings in a younger Odin and a young Loki as well. It’s really interesting to see these two characters in contrast with a young Thor. Odin and Loki are essentially the same characters that we see in the present day and pretty much every incarnation of the characters. Odin is brash, angry, standoffish, and brutish, while Loki is cunning and deceitful. These characters haven’t changed in millennia, so it makes Thor’s change as a character even more apparent, which is a nice dichotomy that Aaron was able to pull off.Image by Marvel Comics/Art by Tony Moore
On this issue as well, there’s guest artist Tony Moore, who fits in perfectly with this issue. This is a more somber, toned down issue that simply would not have gelled with Mike Del Mundo’s more bombastic, colorful style. Moore brings a realism to this issue that isn’t often tied to many of the artists that have worked with Aaron on his run, which again makes this issue stand apart from the rest of the series.
Moore is able to bring a lot of heart to this issue and a lot of violence (because, you know, vikings). Just the way that Moore draws his facial expressions and body movement is exemplary in telling more than just what the words say.
His costume design is also spectacular here, especially with Loki’s design. Said design feels very Loki-like with horns, but it also doesn’t feel modern. It’s not gold, but rather simply wood and more a mask. It’s a small little thing that just really builds the world and makes the character seem that much more immortal.
Thor continues to shine with an issue that feels more standalone than most comic-fare, and it’s all the better for it.