So ends Thor God of Thunder, my favorite title being published by Marvel; except it’s not the end. While issue 25 is the last of this title, the story will continue in the upcoming Thor book which will continue being written by Jason Aaron. Really this is just an example of how much Marvel loves launching titles so they can have more #1s. However, this really doesn’t bother me that much because the story and the artwork have been so amazing throughout, and look like they will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. So with that being said, how does issue 25 cap off this volume of Thor, and set things up for the future.
Despite this issue ostensibly being a “final issue”, there certainly are a lot of past deeds and origin stories being told here. Jason Aaron continues the tale of the three Thors here by following the granddaughters of old Thor as they look through the history books in the Asgardian library to learn about the past. This is the framework used to tell three separate stories in this issue, each drawn by a different artist.
The first tale is an origin story for Malekith, the Dark Elf warlord reintroduced during the “Accursed” arc of this title. This story is drawn by RM Guera who offers a different style than we’ve seen on this title, but it’s still cool to look at. I have no idea if Malekith has been given a backstory before, and if so whether or not this origin is a “betrayal” or not of anything already established about the character. All I can say is that this is an interesting origin story telling the early days of a creature that was raised in an environment dominated by war, and who associates so much with everything involved with war that he has no intentions of ever ending the constant conflicts his people get into. It’s not like he’s addicted to it like a drug, but he associates everything about himself to war.
The second story involves young Thor as he and a band of Vikings set out for battle against a band of frost giants attempting to perform a dark ritual. This tale is drawn by Simon Bisley, who I generally don’t enjoy that much, but here he changes his style to present a truly wonderful visual spectacle. Whether it’s drawing the Viking warriors, Thor, or especially the frost giants battling the Viking boats, each page of this tale is fun and energetic.
The young Thor story sets up a new villain who appears will be making an appearance in the near future. And while this is a story that involves Viking warriors getting impaled by the spears of Frost Giants, dark citadels made from an ocean of frozen blood, and dark rituals to resurrect an old enemy from Hel, Jason Aaron still injects this story with the humor that has permeated this entire series.
The third story in this issue is a little different. After stumbling on a book that is wrapped in chains, Thor’s granddaughters tell of tale of things to come for Thor in the present time. This includes hints of a great war between all the realms, Malekith uniting all the forces of darkness together, and great hardships for Thor to come. This story (along with everything involving the granddaughters) are drawn by Esad Ribic who has been on top for this entire series, and this issue is no different. The highlight of his work is a two-page spread that contains the first image of the new female Thor to appear in this title, among many other things. While this part of the issue are more of just hints of things to come rather than a full story, it still makes me excited for the future of this title.
In the back of this issue, Jason Aaron writes an essay that basically is a thank you letter to everyone who supported this book since the relaunch, and makes assurances that things are only going to get better from here. If there is one negative thing that Jason Aaron says in the essay, it’s that we now have to say goodbye to Esad Ribic who is now leaving the title. This is very sad news as his artwork have added a great deal to the “epicness” of what happens in the book. Whether it’s Galactus or Gor the God Butcher, his artwork added extra layers of gravitas to the characters actions. He will be missed, but with Russell Dauterman on board for art duties on the relaunched Thor title, things appear to be in good hands.
This is a fantastic issue, and a must own for fans of this series. If you haven’t been reading this title, you can still pick up this issue to get a basic rundown of things to come in the Thor universe, it shouldn’t be too hard to follow. But for now, let us all tip our mugs of mead to the ending of what turned out to be one of the best (if not the best) titles to come out of Marvel Now!