Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Esad Ribić
Colorist: Ive Svorcina
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Art: Esad Ribić
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Seven years ago, Jason Aaron and Esad Ribić launched Thor: God of Thunder, an ambitious new take on the Norse God that would continue throughout a multitude of other titles and varying status quos. In this week’s King Thor #1, the band is back together for one final ride with the newly-minted All-Father, and it’s going to be a doozy.
Set in the far future of the Marvel Universe, King Thor follows the old and hardened All-Father as he engages in what promises to be his final battle with Loki, who has bonded with the dreaded Gorr the God Butcher to end their squabbling once and for all. Amid their fighting, however, it becomes clear that maybe they aren’t on such different sides after all…
In a time when creators rarely get to dive deep with the same character for multi-year arcs in Big Two comics, Aaron’s journey with Thor is nothing short of impressive. Staring with God of Thunder and parlaying into the Jane Foster era, Unworthy Thor, and War of the Realms, Odinson has gone from defeating the God Butcher, to being deemed unworthy, to being crowned the new All-Father of Asgard. With the conclusion of his flagship title a few weeks ago, King Thor will be Aaron’s final statement with the character (though he will continue to appear in Aaron’s Avengers run, so it’s not a final goodbye in the slightest). Knowing it’s all been part of one larger story adds an element of grandiose scale that you don’t normally get from superhero books these days, and at this consistent level of quality at that.
Though King Thor is meant to be read in the context of his larger story, the first issue is perfectly accessible to those (like myself) who haven’t been keeping up with him at every stage in the game. At its most basic level, this final chapter involves a dystopian future for Asgard that will culminate in Thor’s last stand, be it against Loki or something else entirely (essentially, “Old Man Thor,” following in the way of Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Star-Lord). But even a casual follower like me was able to recognize recurring elements from past entries in the saga, such as Thor’s granddaughters known as the Goddesses of Thunder. Pretty much every title involved in Aaron’s Thor has been both rewarding for longtime readers but also welcoming to new ones, and this series seems to be no exception.
It’s fitting that Aaron ends his Thor saga with the great Ribić, whom he started it all with in 2012. Ribić is exactly the perfect artist for a character like Thor, and especially one of this scale. There’s a painterly quality to his visuals that feel suitably epic for a Norse God, especially one fighting off the end of his civilization. The incredible thing about Ribić is that his interior work is just as good as the stuff he comes up with for his covers. There are at least a few pages in particular in this issue that, with some modification, could be presented as covers in their own right and nothing would seem amiss. Ive Svorcina is the ideal colorist for his linework, with muted (but not drab) colors that lend realism to Ribić’s already lifelike drawings.