MIGHTY THOR #23 turns an epic battle between Thors into a timely message about war. Jason Aaron crafts his usual brand of mythic storytelling, while Valerio Schiti and Rain Beredo follow along with beautiful artwork.
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War & Peace

THE MIGHTY THOR #23 opens with dark clouds and a thunder-filled battle between two Thors. The War Thor, born of Volstagg’s trauma and the Ultimate Thor’s hammer, clashes with the Mighty Thor as blood and thunder rage against each other. These two begin fighting for the survival of entire realms. Somehow it ends with a message about how much good not fighting can do.

READ: The War Thor starts his reign in THE MIGHTY THOR #21!

Battle of Thunders

Mighty Thor and War Thor battle in the heavens above.  The fight is… intense.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Their battle rages across multiple realms, with War Thor showing a vicious streak that’s the complete opposite of his true nature as Volstagg. This scene is beautifully depicted by Valerio Schiti and colorist Rain Beredo, as Mjolnir lands in Vanaheim and thunder cracks over Niflheim. Schiti knows how to show the full impact of this god battle while making each realm its own entity. He conjures anticipation as well, when Mighty Thor gains War Thor’s hammer.

Oh there’s pain coming. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The hammer comes at a cost, though, as Mighty Thor feels the rage building within her. War Thor tells her she must take his place, and accept that her methods do not end war. Mighty Thor ignores this, and the battle rages on, with the foes landing in Svartalfheim, land of the dark elves. Writer Jason Aaron shines at this point, as Mighty Thor willingly releases the War Hammer, saying that further aggression will not end war and they must act as gods. It’s a timely statement at a point in contemporary history when two world leaders continue egging each other to violence. Mighty Thor realizes the weight of their actions, while War Thor strives to show his own power and eliminate all that threatens him. As a result, the modern world echoes in the new and violent god.

READ: The horrors of war are far worse when family experiences them.

Victory Through Peace

As the battle continues, there is a scene shift to Asgardia. Here, Odinson and Rosalind Solomon discuss Volstagg (and their own problems), before deciding to join the fight below. It’s a short interlude that highlights the past relationship between Odinson and Thor, but it allows for a break in the immediate action. It also allows Odinson and Rosalind Solomon a reason and chance to explain to Mighty Thor about Volstagg and how his trauma pushed him to the War Hammer. Therefore, Mighty Thor decides there is only one course of action that will win the War of the Thors.

She drops her hammer and talks.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The talents of Aaron, Schiti, and Beredo come together beautifully here. Schiti captures the moment perfectly with the frail Jane Foster contrasting to the blood-stained War Thor. Aaron’s words show Jane reminding Volstagg who he is, even in the face of trauma and tragedy:

“He is Volstagg the Valiant. Devoted husband. Loving father. Esteemed Senator in the Congress of Worlds. And my friend. And he knows… it’s time to come home.”

It’s a touching moment and the standout scene of THE MIGHTY THOR #23. Both writer and artists make a statement that impacts our world from a place of fantasy and myth. It rings true even as the issue ends the threat of the War Thor and the realms begin preparing for a new war… and we prepare to begin “Death of the Mighty Thor.”

Final Thoughts on THE MIGHTY THOR #23

In conclusion, THE MIGHTY THOR #23 works as a modern statement on war that works in any era. Aaron, Schiti, and Beredo continue their fantastic work in art and story, embracing the myths while keeping them updated for modern times. Their work with War Thor/Volstagg shows their mastery and I honestly wish I could send a copy of this to a couple of people that are supposed to be running the world.

Men can’t be gods, but we can aspire to be, right?

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