THE MIGHTY THOR #706 by Jason Aaron, Russel Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson
THE MIGHTY THOR #706 concludes the incredible "Death of the Mighty Thor" story arc in dazzling fireworks. While I did have a small bit of confusion about one of the magical elements, this is but one small misstep in a story that perfectly explores the impact of Jane Foster's time as the character. More importantly, it sets the groundwork for future stories in a way that is just as emotional as it is narratively potent.
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A Beautiful End
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The last several issues of Jason Aaron’s run on THE MIGHTY THOR represents some of the best material in modern comic books. With a huge, action-heavy narrative that also delved deep into the heart of Jane Foster’s Thor, it has hit fans hard that the end has finally come. THE MIGHTY THOR #706 marks the end of the current story arc, but it also signals the end for this version of Thor (at least for the time being). Jane Foster gave her all in the battle against Mangog but defeating the beast came with a cost. Now, her body cold and dying on the surface of the Moon, Jane’s soul arrives at the doors to Valhalla with a question on her lips. Is it really her time?

The Valhalla Files

THE MIGHTY THOR #706, Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

To say that THE MIGHTY THOR #706 isn’t as good as previous issues in the arc is a bit tricky. On the one hand, it is true. The current arc has provided readers with the most intense and entertaining battles in comic book history. With that said, though, this does not mean that this issue is bad. Far from it, in fact. THE MIGHTY THOR #706 is only marginally weaker than the other issues in the series because its focus is much smaller. Much of the plot is a dialogue between Jane, Odin, and Thor. Some readers may miss the intense action, but what I loved and appreciated about this issue was the true, human emotions that it explored.

THE MIGHTY THOR #706 is successful in nearly every aspect of its plot. It is heartwrenching, emotional, and most importantly, it explores the very essence of the God of Thunder. Being a Marvel comics fan, I have a very warped perspective on comic book “death.” However, the impact of Jane’s battle is always there, and it made me yearn to explore the Thor mythos deeper.

The God Tempest?

What keeps this story from perfection, though, is one small detail that isn’t entirely explored. Doing a bit of research, this problem may solely be mine, though. I am rather new to the Thor comics, so the “God Tempest” is a completely foreign concept. In previous issues, Aaron described it as the source of power and personality in Thor’s hammer. With the hammer destroyed, the God Tempest was released. However, having not known this before, the magic presented by this energy force felt like a huge dose of Deus Ex Machina. The characters don’t explain anything about this mystical element in this story, and the way it is used feels too easy.

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Gods Face Death

Mighty THor #706
THE MIGHTY THOR #706, Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

As I mentioned, THE MIGHTY THOR #706 feels like a definitive THOR comic because it explores the reasons why we love the character. The god’s essence gets detailed from page one. I especially loved the “redemption” arc for the Unworthy Thor. It doesn’t necessarily get wrapped up in a neat little bow, but it does succeed in bringing readers into the upcoming new THOR title. In a very real way, the Odinson starts his journey to becoming a truly great god, all thanks to Jane Foster’s role. I also appreciated the way Jane managed to change the perspectives of all Asgardia. Throughout THE MIGHTY THOR, Odin has acted as a petulant child, but through Jane Foster’s courage, he has grown more understanding. Likewise, the other gods now have the inspiration to stand up for their charges.

In this way, the greatest characterization in THE MIGHTY THOR #706 comes from the beautiful send off for Jane Foster. This entire book is dedicated to this powerful woman and her time as the Worthy goddess. The story never deviates from this emotional fulcrum, especially as Jane stands at the precipice of Valhalla. I especially loved the emotional debate Jane must undergo in this issue. Does she continue her life, or does she step into Valhalla as an honored hero? Does she return to the pain of her cancer, or enter a painless paradise? As a reader, I felt it a beautiful way to honor this fan-favorite character. While I want more and more of Lady Jane, I found a lot of pleasure finishing this journey alongside her.

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Cosmic Beauty

THE MIGHTY THOR #706, Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Russell Dauterman is one of my all-time favorite comic book artists, meaning that I kind of love everything that he draws. However, his work in THE MIGHTY THOR #706 absolutely blew me away. Aaron and Dauterman take readers to new places, filled with new and abstract cosmic forces. The way the God Tempest soars onto the page under Dauterman’s drawings is simply astounding in its beautiful chaos. On the opposite end, Valhalla has this pristine peacefulness that very few artists can quite capture. Though largely new to the Thor mythos, it wouldn’t surprise me if these designs inspire artists for decades to come.

Matthew Wilson returns again to color THE MIGHTY THOR #706, and I have to be completely honest; I don’t know how this man finds time to work. Being one of the premiere Marvel colorists, I shouldn’t need to tell you how good his work is. He brings back his dualistic color scheme for this issue. When our perspective shifts to the gods on the Moon, Wilson fills the page with heavily saturated colors to emphasize the mystical quality of the art. However, the scenes between Jane and Odin are far more subdued in more muted tones. This gives a more peaceful, less chaotic quality to the scene. This issue simply wouldn’t work without Wilson’s keen eye for atmosphere.

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Final Thoughts on THE MIGHTY THOR #706

THE MIGHTY THOR #706 closes off one of the best Marvel Comics’ story arcs in fantastic fashion. With utmost respect for the Goddess of Thunder, Jason Aaron, Russel Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson have crafted a tale worthy of her mantle. This story perfectly captures the very best of Jane Foster’s Thor. While I am sad to see this story go, I couldn’t have been happier with the send-off Aaron and his team gave this incredible character.

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