THOR #4 by Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo
THOR #4 is a rollicking good time of a comic book, with plenty of fire and lightning to make any action fan happy. True, the characterization doesn't delve too deep, but for the most part this isn't important. This is a book full of personality, action, and incredible art.
92 %
Fantastically Fun
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Jason Aaron‘s run on various THOR titles has been nothing short of iconic. Whether writing the god or goddess of thunder, the world of Asgard or Asgardia, his stories have always impressed. A new era of THOR books has begun. No longer is Jane Foster bearing the title, but she did leave behind her a whole boatload of problems. War ravages the realms, and it is up to the returned Thor Odinson to stop it. But with Sindr and her fire goblins close to conquering Hel in THOR #4, the god of thunder, his allies, and enemies must band together to win the day.

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An Army of Hel

THOR #4, Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

THOR #4 is a stunningly fast-paced story with plenty of fun and action for fans of the MCU. Seriously, this book is one big action sequence, with plenty of fire and lightning to excite readers. From the first page, Jason Aaron draws readers in, setting the stage for the epic combat. As I’ve said in previous reviews, Aaron and his artist Mike Del Mundo have pulled out all the stops. They seem to have more and more fun with each new issue, and they keep bringing more ludicrous and hilarious elements into play. However, it isn’t these strange elements that have kept me reading. Aaron simply knows how to tell a well-paced story with interesting dialogue. I never had to question any aspect of the plot because Aaron made everything abundantly clear. That clarity signals how good of a writer Aaron truly is.

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My one issue with THOR #4 comes from the brief inclusion of Thanos. I understand why he makes an appearance. INFINITY WARS, Marvel’s current event, is underway, and Thanos has already made an appearance there. Considering that in UNWORTHY THOR he and Hela got together, it only makes sense that he would barge in on her wedding day. However, I didn’t understand his greatly abbreviated role. He’s there from the start of the issue, but besides a few lines of dialogue and a single show of force, he plays no important part. Thanos is a major character right now for Marvel, so it doesn’t make sense that Aaron would waste an opportunity to play up his role. He is the Mad Titan, for God’s sake. He should be in the middle of the fray.

Many Faces of War

THOR #4, Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Characterization is not Jason Aaron’s focus in THOR #4. This is a plot-heavy story full of action and intrigue, with very little in the way of deep conversation. The characterization should not work in this issue. And in some ways, it definitely does suffer. However, if not for the fact that I had to review this story, I don’t think I would have noticed. Aaron plays into the aspects that have made Marvel the current king of entertainment in the MCU. The banter and the character interactions are absolutely perfect. Hela’s biting sarcasm, Thori’s dog-understanding of the world at large, Loki constantly talking around subjects without addressing them fully. All of these things tie together to make this a deeply enjoyable experience.

THOR #4 isn’t a deep character study. But that’s fine. It is absolutely saturated with good humor and personality. Aaron does something really intelligent in this story. He gives both the heroes and the villains incredibly simple motivations, desires that are explicitly clear to the reader. Thor and Hela will work together because they both want to drive Sindr out of Hel. It doesn’t get more simple. However, by setting that as the base for this story, he doesn’t necessarily have to do more work on the characterization. We don’t need to know who these characters are if we know what they want. As such, it opens the doors for Aaron to have fun with the dialogue. He doesn’t need to delve into deep exposition. He simply needs to write these characters who have known each forever as a strange, dysfunctional family.

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THOR #4, Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

THOR #4 may just represent Mike Del Mundo’s finest work. It truly relies on his strengths as an artist. This issue simply teems with great moments for character design, and Del Mundo delivers every time. This book couldn’t work with his stunning and psychedelic palette. I especially enjoy his use of color in THOR #4. Del Mundo isn’t afraid to break free from tradition when he approaches the world of Thor. Hel looks like a fantastical plane because he infuses it with a number of highly saturated colors. The end result is a world teeming with life and energy, a reality that is constantly twisting about its characters. Del Mundo crafts a dark storybook in this issue, and it is always an absolute pleasure to turn the page and see what he brings to the story next.

THOR #4: Final Thoughts

THOR #4 is a ton of fun from start to finish. While I didn’t necessarily understand Thanos’ role in the book, I feel that the plot is incredibly well-balanced for an extended action scene. I also feel that Aaron gives readers the fun and witty repartee that they have come to expect from Marvel stories. He delivers a book that is chock full of personality and fantastical moments. This is only heightened by the intense and beautiful storybook art of Mike Del Mundo. Overall, THOR #4 is a deeply satisfying reading experience. With the first leg of the “War of the Realms” completed, I cannot wait to see where Thor and his allies go next.

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