THOR #6 by Jason Aaron and Christian Ward
While the fast pace of the story causes some plot and characterization to fall to the wayside, Jason Aaron's THOR #6 is a fantastic, thematic comic that perfectly examines the worthiness of Thor's place in the future universe.
89 %
Strong Mythology
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Jason Aaron is the definitive writer of THOR comics. His stories have stretched from grand fantasy epics to time traveling masterpieces, all with themes of worthiness and the place of gods today. In his current arc, continued in THOR #6, Aaron continues this tradition of excellence. He brings a future, all-powerful God of Thunder deep into space to face the last remaining ancient force. The Phoenix had taken Wolverine as its new host, and the cosmic bird forced the mutant Canadian to fight his former ally.

However, a newly powered Doctor Doom has arrived on Earth with a vendetta. With the powers of the Iron Fist, Starbrand, Sorcerer Supreme, and Ghost Rider at his command, he needs but two more powers to become all-powerful. Will he finally capture the power of Asgard and the Phoenix? Guess you’ll have to read the issue to find out!

The End is Nigh

THOR #6 Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Comics.

THOR #6 still runs into some of the same problems as the previous issue. These two recent issues have focused so heavily on the action that the plotline sometimes gets lost. Similarly, Aaron cuts corners in a few spots, telling key story elements through vague dialogue cues. The biggest of these comes from Phoenix Logan himself.

In the previous issue, he had Thor on the ropes. The final cliff hanger saw the God of Thunder about to be killed by this power. Then, suddenly, as this issue starts up, they’re allies again, working together to save the planet that the Phoenix originally wanted to destroy. I wanted to see more of these elements in scene.

Now, this seems like a really negative look at this story, but don’t misunderstand. THOR #6 is absolutely fantastic. It carries such a grand scope with it, constructing a new mythology for this future Earth that feels right at home with our own myths and legends. More importantly, elements throughout unify this story with the grander Marvel universe. The powers wielded by Doctor Doom, Thor, and the Phoenix each equate to the prehistoric Avengers team introduced in the last year. Sure, there are elements I wanted more of throughout. I wanted to delve deeper into this mythology than Aaron allows. However, this isn’t a criticism. I wanted to learn more because Aaron painted such a vivid and intriguing image. I really, really want to see more of this future Earth, and it makes me sad that we won’t be back for a while.

The Plight of Gods

THOR #6 Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

THOR #6 does lack a bit in characterization. Aaron still manages to make it work through some brilliant looks at personalities and homages to past characterization. Doctor Doom is a perfect satire of the original, perfectly evil archetype from his first appearance. He has no motivations grander than “destroy everything and gain more power.” Still, I wanted Aaron to explore a bit more of the personalities and lives of these characters. Thor’s granddaughters especially interest me from their past appearances in Aaron’s work. Nevertheless, they still fall prey to a lack of depth and character.

The true stars of this issue are Logan and Thor. Aaron saves this issue’s characterization with them alone. He doesn’t just focus on their personalities, though both have plenty of that. He uses them to explore the issue’s themes. We see Thor struggling with his omnipotence (or lack thereof). Thor is the All-Father, able to bring life to a barren planet. However, in the face of Doom, he can’t protect his creation. Doubts of his own worthiness continue to creep in, reinforcing themes that Aaron has explored in the past. Then Logan swoops in and gives the true moral of the story. Anyone who has lived as long as he and Thor have only done so because they did some bad things to get there. Now, they simply have to make themselves worthy for the people they protect. It is brilliant and absolutely some of Aaron’s best dialogue.

The Beauty of Space

THOR #6 Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Christian Ward returns as guest artist for THOR #6, and his work impressed me even more than in the previous issue. His messy, frenetic, painterly style visually paces this entire issue. With his artwork, the tension and speed of the battle become palpable. More importantly, this man simply crafts one of the most beautiful space settings in comic book history. Every special effect, from Thor’s lightning to the Phoenix’s fire, is perfect in nearly every instance. While I cannot wait to see what new artists bring to this series, I really want to see Ward as the main artist for an entire series.

THOR #6: Final Thoughts

THOR #6 showcases why Jason Aaron is one of the most iconic Thor writers in the history of the character. While the story does falter a bit throughout, he and guest artist Christian Ward craft an absolute spectacle of science fantasy action and adventure. The battle with Doom is beautifully done, with strong themes acting as the through-line for the issue. More importantly, it makes me want to come back for more. It may not be a perfect story, but with the new mythology it carves out for this future Earth, I want to learn as much as possible. With the return of the Necrosword imminent in this future world, hopefully we will return to this time sooner rather than later.

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