THOR #7 by Jason Aaron and Tony Moore
Jason Aaron has done it again, this time with the help of guest artist Tony Moore. Together, these two have crafted a more grounded story featuring the God of Thunder, pushing a young Thor into the throws of mortal love. With great pacing and an interesting cast, this is a must read for fans.
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Brilliant Storytelling
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Jason Aaron‘s long run on THOR has been iconic for several reasons. Chief among them, though, has been his focus on the different periods of Thor’s life. This has continued to the present run of comics. The God of Thunder’s future as the new All-Father of Asgard was recently explored in the last two issues of the series. In THOR #7, though, Aaron puts time in reverse to visit Thor’s youth. Before he found himself worthy of Mjolnir, Thor was a brash and battle-frenzied god. He spent more time among us mud-drenched humans than his fellow gods.

This, in particular, drew Odin’s ire. The All-Father believed that his son was shirking his duties and called on Loki to drive Thor from Midgard. Love would be Loki’s weapon against his adopted brother, love of a human destined to die. Enter Erika the Red and her Viking clan.

The Journeys of Thor and Erika

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THOR #7 Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

By now, it should go without saying that whenever Aaron puts pen to paper on a THOR story, it will likely be a success. That is true beyond words for THOR #7. There is something so heartfelt and personal in this story of love and loss. Thor’s continually shifting emotions feel completely believable, and it’s nice to see this story taking a more serious turn. Aaron’s recent work on THOR has ranged from humorous action-adventure to grand space-opera. This issue, though, returns to the roots of his THOR work. THOR #7 feels more realistic, more grounded in concrete humanity than the last six issues, and that works really well. The vast differences between it and the previous issues made me really take notice and pay attention. It feels like a breath of fresh air.

In terms of narrative structure, I feel that Jason Aaron did a really great job pacing this issue out. Nothing feels particularly rushed in THOR #7, which is kind of a miracle. This story spans decades, meaning that several important events need to be bypassed. Thor’s internal narration largely remedies this, but Aaron and guest artist Tony Moore also do a fantastic job summarizing Thor and Erika’s relationship. They give us brief glimpses into their adventures, into their burgeoning love. This allows us to understand how they grew closer without unnecessary details. Needless to say, I really want a Thor and Erika the Red solo comic, but I feel content with what we have here.

Young Lovers and Old Fathers

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THOR #7 Page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As I said, much of this issue is narrated by Thor himself, and I think that is a really strong narrative decision. By giving the reigns over to the God of Thunder, Aaron allows for characterization to happen through his point of view. We get to see why he has grown to rebel against his father, why he loves Midgard and Erika the Red so deeply. We get to see this god doubting his role and his fate, something that echoes the larger themes of Aaron’s run thus far. More importantly, though, we get to understand Thor more deeply. In the last several issues, Aaron hasn’t given us a particularly clear view of the God of Thunder. Here, it is more personal. It feels as if we are sitting around a campfire with Thor as he tells of another adventure.

I will say that while I really enjoyed Erika and Odin’s representation in THOR #7, I do think Aaron could have pushed their characters a little farther. Odin especially feels like little more than a villainous mastermind. We understand his point of view, wanting Thor to tend to his godly responsibilities, but we rarely side with him. We’re meant to dislike Odin as much as Thor does, but he never gets to the point of a well-rounded character. The same problem persists with Erika. Most of her characterization is done through Thor’s narration, with little else to ground our understanding of her. While her introduction feels very unique and empowering, we don’t get to see much else of her personality. I wanted just a little bit more from both of them, to help strengthen this story just a bit.

In the Mud and Dirt

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THOR #7 Page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The previous two artists of the current THOR run, Mike Del Mundo and Christian Ward, have largely emphasized the mystical elements of this story. Guest artist Tony Moore, though, tends to focus on the complete opposite in THOR #7. His work is far cleaner and more realistic. Stylistically, it is a bit more “standard” for modern-day comics, with crisp linework and superheroic proportions. This really amplifies the kind of gritty, down-to-earth storytelling that Aaron has tried to emphasize here. To be honest, I don’t know if the somewhat trippy styles of the previous artists could have done this story justice. Moore’s art style manages to perfectly capture the thematic atmosphere of THOR #7 in a way that feels truly satisfying.

THOR #7: Final Thoughts

THOR #7 is an excellent showing of Jason Aaron’s stellar storytelling style. While the characterization does stumble a bit, the overall narrative is beautifully constructed. I loved every moment I got to delve deeper into the passion and bond between Thor and Erika the Red. Among Aaron’s other stories, this one feels so much more grounded, and while I don’t want him to change the tone or themes of his other plotlines, I did enjoy this breath of fresh air. The only thing I can do is beg Marvel to let Aaron write a THOR/ERIKA THE RED mini-series. After all, who wouldn’t want to read that?

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