Thor: God of Thunder Reborn – Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo & Christian Ward (Panini / Marvel)

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It’s always the same. You wait for an eternity for a god to finally appear, then two come along at once. Well, sort of and not really. Because in a blink and you might have missed it transition, Jane Foster relinquished the role of Thor which meant that the previous holder of the title, who originally had to give it up because he was judged unworthy, was forced to step up to the plate and once again assume the mantle. But, wait didn’t I just say that he was found to be unworthy and as such couldn’t be Thor anymore? That’s right, I did, didn’t I? However it was Mjolnir that made that decision and as the hammer of the gods is no longer an issue, having perished in the heart of the sun (it was whole thing that happened in the Jane Foster not being Thor anymore storyline), the Odinson was free to be Thor again. Which, following Jane’s advice about there always having to be a Thor, he does, and in God of Thunder Reborn he steps back into the fray with a whole arsenal of magic hammers forged from the last of the Asgardian metal, Uru. The thing is though, there was only one Mjolnir and no matter how many different mallets and hammers he wields or uses, none of them even come close to matching the original and in God of Thunder Reborn,Thor has to learn how to be Thor without the aid of Mjolnir.

To be fair, Thor is born of Asgard so under normal circumstances doing the whole god of Thunder thing and wreaking devastation on his foes wouldn’t be all that difficult because, well he’s already the god of thunder. But this particular situation is anything but oridnary and the whole changing of the God guard thing couldn’t have come at a worse time, what with the War of the Realms about to kick into overdrive and Malekith nearly overdosing on maniacal laughter as he stands on the verge of plunging creation into an everlasting conflict of his design. So yes, Thor’s back is against the wall as he battles, along with a ragtag bunch of allies (sort of like the Dirty Dozen, but with more axes, swords and blood and less “heroes”)  to save Hel from being overtaken by Fire Goblin’s led by Surtur’s thoroughly unpleasant offspring. It’s time for a hail Mary pass and with desperate alliances being created and broken, Thor embarks on a recruitment drive to a club that’s so exclusive that you have to be dead to get through the front door. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the whole end of creation in the far future, All-Father King Thor storyline ups its ante, flips the hyper-drive switch, gets all twisted and goes all “Well, gosh darn that was unexpected” as Thor goes one on one with two of the most powerful beings to have ever bestrode the cosmos and gets a little help in saving everything and everyone from a very old friend.

Jason Aaron, in God of Thunder Reborn, lays the smacketh down on the few naysayers who have yet to be converted to his cause by delivering a character driven story that’s bulging with action, plot and all manner of other wonderful stuff that not only pushes its hero toward the inevitable War of the Realms but also focuses on an all too often forgotten factor of Thor’s saga. That it isn’t easy being God, especially when you’re trying to fill the absolutely enormous shoes left by Jane Foster. Aaron further humanises the Odinson, aka Thor, in much the same way as he pushed Jane Foster into godhood; by capturing who he is and using his voice to tell the story of his, albeit somewhat reluctant, return to a position that he thought he was wasn’t worthy of.  And it’s his struggle to constantly prove that he is worthy of being Thor again that forces the narrative forward, aided by some of the best darn dialogue and interaction you’ll find in any book this side of the apocalypse and Ward and Del Mundo’s striking and thoroughly magnificent artwork .Some gods were born for greatness while others just have it thrust upon them and the Odinson’s story lies somewhere between the two. Welcome back Thor…Tim Cundle

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