Last Wednesday, Marvel released the first comic with their new Thor – aptly named Thor #1. The interesting part of the new Thor, the news-worthy part that has been expected and announced in advance, is that the new Thor is a woman.
I don’t want to spend too much time debating the point on whether or not this is a good idea. I can understand the why. There’s been a general call for better representation in comics, and Marvel seems to (slowly perhaps) be responding. And I can also understand, from being a comics reader – introducing a new character, and getting people to like them, is hard.
Like the recent event – Infinity – which spawned a ton of new people with superpowers, as those with Inhuman genes were activated around the planet. How many characters do I expect to have come out of this that are going to last? One. Ms. Marvel.
So I wanted to give this new Thor a look. I want to look at this comic first as to whether it is a good starting point for a reader. Then I want to look at who this new Thor is – and then at what happens with the old Thor. Spoilers below for Thor #1! Also, lots of pictures. Sorry if you have a slow connection…
Was Thor #1 Accessible to a New Reader?
I will definitely say, I am not much of a Thor reader. I read a bit of Thor comics from the 80’s, for my LitFlix on Thor: The Dark World. I’ve also encountered the character in a few Avengers titles I’ve read in recent years – Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender, and Avengers by Jonathan Hickman. And I do have to say, I have particularly loved Hickman’s Thor:
From Infinity #4
From Avengers #24
But I haven’t been reading any of the new Thor comics, nor really the older ones, and the question as I was reading was really, would I keep reading? Did I know what was going on?
This comic starts with a problem stemming from the recent Marvel event, Original Sin, and Thor can no longer lift his hammer. The time therefore is ripe for someone else to be worthy, to lift it, and to have the power of Thor. I haven’t read Original Sin, and it doesn’t seem you need to have read it to really get it. It did make me a bit interested in what happened in Original Sin, though…
It then continued on by giving us a couple of villainous problems that could sure use Thor. One was the Frost Giants. The other was Malekith the Accursed. They successfully hit on the two main villains from the two Thor films, and this felt to me very much like they wanted to be accessible to people who have never read a Thor comic, but who probably have seen the movies.
Then there’s family issues. Apparently, Odin has been gone from Asgard for a time, and Freya has been in charge. That’s cool. But now, Odin is back, and he seems to have brought a whole lot of desire for power and old-timey misogyny with him. And meanwhile, Freya doesn’t really think that she needs to step down. But Odin just kind of steamrolls past her. So where things have been in the comics with the two of them is set aside, and they’re in to a new dynamic – with characters we know from the movies again, as well.
So if you’ve seen the movies, I do think you can read this and have an idea what’s going on for the most part. However, it also felt like there was a lot tying it back to the comic history of Thor, so it’s not a perfect entry point I feel like. But it could be worse. Continue reading