Grumpy Bird Reviews: Thor #1

Since I recently made a post of my initial thoughts concerning the new direction for Thor, I figure I might as well review her debut issue.
4-11Thor #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman

Spoiler-free (as if it hasn’t been spoiled already) synopisis: Frost giants attack earth! Thor can’t lift his hammer! A new Thor is revealed!

Overall this was merely an okay issue. There were a few high points and a lot of things that I am just trying to accept and move on from. What I need to get over is not new Thor—

Can I just call her Lady Thor? I get what they are going for with having the new character just be Thor, but there are two Thors in this book and that gets confusing. The internet tells me I’m a bad person for wanting to say Lady Thor. I guess that makes her Thor 2. Acceptable? I can call the boy Thor Thor 1 if you like.

Back to the point. I’m not really against a female Thor. I’m along for the ride. What I need to move on from is any and all reference to Original Sin. I’ve read a few tie-in issues and the OS: Thor & Loki series. Other than that, i really don’t want to read it. It has all the hallmarks of stories I don’t like. Secret crucial events in the past we are just now hearing about! A wide ranging event that will derail actual plot lines. Killing characters in order to give the illusion that this story is important! Bleh. That this arc is set in motion as a result of Original Sin starts it off with a bad taste, at least to me.

(I guess spoilers follow.)

So, the big question I had coming in is “Why is Thor 1 unworthy?” And we aren’t told. It was something whispered to Thor 1. I don’t consider this a strong start. This is the reason for this whole journey. Why keep it a secret? Delaying the reveal will only set the bar higher. Also, what could it be. It can’t be an action of Thor 1. If an action or its consequences made Thor 1 unworthy then wouldn’t that have made him unworthy since committing said action, or perhaps since the consequences fell into place? I suppose Thor 1 feeling bad about an action could cause him to be unworthy. But that feels cheap. And Thor 1 seems to be in a state of shock over not being able to pick up the hammer. So it shouldn’t really be his feelings of unworthiness making him unworthy otherwise he wouldn’t be making like Junky Thor begging for one more hit off the hammer.

Another whine, moping and pleading doesn’t really seem like the Thor I’ve been reading. Sure he can get somber, but the full on pout and plead we are seeing here just seems out of place. Maybe if he were Hercules it would work.

Most of my negative feelings for this story are just gut reactions and personal references:
– Odin not being able to lift the hammer made me grit my teeth.
– Malekith is a character that only works for me when written by Walt Simonson. Sure, he was in a movie and folk want to make him important. Without Simonson behind him he just feels wrong to me.
– Thor 1 getting his butt-kicked his first time out without the hammer. It just feels rote and easy. Without Thor there needs a be a Thor. A new Thor rises. Familiar and overly familiar.
– The power struggle between Odin and Freya could have been with for gracefully. It felt like the point was simply to show Odin as a jerk. And, yes, Odin has been known to act like a jerk. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive because this book has everyone waving the equality flag (which I am truly all for), has seeed to strawman the skeptical among us as all being in the women-hating camp. With that and mind having Odin’s first few actions being to fail to lift what he created and then to be bullish and rude seems to be making a very un-nuanced statement.

As for Thor 2, well, she was in two pages. What do you want from me? I’m not crazy about the belly peaking through her shirt-thing. I’ll have more on her later, I’m sure.

As for the art. Sure. Dauterman is obviously talented. He almost makes me want to like a non-Simonson Malekith. That said, I’m not sure if I like his Thor (1 or 2). 1 looks like a rock- video waiting to happen except with a pasted on fake beard. 2 looks like she put on metal upper-chest armor and a helmet over her modern-dance recital costume (especially in the prevue of issue two’s cover). Again, he has great talent, but I still need to be convinced on his interpretations of the title characters.

So, yeah. Those are my thoughts. This issue was heavy on themes and developments. Note really much here in terms of story. If this were just a random first issue and not Thor, I’m not sure there would be enough to pique my interest to the point of reading issue two. Despite all my complaints I don’t think this is a bad comic. I just don’t think it is a good one. It is firmly meh.

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