Grumpy Bird Reviews: Thor #5

MJ Thor kicks some Absorbing Man butt and then punches a Titania that has already surrender for a kind of wash action scene. Asgard plots thicken like an over cooked stew. And a shirtless Thor Odinson drinks.

thor__5_cover_by_rdauterman-d86xykaWriter: Jason Aaron

Artist: Jorge Molina

Publisher: Marvel

The basic plot synopsis is above, so let’s just get into the analysis, shall we? First off, I think I might have enjoyed this more than the previous four issues. Maybe. It was a mix of aspects that I did like (Thor just doing more Thor things like fighting Absorbing Man), things that I didn’t care so much for (obvious evil Odin, new hammer hijinks), and things I find troubling. Those I’ll go into a with a little bit more detail.

First, I have been on the fence about this new Thor direction, as have others. Now, let’s not deny that there have been folk objecting to this simply in a rage-rejection way that is also dripped in a thick syrup of misogyny. But there are some, and I like to group myself in this category that has doubts about this change seeing how it is being down but arguably running down a beloved established character to boost a new one, but still support ass-kicking women and are willing to give this a chance. However, there seems to be a feeling that anyone who has doubts is a woman-hating troll. I can’t shake the feeling that dialog provided by Absorbing Man and Odin in this issue are used to belittle and mock anyone questioning this current arc. I’m probably being thin skinned but when the only folk shown in a comic questioning why Thor is being replaced are shown as malicious, sexist jerks, it does feel like some straw-manning is going on. Also, it does seem like such use takes away from actually developing the issue.

I disliked the entire Titania page. The “can’t have been easy for you” feels especially false since Thor’s last/first outing ended with the combined forces of the Avengers and Asgard singing her praises. This also feels directed more at the audience than anything in the world of the comic. Plus, something just feels intensely wrong about punching a surrendered opponent. Looks like Peter needs to give MJ the “Great Power” speech.

I’m also tired of the identity mystery. Odin’s angrily obsessing over it. Thor Odinson being an investigator. Freyja giving the support/warning talk all surrounding secret identity. It is just taking up so much space. Another mystery that irks is the “dark secret” mystery. It just seems that this is going to be built up to the point that it will need to be something astounding to have set this whole thing off and I just don’t have faith that the review will be worth it. And this is going to be an odd complaint about a comic that is based on Gods, but so far the explanation for why these are secrets seems to be “because magic!” which feels cheap given the amount of page time the mysteries (especially about identity) have been given.

Jorge Molina’s art was nice, but I found myself missing the colors of Matthew Wilson. Everything just looked flat and less textured in this issue. Maybe it is that everything looks so murky.

Anyway, I do think it is a step in the right direction, but I hope Aaron sets more focus on addressing his plots rather than addressing comic fans and I hope we get more forward progress rather than taking about a third of an issue to re-explain current mysteries. Especially since we all know Thor is Mary Jane Watson.

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