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Thor: God of Thunder #11 – Review

Jason Aaron (Writer), Esad Ribic (Artist), Ive Svorcina (Colorist)

The Story: The godbomb explode as Thor fights to preserve godhood for all divine beings in the very heart of this object of destruction.

The Review: After a good deal of issues of build up, of confrontation and character work done with multiple eras of the god of thunder and this new foe of his, the very first storyline of this title has reached an end. With the road toward that point being made of a lot of great moments, does the conclusion of the conflict between Thor and Gorr satisfy?

In terms of concepts, it is a very satisfying issue, as the dialogue and the narration delivers on the scope of such a cataclysm in terms of godhood. The various descriptions truly relate the large ordeal that each Thor has on his shoulders, with the present-day one trying very hard to make sure the bomb does not destroy everything he fought for. Most of the incredible ideas are rendered very well as the pacing allows each page to fully wallow in just what happens in this issue means. Not everything is on the same tone, though, as Aaron also add humor to the mix, without interrupting the flow or disrupting the tone.*

However, there are some aspects of the conclusion that are rushed or left perhaps a bit too vague to feel satisfactory. The way Gorr is actually defeated is awe-inspiring, yet the explanation is perhaps too quick, as it seems there could have been more told about just how this might have developed. There is also the fact that the transition between the defeat of Gorr and the awakening of Thor around his others selves is not explained in the best of terms. It is written that old king Thor used his powers to put everyone back to their own times, yet it sounds a tad unsatisfying and perhaps a bit far-fetched. If he could manipulate time with his powers, wouldn’t it had been smart of him to use it during the battle against Gorr in any way?

Still, even with those small aspects, there are many great moments in the issue that plays with the character and its surrounding in small ways while bringing the tale full circle. The dialogue between old king Thor and the other two Thor is actually filled with fun and great character points, which Jason Aaron use fully to set the difference between each eras. The way he tells of the endless cycle and the problems that plague each of them as much as what they enjoy and how they evolve makes for particularly effective conclusions for each character. How old King Thor manage to break his cycle while still being plagued by his responsibilities makes for a gripping character that begs for more screen time as much as the past Thor with his arrogance and pleasure in doing battle, cursed at never getting what he truly wants in the end. However, the most beautiful moment is truly in the last pages, which really conclude this whole story on a delightful note.

What is also delightful would be Esad Ribic, who really brings his A-game in multiple scenes, bringing a real gravitas and a powerful pacing to the issue. Several panels are gigantic, yet never feels like they’re chewing the scenery or making the issue smaller. Instead, they allow the gigantism of the moments and the concepts to truly feel alive on the pages. When Thor finally brings the pain to Gorr in a two-page spread, the art really convey the damage and the importance of the situation by allowing it to be really big. However, there are also some weaknesses in his approach as well, as the overly precise details are lost when multiple elements are done as background elements or when they’re far away. There are a lot of instances where the characters become a tad blurry as they get farther away in perspective, which makes for rather unsatisfying images when the images are usually stylistic and detailed.

What’s also stylistic and detailed in terms of art would be the colorization of Ive Svorcina, who really tailors his work to the tone of each scene. The dark scenes filled with brutality are done beautifully thanks to the lighting effects, bringing in a very sharp contrast that really bring the important details forefront. The scenes with Gorr are done in dull brown, grey, black and so forth which brings the ugliness of the character, as the scenes on Asgard are done with a rich variety of colors, bringing the wonderment and fantasy there. His collaboration and his work adds quite a lot to the pages, to say the least.

The Conclusion: While there are some minor stumbles in the art and in the transition and explanations of some scenes, there is no questioning the fact that this is a very strong-looking book in terms of art and story as the conclusion to the god-butcher story brings many points to satisfying ends.

Grade: B+

Hugo Robberts Larivière

*I laughed at how Jason Aaron basically plays with the fact that Thor died so many times during his Marvel history. The 3 days later bit was perhaps a tad forced, though.

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9 Responses

  1. Nic Klein’s scratchy, sketchy style does not work for this title. His Winter Soldier work was not my cup of tea.

    • To each his own. I absolutely loved his experimental twists on coloring and panelling, yet I can see why it might not be your cup of tea.

      Perhaps he’ll try a new approach for this title, but who knows?

      • My god, what a cover. Esad Ribic is an absolute superstar artist.

        I’m with Hugo, love Nic Klein’s Winter Soldier work. I love it when comic artists take chances and go a little abstract. It doesn’t always work out (see:Felipe Andrade), but when it does, you won’t find better exemplars of comic books as works of art.

  2. I still have to read this issue, but I’ve been keeping up with this series and arc and it has to be one of the best story arcs going for the superhero titles nowadays. I’ve been very impressed and wish only that the movie could be this deep and satisfying. Thanks for the review and looking forward to seeing the conclusion for myself.

    • You’re welcome. Jason Aaron seems to really get the character and the setting he works best in, but I do have to wonder where he’ll go with the title now that this big story arc is done.

      • Totally agree. Jason Aaron has been a really great fit for the character. And Mr. Ribic’s pencils are, as always, gorgeous. It has been stated that Thor is returning to Midgard and that Malekith is back. Guess we will just have to wait and see what is brought to the title with the help of Ron Garney on pencils.

        • Nic Klein is filling in on the 12th issue though, which isn’t a bad thing at all considering his talent. Still, I wonder if the title will be just as good without Ribic, as Garney has big shoes to fill on that title.

          • Hey, Hugo. I guess I haven’t paid attention on the solicitations. Really curious about the approach Nick Klein will take on Thor since his work is a bit out of the mainstream venue. And considering Ron Garney’s recent change on art style, his Uncanny X-Force issues and the cover for Thor: God of Thunder #13, I think he will do great on the next arc. Is it just an arc? Will Ribic be back?

            • I have no clue. I think the plan is for Garney to be on the book for good, yet I’m pretty sure there will be a change of artist sooner or later.

              As for Nic Klein, I’m sure he’ll do juste fine. If he bring the same energy that he had on ”Winter Soldier”, then it will look very good.

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