To address the obvious, this is the final issue of “Thor the Mighty Avenger” and damned if that doesn’t depress me just a little bit. This has been a comic that’s always made me smile and always made that week of comics better. Being a Thor fan, a funny, light comic that took the character back to his beginnings and presented that material in a romantic comedy fashion was a comic that appealed to me. That the names Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee were on the cover only made the deal sweeter. Not everyone saw it that way ¬– hell, not enough people saw it that way, really. And, so, the title ends with its eighth issue, one that’s endearing and entertaining and pretty much as good as what came before. As far as series ending, you couldn’t ask for much better than an issue that sends the book out as well as it came in.
Following up from issue seven, Thor finds himself captive and Jane is his only hope for rescue. In a panic, she calls Hank Pym, who the pair encountered earlier in the series, and Pym contacts Tony Stark. It’s a clever and logical way to bring Iron Man into the issue that isn’t the usual ‘two heroes just bump into one another’ and hints at the idea of the future formation of the Avengers as the network of hero friends grows. It adds to the feeling of this title being integrated into the early Marvel universe, almost what it must have been like to have been reading only one Marvel title in the middle of the ‘60s, while being aware that those other characters existed. It’s a small piece of the larger tapestry.
At the same time, Langridge sheds some light on Thor’s memory problems and creates a situation where Thor and Iron Man fighting (briefly) is plausible. It’s a lot of action that manages to shed some light on Thor’s emotional growth, or lack thereof possibly. While not everything is wrapped up, especially with regards to Loki’s schemes and the man behind Thor’s memory loss, there’s a sense of closure to the series as we see that Thor genuinely is maturing, growing past his earlier hot-headed temper tantrums.
And what can be said about the wonderful, stunning art of Chris Samnee that hasn’t already been said by myself or one of my fellow critics? Take a look for yourself and tell me that his art isn’t gorgeous and highly adept at telling a clear, concise story? He makes the emotions of the characters obvious while staging them in the most dynamic and eye-catching ways possible. It’s rare that an artist can deliver such striking layouts and panel designs, while also depicting such strong emotional content.
“Thor the Mighty Avenger” may be over, but it ends on an emotional high note with Thor demonstrating his growth over the course of the series. When the book began, he was a hothead, thinking about himself and solving problems exclusively with his fists. By the end, he still has those instincts, but they’ve been tempered with some humility. Genuine humility. In that area, “Thor the Mighty Avenger” has done something with the origin story of Thor that I don’t think I’ve seen: had him learn the lesson he was sent to Earth to learn. It’s a shame we won’t be able to see him go the rest of the way, but I’m happy we got to see this much.