"Thor: God of Thunder" #1 pulls out all the stops, bringing stories of Thor from across the timeline to launch this Marvel NOW! series by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic. Thor takes center stage in this title as Aaron sets out to create a challenge worthy of a god.
Jason Aaron has certainly had more than a few opportunities to make his presence felt across the Marvel Universe, although many of his stays have been shorter than some of his fellow Marvel NOW! writers' stints on their previous stops. All the same, the writer has seized the opportunities to craft new adventures for characters like Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Punisher and the Hulk, so it only stood to reason that the bearded scribe would eventually take a turn handling Thor. The writer completely turns the narrative over to the God of Thunder through dialog and reflective caption boxes. The only exceptions are the timestamps for each of the eras this story spans. Aaron has a great grasp on Thor, his motivations and his jaunty air. With lines like, "Now if you'll excuse me, there is always someone somewhere in need of smiting with a very large hammer," Aaron certainly proves that Thor is living proactively and seeking to aid those in need. Aaron manages to find notes to hit to appeal to all Thor fans, be they cosmic Thor readers or Norse mythology buffs.
The cosmic journey, featuring Thor in "the present day" involves a search for the missing gods of Inidgarr. That installment is touching and inspiring, with more than enough conflict and adventure. Spanning twelve pages, it's the longest of the three era-specific tales while the past receives five pages and the far-flung future is delivered in three. Aaron treats the different temporal occurrences as separate events, but threads a plot through all three (and therefore over millennia) to bring them together and save this book from becoming an anthology.
Joining Thor through all three eras is the stunning art team of Esad Ribic, Dean White and Joe Sabino. Sabino's lettering dictates the difference between mortal and god, just in case the readers lose themselves in the drawings from Ribic with White's coloring applied. Ribic and White a nearly indeterminable when it comes to who is responsible for how much of the image on the page. Every image, from Thor regaling the locals of Iceland to the Thunder God smiting a beast are given stunning levels of detail. When Ribic compiles a page of eight panels, it seems tight and almost overfull, but the panels themselves are lavished with detail and depth, each and every one a miniature masterpiece to be studied and enjoyed. Surely guided view for digital comic readers will enable readers to savor the panels one by one, but absorbed as pages, the imagery is magnificent to behold.
"Thor: God of Thunder" #1 does a great job of getting the ball rolling for Marvel NOW! giving readers who want to read about Thor a chance to join in the adventure. I'll admit that I got what I expected from the combination of Jason Aaron writing and Thor being Aaron's protagonist, but thankfully the writer didn't stop there. As for me, I won't be stopping with this issue. "Thor God of Thunder" #1 was all I needed to see to know that now is a good time to reacquaint myself with some marvelous heroes.