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  1. #1
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    Default The Mighty Thor - the Whole Run up to 706 [spoilers]

    With the run now finished, here is One thread for the whole damn thing

    I'll start.

    So “The Mighty Thor” has finally wrapped up, which means we can discuss the series as a whole and how people feel about it.

    For me, looking back to the first issues it now comes with mixed emotions.

    Structurally, I think the run is pretty sound. Aaron crafts a tale with at least a fair degree of technical skill, building tension where needed and moving from one scenario and crisis to the next in a way that keeps the story moving. I looked forward each month to the next installment, which is usually a pretty good sign.

    Of course, skill at storytelling is not ever going to be the final word in a comic run. How the writer sets up problems and solves them goes hand in hand with how they treat the characters, and it is this area that I think fans will be the most divided.

    Aaron writes Jane Foster as an awesome hero.

    Aaron writes Thor Son of Odin as far less awesome.

    Right from the start, this story was about worthiness. We didn’t know who had the hammer, and the reveal of that was an integral part of the story and another area where I think Aaron did well. What we did know from the outset, however, was that Thor wasn’t worthy.

    Over the course of the run, the Son of Odin has been continually confronted with that dilemma. And, sad to say from my point of view, three years later we are no closer to a resolution. The run ends as it began, with Thor unworthy to lift his hammer. Which is now even more of a problem because there is simply no hammer to lift.

    This, I think, is an area that Aaron left rather underdone. We never learned within the run itself why Thor is unworthy. Oh, Aaron gave interviews spelling it out and there was the Unworthy Thor mini in which the thunderer announces that all gods are unworthy. But frankly, that last idea seems a little… off. To me anyway. Others love it, and that is their personal opinion.

    And look, there is certainly ample evidence provided by Aaron that the gods are indeed unworthy. Right from the get go, in fact…



    This was very early in the run, and right after Thor had lost his hammer AND his arm. His actions could perhaps be excuses in the face of multiple trauma’s. Sadly this was not the only time his motivations were questionable. It was a recurring theme, and as stated above Aaron’s decision as the writer is that he [Thor] finishes unworthy still. Not really hard to believe when we had scenes like much later and just after Jane was revealed to him as the new hammer bearer.



    Thor cheated on Jane and blamed her not telling him about having the hammer as an act of revenge.

    Ouch.

    The thing is, all the gods in this run come across pretty badly. At least, all the male gods. Thor is petty, Cul is slimy, and Odin is a flat out ass-hat until the very last issue. In fact you’d struggle to find a single male character in the book who spends most of the time acting with intelligence or a consistently decent moral compass.

    Which brings us to another recurring theme in the book, and one where I think Aaron gets a little heavy handed. The girl power theme.

    I have read Wonder Woman for years and certainly appreciate decently written female leads. I was very impressed by the Fearless Defenders and the recent Spider-Woman series. But I am always wary of when the writer starts writing his female leads as strong by showing the males as weak, and here I think Aaron loses me and maybe others.

    At first, it was just all the Marvel women turning up to help Jane fight the Destroyer when Cul sent it to get Mjolnir back [with the Son of Odin there as well backing her up.] But as the run went on the guys just seemed to be sooooooo incompetent. Thor himself struggles to get anything right – in fact he never succeeds in a single task he sets for himself until the very last issue [where he helps bring Jane back to life]. And of course you could say that the story is about Jane/Thor, but I think if you are going to use legacy characters like the original Thor then maybe there is an understanding that you throw them some kind of bone. Jane’s final words to him in the last issue are to say he can be Thor without Mjolnir, but you would sure as hell never know it from the last 30+ issues.

    And then of course there was the whole thing were Titania surrendered to Jane JUST because she was a female hero [after, as many noted, she helped a bunch of guys beat She-Hulk almost to death in one of her first appearances]. She ever mentions it will be good to spend some time in jail to help her boyfriend Krusher Kreel with his ‘wandering eye’. Imagine that – Thor and the Absorbing Man have the same character deficit when it comes to being faithful.

    Double ouch.

    I mentioned at the start of this that Aaron writes Jane as awesome. Her certainly does. Maybe, in fact, a little too awesome. Looking back from the very beginning, Jane has few to no flaws. She is always pretty reasonable and level headed compare to the stubborn idiocy of Thor and Odin. She is unfailingly compassionate, unflinchingly brave, and very early on states she has no doubts about her role. In fact, with no experience at all she wields Mjolnir with the skill of one who has carried it for centuries and even has it display some new powers.

    And maybe this is why the other characters around her have to be so laden with problems. Because Jane simply has none. The only thing she struggles with is her terminal cancer every time she turns back into a mortal, and that is only a problem because she keeps rushing off as Thor to save lives. Hardly what you would call a flaw. Simply put, Aaron writes Jane as a paragon. She is out-thought tactically by Malekith of course, because he has to be a credible villain, but in her entire time with the hammer I can’t think of a single questionable decision or time when she did something she regretted. Maybe not telling Thor she had his hammer, but he is such a dick about it when he finds out one can hardly blame her.

    So where does that leave us? Well, Aaron will continue writing Thor in the next series, staring the actual Thor. Presumably he will, at some point, be worthy again. Jane is still alive and we may see her with a hammer in the future as well. Hopefully by the time that happens she and Thor will be able to stand side by side again as true equals.

    My own final opinion – I was happy for most of the run but disappointed at the end. Some will say it’s because it was not the story I wanted to read. To which I can only say, with all respect, “Obviously.” While I like Jane I didn’t enjoy seeing Thor get trashed over and over and really was hoping for more growth for him as a character, and for him to actually BE Thor again, without her having to leave the book for that to happen.

    Overall - I give it a 7.5 out of 10. Individually some great issues and the whole thing hangs together, but at a lot of expense to of some of my fave characters. I would actually give a 6.5 but the incredible art lifts it. Russell Dauterman did a magnificent job on each and every cover and issue he worked on.



    People's feelings about the run will vary, naturally.
    If ten years of recording The Young and the Restless for my mother have taught me anything, it's that characters in serial dramas are always happily in love...until they're not

    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” - the 4th Doctor

  2. #2
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    I feel like this run really benefitted from some of the best art in comics.

    But also, I feel like Aaron's biggest problem as a writer is his lobe affair with mystery. There is too much not being explained or it takes far too long to explain.

    The whole thing with Nick Fury could have been said years ago and it wouldn't have changed anything. He waited months to reveal Jane as Thor, though I do feel like the emotional impact was there, it just took forever.

    Now you have the hanging War of Realms and now he has the Aveges where he can indulge in all the mysteries and hanging plot threads he wants.

    This isn't even getting into the fact that we don't have much idea what Loki is trying to accomplish.

  3. #3
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    not much to say, really.

    it was hype at first but then this stuff about Thor giving his name to her, losing his arm and being a complete and idiot and drunktard.

    then that stuff with Jane fighting Odin, Jane being better than anyone, lecturing Odin (who lived before the Earth came to be) and Thor (before humans were made) on how to be Gods, how they are incompetent.

    then the stuff with Mangog where Odin was scared and had his wife fight instead of him.

    then later on he did one thing and that was stabbing him with a spear (a distracted Mangog at that), not to mention Thor was aiding him but they were still fodderized along with the rest of Asgardia (oh and Destroyer got ripped off by his teeth even though his teeth was broken by Jane's lightning punch later on and by War Thor)

    then Jane comes in and does better than anyone and makes a fool out of Odin, not to mention Odin, while his home and his people are getting destroyed, is barging on about how he wants that hammer LFMAO.

    then Thor and Odin revives her... somehow, yeah.

    and Thor want's to make more hammers and Jane gives him the permission to take back his name.

    4,5/10.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    I have to say...as some one who’s not read any of the run..that the characterisation of Odin and Thor set out in above posts seems so different to their long established characters that I’m surprised most long term Thor aren’t fuming at the writing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    I have to say...as some one who’s not read any of the run..that the characterisation of Odin and Thor set out in above posts seems so different to their long established characters that I’m surprised most long term Thor aren’t fuming at the writing.
    To be fair to Aaron, you actually have to see the entire picture with Thor to really get why he is. He didn't just lose that stupid hammer, but he also lost his arm, was incredibly humiliated by Malekith and his army, which led him to drinking his problems away, which led to even more depression. And you had AXIS and its aftermath where Thor is confronted with the very real fact that he could not protect Loki from, well, Loki. Then you have his loss at the hands of the Beyonders and his being confronted with Jane's successes as a hero and her potential death.

    The fact is, Thor has had plenty of reason to not be himself. The guy was riding high for years! Everything was going well. And then in a manner of months everything was taken away. Yeah, that would suck.

  6. #6
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    Jane is easily one of the worst love interests in comics. It's not hard to see why Stan got rid of her.

    I enjoyed the god killer story by Aaron in the last actual Thor comic Marvel produced. The Dark Elf story was so bad I dropped the title and after reading the views and summaries of the jane thor title, I think it's safe to say bullet dodged, thank god for back issues. Marvel needs to hire better writers and editors.

    I do wish to say thanks for the summary. I might have wasted hours reading it from the library if I got really bored.

  7. #7
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    How many of you who are complaining about this run have actually read it?

  8. #8
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure everyone but me since they are posting points they liked or didn't like. I said thanks for saving me time in a potential bored read so that should have been clear as well.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    To be fair to Aaron, you actually have to see the entire picture with Thor to really get why he is. He didn't just lose that stupid hammer, but he also lost his arm, was incredibly humiliated by Malekith and his army, which led him to drinking his problems away, which led to even more depression. And you had AXIS and its aftermath where Thor is confronted with the very real fact that he could not protect Loki from, well, Loki. Then you have his loss at the hands of the Beyonders and his being confronted with Jane's successes as a hero and her potential death.

    The fact is, Thor has had plenty of reason to not be himself. The guy was riding high for years! Everything was going well. And then in a manner of months everything was taken away. Yeah, that would suck.
    And Odin?

    This...in the original mythology was a guy who thought wisdom and knowledge was important enough to sacrifice his eye, and hang on the world tree for 6 long days and nights in agony all the the time.

    And having won that knowledge realised that he would die in Ragnarok..but had the fortitude and nobility to do his best to prepare for Ragnarok so the time after him would be better for man and god alike.

    And Marvel stuck to that inherently noble characterisation pre-Aaron. Do you think this run stayed true to that?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackDaw View Post
    And Odin?

    This...in the original mythology was a guy who thought wisdom and knowledge was important enough to sacrifice his eye, and hang on the world tree for 6 long days and nights in agony all the the time.

    And having won that knowledge realised that he would die in Ragnarok..but had the fortitude and nobility to do his best to prepare for Ragnarok so the time after him would be better for man and god alike.

    And Marvel stuck to that inherently noble characterisation pre-Aaron. Do you think this run stayed true to that?
    That has very little to do with Jane as Thor, though.

    And the fact is, we've had jerk-Odin before, such as in Fraction's run and the fact that Odin has done quite a few pretty horrible things. Like the implication of his less than amidable treatment of Gaea, his going out of his way to keep Thor and Jane away from each other, and I'm sure I can find other examples if I check.

    Aaron's thing with Odin is annoying, but at least we see Aaron trying to work with that.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    That has very little to do with Jane as Thor, though.

    And the fact is, we've had jerk-Odin before, such as in Fraction's run and the fact that Odin has done quite a few pretty horrible things. Like the implication of his less than amidable treatment of Gaea, his going out of his way to keep Thor and Jane away from each other, and I'm sure I can find other examples if I check.

    Aaron's thing with Odin is annoying, but at least we see Aaron trying to work with that.
    Yes...all fair comment, and realistically when writing Marvel (or DC) characters that have been written over decades by several different writers perfect “consistency” of characterisation is never going to be achieved.

    (Indeed isn’t desirable..changes have to be made to longstanding characters if stories are to have any forward momentum. Generally good...of course...if changes seem to flow from story progression itself, as you explained was case with Thor.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    How many of you who are complaining about this run have actually read it?
    When people answer in the affirmative, will your next cliche response be 'If you didn't like it, why'd you keep reading?'

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosebunse View Post
    To be fair to Aaron, you actually have to see the entire picture with Thor to really get why he is. He didn't just lose that stupid hammer, but he also lost his arm, was incredibly humiliated by Malekith and his army, which led him to drinking his problems away, which led to even more depression. And you had AXIS and its aftermath where Thor is confronted with the very real fact that he could not protect Loki from, well, Loki. Then you have his loss at the hands of the Beyonders and his being confronted with Jane's successes as a hero and her potential death.

    The fact is, Thor has had plenty of reason to not be himself. The guy was riding high for years! Everything was going well. And then in a manner of months everything was taken away. Yeah, that would suck.
    Thor has had losses before. One might argue that losing his hammer should not be as devastating as losing his father.

    But even if his initial behaviour is understandable, the clear implication that he cheated on Jane while they were together has nothing to do with his current circumstances. That came out of nowhere, and seems entitle about making Jane look more sympathetic and tolerant while making Thor into an even bigger ass.

    In terms of writing I would put that down as one of the worst moments of the run. It did nothing for the story except to leave Thor damaged as a character, based on no precedent we have ever seen.
    If ten years of recording The Young and the Restless for my mother have taught me anything, it's that characters in serial dramas are always happily in love...until they're not

    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” - the 4th Doctor

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    When people answer in the affirmative, will your next cliche response be 'If you didn't like it, why'd you keep reading?'
    I don't think it makes much sense to either comment on a book you haven't read or read a book you don't like...

    Aaron's entire run here has been one of my favorite runs at Marvel in a long time. I liked basically everything about it. He took Jane from a character I had complete apathy for and made her one of my favorites. She's what I see when I picture Thor now. His portrayal of Odinson didn't bother me at all. I expect characters, especially powerful, immortal characters, to undergo challenges. I understand that when I read certain genres the hero is going to encounter a trial, be seemingly bested by that trial, and eventually overcome that trial. If the characters never are challenged, if they are never in danger of defeat, where's the story?

    The art has been amazing from start to finish imo. Coipel did my favorite art on a Thor book... until Dauterman. I rarely really notice the colors in comics, but Wilson is an exception. His choices add so much to my enjoyment of the story. The Aaron/Dauterman/Wilson team is one I hope to see reunited very soon, preferably when the Mighty Thor Returns gets announced.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel22 View Post
    I don't think it makes much sense to either comment on a book you haven't read or read a book you don't like...
    Which is why this thread is about the WHOLE run. Because sometimes it is only in looking at the entire thing that one can comment on it. Indeed, I have often had people on countless comic discussion threads say "Wait until the story is finished before you judge it."

    Aaron's entire run here has been one of my favorite runs at Marvel in a long time. I liked basically everything about it. He took Jane from a character I had complete apathy for and made her one of my favorites. She's what I see when I picture Thor now. His portrayal of Odinson didn't bother me at all. I expect characters, especially powerful, immortal characters, to undergo challenges. I understand that when I read certain genres the hero is going to encounter a trial, be seemingly bested by that trial, and eventually overcome that trial. If the characters never are challenged, if they are never in danger of defeat, where's the story?
    Obviously heroes need to be challenged. But I would argue that in this run Thor does not overcome. He fails at pretty much everything he attempts, and he ends as he began - unworthy and getting schooled by Jane.
    If ten years of recording The Young and the Restless for my mother have taught me anything, it's that characters in serial dramas are always happily in love...until they're not

    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” - the 4th Doctor

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