Jason Aaron’s Thor run began shortly after Avengers vs. X-men with Thor: God of Thunder. He wrote the very good Gorr the God Butcher epic, and then began a long story arc with Malekith, the dark elf, and the Roxxon Corporation both working against him. Last year, Thor became unworthy of wielding the hammer, and for the first time, a woman became worthy of wielding the hammer in Thor 1. The original Thor allowed this mystery woman to take the name Thor while he simply referred to himself as Odinson. Finally, at the end of the previous Thor volume, Female Thor was revealed to be Jane Foster, who is also fighting for her life against cancer.
The Mighty Thor 1 takes place sometime after Thor 8. Roxxon and Malekith are in league with each other, and the war of realms is beginning. Odinson is nowhere to be found, Frayja is locked up and Jane is trying to undergo chemotherapy. The opening pages analyze exactly what it’s like for her to be Thor while fighting her cancer. It’s the perfect way to portray exactly what kind of cost the hammer is taking on her, while also showing her dedication to fulfill Odinson’s duty.
Aaron nails this issue from start to finish. It’s a dark comic, with a lot of storytelling dedicated to explaining how the war of the realms is going on without Asgard openly acknowledging anything. The council of realms is hopeless to stop it, as are the weakened Avengers. Furthermore, Odin is on his anti-Thor rampage which further hinders Jane’s attempts to set anything right. A lot is working against Thor, which only makes this comic feel all the more epic. Despite the dark storytelling, there’s a touch of humour every now and then to balance the mood.
The art by Russell Dauterman is excellent. The opening pages show Jane’s hospital in great detail, from the other patients undergoing chemotherapy to close-ups on the medical equipment and medicine bags. Jane truly looks sick in her human form, yet both powerful and recognizable when holding Mjolnir. There’s a lot of detail in everything, whether the elf corpses flying into a space station over Earth or the rubble in Washington from that fallen station. The colouring by Matthew Wilson is equally good. It’s well-varied in colours, and the shading looks real at times. This is an overall beautiful looking comic.
Aaron’s Thor run continues its streak of excellence with The Mighty Thor 1, and there are no signs of it even slowing down. If you’re the least bit interested in Jane Foster taking care of Mjolnir while Odinson is unworthy to wield it, you should certainly give this a chance. Everything you need to know is explained in this issue, but in a way that’s not the least bit repetitive for returning readers.