How do I put this?
I had stopped reading superhero comics. The repetition, the bombastic art, the unending complicated cross-over “events”, the…everything. Nothing original, nothing interesting about steroidal guys and gals knocking each other into buildings while emitting ill-defined but photogenic energy from, of all places, their eyes.
This storyline took me back to the sense of wonder and adventure that attracted me to comics as a child. This is no easy feat because I’ve read everything there is.
It’s written by Jason Aaron with art chores tackled by Esad Ribic and Butch Guice. The central conceit is part murder mystery, part coming-of-age, part time travel, part philosophy, and all excitement. A mysterious being is killing gods from all pantheons in all realities and all time lines. Due to the long life span of your average god nobody notices these deaths but Thor. His research leads him on a journey into mystery (heh!) and action. Lots of well-choreographed action, interesting visual choices and great dialogue. This fractured narrative has three Thors. One pre-Mjolnir ax-weilding one, one present day Thor, and one Thor at the end of time (ish).
Within all this we get the chance to ponder the question: are gods necessary? There were obvious parallels to real life events, but in a seamless, smooth way.
My second-favourite dialogue moment:
Acolyte: “Thor! Lord Thor has returned to us at last!”
Thor: “Yes, but I cannot stay long.”
Acolyte: “We’ve just brewed a fresh barrel of mead, my lord.”
Thor: “Perhaps I could stay for a moment.”
All you need to know is the two collections are exciting and worth your money. Buy them, read them, read them again.