Topping the sheer scope of Gorr's story just isn't doable. I mean, we're talking about a plot which literally could have wiped every God from existance. Then there's the fact Thor needed to wield TWO hammers to drop him. The reintroduction of Malekith and his mission, however, still manages to come off as a rather daunting challenge for Thor. Yes, it's apparently not a character who will easily overpower him, but the threat stems from crafty, deadly and moral dilemmas that'll be thrown right in his face. This issue already provided a good example of how this fiend is quite twisted and will be more than worthy of a five issue story. The promise of this evil spilling into each of the nine realms is especially exciting as well.
It's safe to say no one will live up to Esad Ribic's work when it comes to creating visuals every bit as epic as writer Jason Aaron's script. That said, Ron Garney (artist) and Ive Svorcina (colorist) certainly do able work. Detail takes a bit of a dive when more characters are thrown into the mix (most notably with the early battle) and I noticed one panel where the color of Thor's cape was spilling into his hair and helmet. Despite that, there's still plenty of commendable work to be found, especially with Malekith's sinister expressions. What's particularly promising is how they've done fine work giving each realm a more than unique environment. I'm definitely looking forward to larger panels showing off the features which make each realm unique.
As I pointed out above, I have a few minor problems with the visuals, but there was nothing that really took away from the overall experience.
It's very possible Jason Aaron was born to write a Thor book. The sense of adventure, the awe-inspiring scale, the mystical fun, the charming cast (villain aside, of course)... it's all present and in great quantity, too. Every scene had my eyes glued to the pages and I found myself completely immersed in Thor's universe the entire time. What's particularly important to note is this praise is coming from someone who tends to stray away from cosmic and fantasy books, too. THOR: GOD OF THUNDER is absolutely one of Marvel's best books right now. This is a jumping on point, so do yourself a favor and go get it.