How does Jason Aaron follow-up a plot which could have literally wiped out every God that is, ever was and ever will be? Well, you don't top it power-wise since that's practically impossible. Instead, you make it a far more character-driven story and one that'll test Thor's wits. Aaron impresses me month after month with this book and I'm happy to report #15 is no exception. His script remains charming as ever and I found myself at least smiling or laughing for a good percentage of the read. It doesn't seem like there's too much depth to Thor's allies, but I've no problem with that when they're all so damn fun and humorous. The commentary between the group is handled superbly. You can tell Aaron's really having a good time with this one and letting his mind flood with creativity, but even with all of the levity, he still manages to produce an incredibly heartfelt and humanizing moment for Thor in this one. Aaron handles the characters so well that switching to yet another battle with Malekith actually feels lackluster in comparison.
The visual highlight from Ron Garney and Ive Svorcina is basically any time they get to show off what makes a realm unique. From wonderfully vivid and playful villages to the cold and vacant spaces of Jotunheim, the environmentsThor and his companions will explore looks solid and definitely pull us further into this adventure. And while a certain character's fate is obvious when the moment approaches, the two do a great job making it feel as cinematic as possible.
Like stated above, Malekith's inclusion actually detracts from the book at times. While Gorr could easily hold our attention, Malekith is mostly there to make a threat, kill someone or something, and then vanish. He's well-written, sure, but his scenes in this one definitely don't stack up to the fantastic material between the good guys (assuming they'e all good guys, that is...). It's somewhat repetitive and you can almost hear it in the dialogue when they say he escaped again. Thankfully, Aaron gives the formula a bit of a switch-up with the cliffhanger, but seeing as there's still two more chapters, I wouldn't be shocked if he eludes them yet again.
I have some minor gripes with the art throughout. Most notable was that the final panel appears incomplete and the panel layout in another page has odd transitions due to there being literally no background for a vast majority of the page -- just white. It took away from what could have been a pretty cheerworthy moment.
Jason Aaron continues to make THOR: GOD OF THUNDER one of Marvel's most delightful books. Malekith's material may not be all that gripping this time, but Aaron is completely killing it with everything else. The dynamic between Thor's team is a real joy to read and Aaron's doing an absolutely brilliant job with the script. Needless to say, I strongly recommend diving into Thor's world. Even if you've never been all that fond of the character, this book is sure to win you over.