...and Rock and Roll
Thor has always been a mixed character for me. I feel like the world built around him is often far more interesting than the Odinson himself, but at the same time he never came across as unlikable or anything like that. I always just preferred Loki to Thor, I guess is the best way to put it. That being said, the idea of Thor, God of Thunder exploring 3 different eras in the Norseman's life intrigued me, and for the most part the story delivers on what it promised.
Dividing the book into specific eras in Thor's life really made me far more invested in the character than ever before, because we get to see not only a very clear character evolution, of sorts, but you also get to see him as an entertaining womanizer, a brave, compassionate hero, and a decrepit, weary ruler all at the same time. Aaron manages to make it so that each chapter of Thor is likable, and pulls it off in such a way that you never doubt that each personality is in fact part of the same person.
The idea of using one villain for all three eras also makes a strange amount of sense. How many times in superhero comics does a foe long thought dead pop up years later? It seems Aaron is channeling that concept, and the effect produced really serves to build up suspense and dread for what's to come.
The story itself is very well done, with a few scenes here or there that really deliver powerful moments that make this book memorable. I especially liked how Thor was shown in the present day arc, travelling to help different worlds, which helps ground him not only is his typical fantasy/myth setting, but also in his role as world-spanning Avenger. However, I have to say it got a bit tedious reading the word god 6 times a page.
The art is the only problem here. While for the most part the artist's style fits with the fantasy nature of the book, facial expressions here or there throw me off, and kinda kill the mood at all the wrong moments. Just look at this:
Tell me this shouldn't be a meme right now. Panels like this are meant to build drama, but really just make me laugh. Thankfully, this is only really a problem in the Young-Thor segment, and this issue becomes far less noticeable afterwords. The only other concern I art-wise is that some of the depictions of Gor's victims are hit and miss, only occasionally creating the unease they were clearly going for, but it's not too worrisome a complaint.
Overall, Thor, God of Thunder got me legitimately interested in a Thor solo book, which is no mean feat. While some might find the three separate segments a bit disjointed, I found them to really up the tension and hook me into Thor's personality. This is probably my favorite Marvel Now! new release so far, so give it a look if you were on the fence.