Having picked up X-Men Season 1 a while back, an extremely disappointing book that focused more on the teenage drama than an origin or character exploration, I didn't have the highest of hopes for this book when I came across it in the library. However, the art did stand out to me, and I decided to give it a shot. And, for what it is, a modern recap of Thor's origin (the real one, not the bland reinterpretation to film presented us), I really enjoyed it, and it gave me a much stronger insight on the character.
Now, to be fair, the origin isn't overly different than what the film showed us; Thor and Loki grow up together, falling apart as Loki discovers his origins and, ultimately, the conflict with the ice giants causes Thor to be cast out of Asgard, banished to Midgard until he grew to be a better person. However, beyond that, there's a lot of important details that are glossed over that fleshes out the character immensely.
The biggest of these is that, when sent to Earth, Thor is forced to become a normal human, Donald Blake. Donald was a crippled doctor who strove to help people and had fallen love with a certain Jane Foster (one who isn't played by Kiera Knightly and is actually a strong character rather than struck dumb by Thor's abs and golden locks). However, there's a point when Donald discovers he can transform into Thor through the use of what appears to be a simple walking stick, Mjolnir in disguise. While this may seem like a small detail, it brings a lot of philosophical questions into play, such as who is this person truly, Thor or Donald, and how Jane is supposed to react to discovering the man she loves may not actually exist at all. These ideas are tackled, and fairly well for a shorter piece.
We also get a much deeper look into the war brewing behind the scenes, as there are a few different factions that looking for weakness in Asgard's armor to strike. We get a more rounded view of a few of the realms, and the tale feels a lot more natural because of it. Also, this results in some pretty awesome battles, as opposed to the clumsy attempts the film made for action sequences.
There are only two things that really hold this story back. For one, it's inescapably a retelling, which, while not innately bad, the necessity or prevalence of it in this day and age, especially with the film, however bad it may be, having been released rather recently. And, because this is a one-off origin volume, there are some sections that are quickly skipped over to ensure the plot is told in it's entirety, making some important bits fly by a little too fast.
That being said, this gave me a much better appreciation for Thor as a character and the franchise as a whole, and makes me question why Donald no longer makes an appearances, as I could see him as an interesting factor in Thor's life. I'd recommend checking this out, especially if you felt the film didn't do the god justice, as this certainly does.