By Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina
Get ready to flex your inner feminist! Thor #5 continues the story line of the mysterious new Thor, while also exploring some deeper material. Now that Thor Odinson has given his blessing for the new Thor to wield both his name and hammer, we get to delve into Odin’s feelings about these changes. Aaron and Molina have put together a superb issue which is audacious, but also quite fun. Thor has become an excellent example of why comic books are still such a great storytelling medium.
This issue is proof of why Jason Aaron is currently involved in so many high quality comics. There are strong action scenes with Thor fighting Titania and Absorbing Man, but Aaron also hits many topics that can sometimes be lacking in comics from the Big Two, such as feminism and political criticism. As Thor fights Absorbing Man, she must deal with his physical attacks along with his verbal harassment regarding her gender. During the fight, you can visualize her kicking the butts of internet trolls everywhere, as many of Absorbing Man’s insults were probably pulled directly from social media comments directed to Aaron when it was announced that Thor, under his guidance, would be a woman. The action scenes were only a small part of this issue as it primarily examined Odin’s poor decision-making since returning to power. It is during these scenes with Odin that Aaron really shines with the feminist critique. Along with the return of the patriarchy comes a sense of dread from all those who are witnessing Odin’s madness in the wake of Thor Odinson losing Mjolnir. We end up seeing the All-Mother Freyja, who had been ruling in Odin’s stead, is both wiser and more level-headed than her husband. It is a great critique of Odin’s hyper-masculinity and his authoritarian rule.
Thor #5 features guest artist Jorge Molina who handles both the inking and the coloring. Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson have been a great fit for the series so far, but Molina’s style works well in this issue. Particularly striking are the backgrounds that Molina conjures up including settings in Times Square, Asgard, and on the moon. The Times Square scenes are insanely detailed and instantly recognizable, especially the full two page spread during Thor’s fight with Absorbing Man. Molina’s coloring is sharper, darker, and has a type of flat sheen to it when compared to the first four issues of Thor. The finished product is almost like an animated television show. It is tough to visualize a comic through a new artist when you’ve become accustomed to a particular style, but Molina’s art is very good and it should be interesting to see what he does with the upcoming A-Force title.
The feminist tilt this issue took is something that needed to be tackled at some point and the fight back against typical fan-boy chatter was a great way to add some levity. The girl-power sentiment from Titania and Freyja was also a nice, feel-good touch for a character who has had to be fairly brusque through issues 1-4 to make up for her appearance. We will have to see how far Odin will go to take back Mjolnir before someone has to stand up to him directly. Maybe by the end of this run we will see Asgard ruled by an All-Mother again!