Pick of the Week

May 8, 2013 – Thor: God of Thunder #8

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Avg Rating: 4.8
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 41.6%
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Story by Jason Aaron
Art by Esad Ribic
Cover by Esad Ribic

Size: 32 pages
Price: 3.99

I woke to the sound of thunder. A sonorous portent indeed.

No lie. A singular rumble of air-masses meeting over Philadelphia. Well. Thunder and the wet smack of my cocker spaniel nuzzling her nethers over on her easy chair. Thunder! As my mother assuaged me in the late 80s, the clamor of angels bowling, somewhere beyond the clouds.

Thunder. The tumult of gods.

There followed a tremendous day of comics with the arrival of so many monthly favorites and the long-awaited yet completely unexpected return of The Private Eye, itself a tale of cloudbursts. Still the thunder reverberated through the hours until this point, as three gods of Thunder rally aloft toward the fate of heavens and earth.

The choice was clear. The choice was divine.

The choice is Thor: God of Thunder #8, the latest chapter in the saga of the God Bomb, an adventure so perilous it demands not one but three sons of Odin, divided by the ages and ushered together by fate at the bow of an impossible longship. Young Thor, the brash reaver of Midgard’s viking age. Noble Thor the mighty, modern Avenger. Old King Thor, the one-eyed, one-armed scion of ruined Asgard. Each has suffered under the lash of wicked Gorr, butcher to countless gods across time and space. Each stands ready to end his agnostic crusade, hurtling toward this remote world where, for centuries, chained gods have toiled at the construction of his massive bomb, a weapon of such scale and intent, Grand Moff Tarkin might blanche and cower.

“Nay. The time for words has passed. Now we let the hammers talk.”

But first, some words.

Jason Aaron’s Thor set out on these exploits to the beat of Robert E. Howard’s war drums, a King Conan run amuck in the Marvel Universe of old. This tale has since evolved into a wildly ambitious space opera, a hero’s journey truly befitting the gods. Set apart from the rest of Marvel’s line, it’s retained a strong voice and unwavering trajectory, establishing itself as a landmark saga from the very beginning. Aaron effortlessly assumes the narrative voice of a timeless chronicler, lofty and verbose but never clumsy. It’s not quite Biblical, not quite the syntax of Sigfried. It’s grand and funny. It’s consistently effing Metal. Combine that with the masterful pencils of Esad Ribic, and it’s a nostril-full of Frazetta-infused Scandinavian power fantasy. In outer space. At the end of time. Like the T.A.R.D.I.S. collided head-long with Ogdru Jahad.

I hear a full orchestral score when I read this book, most especially with this issue. Young Thor’s rise from the slave pits to his brash, bull-headed suicide mission, one scarred god against the monolithic Bomb, feels like the coolest bits from the Old Testament, the stuff of Cecil B. DeMille theatrics and bravado. Perhaps my thirst for sword and sandal heroics stems from the dusty tangle of Saturday morning cartoon and Sunday School story time. Perhaps it’s a bit of male power fantasy. Whatever it is, this extended story line fits the bill. And now that the Thors of three eras have combined forces — amidst an astral sea of star sharks! — all of that excitement, all of that spectacular posturing has come together for the final charge.

Thor is often cast as aloof, an anachronistic warrior prince befuddled by the modern conveniences and distractions we so often take for granted. He’s not always the easiest character with which anybody can relate. Here, we latch onto the bemused looks on the faces of the elder Thors. “Don’t dawdle. I know how you love to dawdle.”

We cringe at the brash young Thor of our high school and college years. But we also covet his passion. The minefield of mistakes he has the pleasure to traverse in the space between then and now.

That’s all safely tucked away beneath the text though. The rest is awash in ale and colorful ‘braggadocio.’ It’s high romance, thoroughly operatic, the comic book equivalent of a Hans Zimmer score. In fact, I’ve been hearing Chris Hemsworth’s bellowing voice over the new Man of Steel theme. By the by, how much of a boon is it to finally have a pitch perfect Thor voice up in your mind’s ear to summon for this tremendous dialogue? Comics need not aspire to filmic anything, but with words like this, it’s hard not to engage the loudspeakers in your noggin.

Speaking of voice, the so-called ‘Girls of Thunder’ make for a splendid addition to the Thor mythos, and I dearly hope we see more of Atli, Ellisiv and Frigg in the future. Or the past. Or the present. Wherever those awesome warrior maids want to show up. Aaron’s done wonders with the female cast in what is largely a boys’ adventure romp, even going back to young Thor’s bedmate back in Midgard. So I look forward to Sif’s role in the next major story line.

There are more than three Thors piloting their chariots through my heart, but these three hold a special place in the pantheon with the Odinsons of Simonson and Langridge and Samnee. However this impending siege on the Unholy World of Gorr resolves, I shall always remember the rally cry on mighty Skithblathnir as she sales on solar winds toward that date with vengeance. Three hammers united against a twisted villain reacting horrendously to a very real, very commonplace pain.

And I shall hear thunder.

As a disclaimer, I should mention that I’ve contributed the text read aloud in the AR recaps for the first nine issues of this series, though that is the humble limit of my involvement as a freelancer. That assignment has gone in-house at Marvel now and I turned in my last bit of copy earlier today (recounting the events of this very issue). Suffice to say, it’s been a tremendous thrill, both as a Thor stalwart and an unabashed reveler in purple prose.

So you’ll forgive me if I take any opportunity to lavish this effing Metal story with some thunderous applause.

Paul Montgomery
…led his 8th grade bowling team, The Cows, to second place that year. There were sweat-shirts.


  1. This was my favorite issue of Thor. That last panel made me pump my fist and say “FUCK YEAH!

  2. This is my answer in 2013 to the question “I generally only like indie comics, is there one book from Marvel or DC I should be reading?” (replacing 2011’s answer of Daredevil and 2012’s answer of Hawkeye). Great to see this getting another pick from iFanboy. Oh, and I really like your writing Paul, you captured the tone of the Thor issue in your review of it. Nice stuff.

  3. How much is Marvel giving you people? jk

  4. This comic is bringing it! I feel like you need to play epic, warrior music in the background everytime you read an issue of Thor!

  5. I did not expect Suiside Squad #20 to be my Pick this week. Kot & Zircher bring the danger.

  6. Whole heartedly agree!!!! This series has been just frakkin awesome!

  7. Avatar photo ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

    I ended the issue with a big “Fuck yeah!!” and then I see that its the PotW. FUCK YEAH!

    Nice review!

  8. Please don’t tell me the Goddesses of Thunder and past and future Thor all go away in the next arc.That would suck!

  9. Avatar photo Griff Endo (@griff_endo) says:

    “There are more than three Thors piloting their chariots through my heart”

    How many Thors are plowing their mighty chariots across the fields of thy soul?

  10. I was smiling through the whole issue, it was just pure enjoyment! When I finished I instantly ran downstairs to my wife and explained everything that was happening and then showed her that last page. Her response was “Which one is Chris Hemsworth” With shoulders sunk and head down I suppressed all feelings inside and just answered with a sigh “All of them”

    Great review Paul!

  11. Sigh not Private Eye #2 oh well.


  12. SHARKOOM!!

  13. I have to say I agree with a lot of what Gorr’s son said. It’s the way his daddy’s going about it that I take issue with LOL. That being said, how cool was it to see the whole “Back to the Future” thing with Thor’s granddaughters? And the Three Amigos together at the end. What more dost thou wanteth, fanboy?

  14. This was an issue worthy of POTW. And what a fantastic series this has been. It will make for a great trade. Writing, art, colors all excellent.

  15. Hell yes! An absolutely awesome issue! Loved the write-up. I described to a co-worker and he had no idea what to say so instead he’s reading it. I think the space boat and sharks sold him 🙂

  16. I must admit Jason Aaron’s writing of the whole Thor mythos is growing on me.
    The Esad Ribic art is what brought me to this title. His 3 versions of Thor are great , also nobody draws torture, crucifixions& pain more beautifully.Wait,that didnt come out right…