It’s hard to remember now, but The Last Jedi wasn’t the only big trailer we go this week. On Monday we got our first look at the next Thor movie, Ragnarok, and it was also pretty great. It looks big and bold and cosmically weird in ways the past Thor movies haven’t managed before. If you thought it looked cool, well then oh boy do I have a recommendation for you: Go pick up The Mighty Thor right now.
Image: Marvel Comics. Mighty Thor #3 art by Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson
Jason Aaron’s ongoing run on the Thor comics, starting with Thor, God of Thunder, evolving into the ongoing Mighty Thor, and even spinning off of it with The Unworthy Thor, is making some of Marvel’s best comics right now, Between Aaron and art from the likes of Olivier Coipel, Russell Dauterman, Esad Ribic, and many more over the years, this could go down as one of the best runs on the character in a very long time.
Thor in Space before Thor in Space was cool.
Whether you kick off with God of Thunder or jump on board with Mighty when Jane Foster becomes Thor doesn’t really matter — it’s all great — but Mighty Thor in particular is a fantastic modern example of something the Thor films haven’t succeeded at until, seemingly, Ragnarok: it offers a great blend of the normality of our modern world and a psychedelic, gorgeous window into the weird cosmic realms of Marvel’s wider universe.
Aside from the fact Aaron writes his Jane Foster Thor in a manner that definitely evokes the earthly braggadocio of Chris Hemsworth’s take on Thor, what makes Mighty Thor in particular worth checking out if you like the look of the upcoming movie are two separate conflicts that have formed the backbones of Aaron’s major arcs in the series, that help get across just how weird and wonderful the realms of Asgard and beyond are. While Ragnarok is bringing Thor into a world of aliens and spaceships, this is a little more like modern tanks ploughing through armies of space elves when it comes to its wonderfully bizarre mashups.
Initially there was an event called the War of the Realms, which has seen the sinister dark elf Malekith (played by Christopher Eccleston in The Dark World) attempt to invade and rule all the other realms of existence, with the help of a few strangely allied factions like the evil Roxxon Corporation from Earth, and Loki’s family of Frost trolls. It’s a partnership that leads to some truly stunning mishmashes of cosmic fantasy and modern reality in scenes like the one above, from artists Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson (which is one of the other reasons you should pick this book up if you liked the Ragnarok trailer: it’s just as boldly coloured and vivid, and it’s ).
But it’s actually the most recent arc, “Challenge of the Gods”, that is more likely to be up your alley if the galactic scope of Ragnarok is as well. While the titular challenge itself is a conflict between Thor and the gods of the Shiar empire (who are total arseholes that would make for a great pair of movie villains someday), it’s set against a backdrop of the Asgardians and the Shiar themselves going to war in the aftermath of the Shiar’s abduction of Jane Foster’s Thor. Do you want Viking-esque longboats sailing around space getting into battles with freaky looking spaceships?
Well, dear reader, do I have the comic book for you.
Aaron writes a great Thor, and the world-building of the Marvel cosmos and Asgard he does in Mighty Thor is great, but it’s really the art Dauterman and Wilson — and the gorgeous breadth and scope it conveys in covering Aaron’s weird and quirky concepts — that draws me to the book. Ragnarok itself may be taking a few pages out of the books of Kirby and Ditko when it comes to its kitsch-cosmic aesthetic, but if you want a great, modern interpretation of that classic Marvel scifi weirdness, polished to a gorgeous sheen, Mighty Thor is the book for you. It’s all that, and more.
And hey, you’ve got a good few months before the Ragnarok movie is out anyway. Why not spend that time catching up with more Thor?