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Thor God of Thunder #1 Now Comic
Top reviews from the United States
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The first collects Thor 1-11 in an oversized volume with dust jacket showing Thor battling the necroblade berserkers underneath is a painted cover with the same image as the painted cover for the Prem HC. The Prem HC collects Thor 1-5 in a standard sized volume. I tried to purchase the OHC but ended up with the Prem HC through Amazon. I ended up ordering the OHC elsewhere to avoid this listing confusion.
I review the Prem HC first and then the OHC follows.
This volume collects Thor, God of Thunder 1-5 and has a digital copy code. Extras include 11 pages of variant covers and a Ribic Sketchbook with 5 pages of character and cover sketches as well as 8 pages of pencils. These pencils are slightly pixelized in the effect surrounding Gorr, but much less noticeably than the oversized HC version of the pages. The rest of the art extras are excellent reproductions. If you haven't tried the digital copy, the presentation is great, panel-by-panel focus with zoom capabilities. It's a great way to take reading material with you on the road.
The painted Ribic cover is gorgeous. Note that Thor: God of Thunder Vol 1 Oversized Hardcover collects the God Butcher and the God Bomb Premium Hardcovers, but does not have the digital copy code that the premiums do. I'd like to see Marvel offer the digital copy with their OHC and Masterworks titles as well. Axis and AvX had digital copies and are oversized.
Anyhow, back to the content of this collection: Esad Ribic and Jason Aaron have produced one of the great Thor runs. No, I'm not suggesting that their run is the equal of Kirby-Lee or Simonson, and Ribic's output cannot match the volume of John Buscema, but their issues are definitely epic and potent.
From the start, the viking heritage comes through. This Thor is rough and rugged. There is intense violence but it never feels gratuitous. The writing is economical and poetic at the same time, never feeling labored, never competing with the gorgeous artwork. There's almost a murder mystery air to it, similar, in a way, to the beginning of 13th Warrior where the gruesome deaths can't be explained and sheer terror sets into even the mightiest warrior's heart.
I hope that after the cinema run for Thor, that Netflix or another cable network can do a high-end series on Thor: the God Butcher.
Issue 6 is a fill-in issue by Butch Guice. It's quite a departure from Ribic and is not a painted style, but I liked it for this flashback story, revealing Gorr's origin. This origin really gives Gorr more depth. The origin of his weapon/powers also gets revealed in this issue.
With issue 7, Esad Ribic is back in action up to the conclusion of the God Bomb in #11. We're introduced to Shadrak, a very entertaining jester character slightly reminiscent of Shlagen from Omega Men #4 (the guy who lets Lobo in).
We also get to meet Atli, Ellisiv, and Frigg Wodendottir for the first time.
There are a couple of battles that end up being resolved off-panel and I would've liked the notion that the blade absorbed god essence as Gorr killed each deity. In that way, his power levels would've made more sense.
The art is gorgeous and the writing is the most potent Thor has been in a while.
Hopefully, Amazon will correct the links to make these two separate collections.
The book opens in 893 AD, as Thor is carousing with some Norse warriors after defeating a Frost Giant when a gruesome discovery is made - the decapitated head of a god. This is Thor's introduction to the God Butcher. The book then jumps to the present where Thor has answered the prayer of a child on a distant planet; he is confused as to why she didn't call upon her gods. Then he discovers they have all been killed. The Butcher is on a mission to wipe out every immortal. The story jumps between the past, present and future as Thor in all three times contends with the monster. It keeps to the forefront of readers' minds that Thor is a thousand+ years old, with experience beyond what a mortal can comprehend.
Aside from a well-developed story with an original and challenging foe, I love how this Thor shows a maturity that is above false bravado. When Tony Stark helps him discover the place that Thor originally fought the Butcher and then prepares to depart and leave Thor to his "god business", Thor asks him for his help! This is the hero I admire but too often do not get. There is a lot of action in the story, much of it gory, but all in support of a riveting plot.
My one minor quibble I have with the series is the art. I'm not a fan of Ribic's style. I prefer my art to be, "pretty" I guess and this looks unfinished and unglamorous. Never-the-less, it is not so off-putting as to ruin the story (as it nearly did for me in Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers) and many readers no doubt like it. Overall, this is an excellent start for the God of Thunder and I can't wait to start volume 2 - highly recommended!
p.s. I do not like these new hardcover editions. I much preferred the hardcovers with a dust jacket over a leatherette binding. These books with the art printed on the covers look and feel cheap but cost more for less material. Not good, Marvel, not good.
Top reviews from other countries
Aaron's story flips back and forth between three eras of Thor: the young, 'unworthy', brash Thor familiar from the Apocalypse-themed issue of Uncanny Avengers, pillaging his way across the oceans with Vikings in 893 AD; the modern-day Thor; and a future King Thor, the last god in the heavens, trapped on the throne of a broken Asgard. The threat faced across all three time periods is a gruesome one: Gorr, the God Butcher, who has embarked upon a bloody and comprehensive rampage, slaying deity after deity, leaving those who pray to them bereft.
Thor first battles - and is tortured by - Gorr in 893, while Avenger Thor travels the spaceways following the trail of blood. Aaron takes us from the close quarters of Gorr's cave of horrors in ancient Russia to an audacious odyssey across the stars; as he does so, he fizzes with ideas, names, and conceptions. From the War Faeries of Wendigorge to Falligar the Behemoth, Patron God of the Galactic Frontier, the body count mounts until Thor consults the Lord Librarian in Omnipotence City, Nexus of all the Gods - the most striking addition to Marvel's cosmic geography since the severed Celestial head space station, Knowhere.
If Aaron's ambition is high, then Esad Ribic is more than equal to the task. His art perfectly matches a Thor book. He illustrates as if painting a mythic canvas; from the arrogant whelp Thor to his more moderate but still strident modern-day counterpart and, especially, the weighed-down, ancient All-Father of the future, who is barely strong enough to stand, but still wields Mjolnir in a desperate bid to reach Valhalla. Gorr himself is a brilliant creation - inky, sibilant, with murder oozing from him. When he and Thor first clash, it's aboard winged horses in the clouds; Ribic delivers, just as he does in a creepy, disturbing scene where Gorr travels back 14 billion years to murder one of the first gods in existence, a giant baby delighting in playing with misshapen excuses for humanoid life.
As this book ends, the different time periods start to come together; but victory is by no means certain, and seems destined to be pyrrhic. This is a stupendous take on the God of Thunder which acknowledges his power set and the circles in which he moves when not bound to Earth, while keeping him emotionally relatable. Highly recommended.
Aaron's work I picked up on the attempt to be more open minded and because some spiderman jokes about thor made me giggle. I loved this.
Without entering into spoiler territory this book takes place over three parts of thor's life. Him as the avenger up to date with current events, him as his youthful Norse god not worthy self and thor as the king long after Earth and Odin have died and filled with regret over the mistakes of his past.
The actual story is about the god butcher. Gods are dying, not just from old age but whole families and pantheons of gods brutally tortured, skinned and displayed. It's genuinely scary. The God butcher comes into the story very early and is most definitely a godly villain. For those who know the marvel universe the God butcher is like an evil sadistic silver surfer with a whole other backstory and powers.
Young Thor is terrified of him, explained in story, avengers thor is terrified of what he will do and king thor is sort of imprisoned by him.
This is an amazing story, can't recommend it more without spoilers.
This volume is the first in a two part epic adventure spanning three different timelines in Thor's, rather long, life, & if you give this one a read, you will surely pick the second one up with great haste.
I could not put either of them down, once I began reading that was it. The story is great, & the artwork? Wow! Esad Ribic left my jaw a gasp with every panel (bar the final two or three pages of volume 2, which seemed rather rushed, unfortunately).
My imagination has now well & truly been captured by The Thunder God & Mjolnir in both the cinematic & comic universes alike. So much so, I have since purchased the entire runs of both Joe Michael Stracynski & Kieran Gillen, & look forward to the future releases in this series & to future purchases of the Matt Fraction series.
Be warned; following this purchase, your purse strings may loosen further, with The Thunder God no doubt to blame.
Absolutely love this & can't wait for volume 3 to be released (even if Esad Ribic isn't in charge of orchestrating the artwork... but he is back for the volume after!).