The battle of the gods continues in Mighty Thor #17, and while Thor took a couple of the rounds early in the challenge, now that she is facing some of the unpleasant parts of godhood, Thor is at a real disadvantage. Meanwhile, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and the rest of the empire are finding out what happens after a sneak attack on the home of a bunch of warrior gods.
I wasn’t sure what to make of the Asgard-Shi’ar War at first. Jason Aaron’s War of the Realms had dragged in points and it wasn’t clear that this sudden, left-field war with alien gods was going to do much better. Then he tied these events together in a way that improves both stories.
It shouldn’t take anybody by surprise who manipulated the proud, and overcompensating Shi’ar gods Sharra and K’ythri, into challenging Thor and pulling so many gods away from Asgardia. In just two pages, Aaron (Ghost Rider, Southern Bastards) re-framed this story arc and linked it meaningfully to the previous one.
The fascinating part of the war between the gods is the clear divide between the ancient concept of what makes a god and the modern one. Sharra and K’ythri (I am really hating on Chris Claremont for creating an alien race whose names all depend on apostrophes.), as well as Cul are depending on a very old concept of godhood; one that demonstrates power through cruelty. They cause disasters among their worshipers to increase prayers begging for relief and the hope that the mortals might be spared their wrath.
Thor (both Jane Foster and Odinson) are more modern concept of godhood they are aware of how much power they possess, but use it sparingly aware that it’s misuse comes with a high costs. Thor also sees it as her responsibility to protect those who can’t defend themselves. When the challenges are framed as wantonly punishing innocent beings, Thor is at a disadvantage, because it goes against the core of her being.
Through this whole run of Thor, the art has been spectacular. This issue highlights the talents of Russell Dauterman (Nightwing, Supurbia), Matthew Wilson (Black Widow, Wonder Woman) and Joe Sabino (Black Panther, Totally Awesome Hulk ). From the Mother of Storm to Sif and the new Warriors Three as well as Thor being fed up with the Shi’ar gods, this book is gorgeous.
If you’ve ever had a doubt about the importance of a letterer, just look at Sabino’s work throughout this book. He demonstrates how a great letterer can really elevate the art throughout.
If you haven’t been reading Thor, I’d recommend not only picking up this issue, but grabbing the last two from the back issue shelves of your comic book shop. You’ll appreciate the great work.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letters: Joe Sabino