After a flashback to the time that Logan and Thor hung out in a bar and reminisced about one of them going back to the Neolithic era and inventing beer (hint, we don't thank the God for this one) we meet All-Father Thor at the end of all things where he is doing battle with Old Man Phoenix who wants to turn the lights out on the Universe. Meanwhile, out in space, Ego the Zombie Planet is infiltrated by a nearly-invisible worm that flies in the night (in the howling storm) seeking to regain a weapon of great power or murder the Necro-Planet in the attempt. While all of this is going on, Thor’s three granddaughters are greeted by the Fing Fang Foom, serving as the herald of the new (and last) sorcerer supreme: Dr Doom.
This issue was marked by a return to the balance of pathos and humor which made the first issue of this series so delightful. There were some absolutely wonderful character moments which served both to humanize the two main players while setting them up for the roles they play in the far future. The scene in the Midgard bar (set ‘years ago’ — presumably before the Death of Wolverine) depicts Thor as young and vibrant, but hinting at his tendency to cling to his nostalgic version of the past. At the same time, Logan is depicted as a man who is absolutely exhausted, worn down to his bones with the bloody business of warfare and ready for the kind of rest that doesn’t come from sleeping.
The memories they exchange emphasize this dichotomy. Thor remembers a filthy, primal place (stinking of sex) and it is alive, in memory (which is a kind of stasis) while the people who inhabited it are long since dead.
Logan, on the other hand, recalls a bar in which he tried (and failed) to drink away the memory of slaughter. His memory is a kind of stasis, too, but unlike Thor, he doesn’t cling to it. He moves on or tries, to meet what’s coming.
Stasis is a form of death. The absence of oxygen perfectly preserves a semblance of life, but nothing new can grow there. If you want to make the soil fertile, you’ve got to expose it to a little bit of rot. In the far future, Thor upset the order of the world by giving into his nostalgia — and now Logan (who has become that Death which brings forth Life) has come to put his foolishness into the ground.
Whew. All of this philosophy makes the issue sound so serious. Well. It is serious. But it’s funny, too. The dialogue is fantastically written — especially the banter between All-Father Thor and Old Man Phoenix. Logan’s diction, especially, is perfectly overblown — and the art is suited for it. This story is something of a cosmic acid trip and the operatic, painterly style of Ward’s art and color compliments it well.
There’s also that lovely little side trip with the cocky, tiny (devouring) worm. Something tells me that it will be more of a threat than Sorcerer Doom. And I loved the use of language in that interlude. Aaron perfectly utilized the diction of myth to set up something which will (I suspect) prove to be absolutely wonderful.
Personally, I can’t wait for the next issue.
This issue balances action-packed adventure, meditative philosophy, and some very well-done humor, creating a story that is trippy and fun, with just a hint of melancholy running through it. Pick it up.
Thor #5: The Invisible Worm
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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