This issue thrusts the readers (rather jarringly) back into the 'present’ where Thor is waging war on Heaven.
As I mentioned in the summary, this issue returns the narrative to the present where Thor has gotten himself captured by the Angels — ostensibly so that he can rescue Angela and recruit her to fight the coming war of the realms. The scenes of Angelic torture were very well done. They were laid out in such a manner that they were simultaneously gruesome and devastatingly clean — as though the light of the Angels was pure enough to wash away the blood while revealing (and reveling in) the wounds. The initial shot of the torture, with the psychological pain of the Angel’s words forming a looping Celtic knot around the imprisoned god, was beautifully done.
In terms of the writing, the scene with Thori and Jane was absolutely delightful for any number of reasons. Thori’s determination to ‘murder’ Jane’s cancer was absolutely endearing. And Jane’s longing for the freedom she had as Thor (both physical escape from pain and the psychological ecstasy which came from being a god) was at once humorous and poignant.
The ‘women’s council’ which gathered to take charge of Thor and help him through his misery and current existential anguish was very nice. But this book still doesn’t pass the bare-minimum for female representation outlined by the Bechdel test. This might sound harsh, but it’s becoming ever clearer that Aaron doesn’t view women as full characters in their own right. Even when he crams the pages with women, as he has done, here, they’re still primarily props in a way that the male characters are not. Jane is, occasionally, an exception. But she never gets to hold onto her own concerns for very long.
This brings me to a few other problems presented by the text. The constant shunting back and forth through time that the series has taken was intensified within the smaller narrative. We’ve had far-future stories. We’ve had ancient history. So much time has passed, between issues that are concerned with the coming war, that readers might have difficulty picking up the threads. The fact that this book had several time jumps, within itself, only intensifies the reader’s discomfort and detachment from the text.
And that’s a shame, because Aaron has a fairly good eye for for the character, pathos, and humor which are required for telling a good story about Thor.
This story (rather jarringly) shunts readers back to the present. The dialogue is good, and the art is magnificent, but the structure is haunted with difficulties — not least the writer's depiction of women. Thori remains absolutely delightful.
Thor #8: Thori Murder Cancer!
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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