Thor # 5 Review: Behold, A New Age of Thunder
Was it just me or did Thor #5 feel like Marvel’s way of saying a big ‘We-don’t-care’ to all the people who don’t like the new Goddess of Thunder? Other than the fact that no one knows about the new hero’s identity, nothing much happened in the issue and I hope that changes soon.
After being disappointed by Thor #4 I was hesitant to pick the issue up. But I finally did, and read twenty-plus pages of writer Jason Aaron talking about how tough it is to be a female Thor. I’m all for a new Thor who is a woman, but it felt weird to me that in the Marvel Universe, where powerful women exist and play important roles, such an issue would even occur. I guess Aaron was addressing the complaints comic book fans had in the real world rather than the fictional world new Thor is a part of.
Agent Carter is an example of female characters trying to be taken seriously in a male dominated society, and Thor #5 seemed to be taking the same route. There was a weird fight sequence where Thor took on the Absorbing Man and Titania. The Absorbing Man kind of mirrored what I felt when I found out a female was taking up the name Thor. What I couldn’t understand was Titania standing down out of respect for Thor. Why would she do that? It’s not as if Thor is the only female superhero in the Marvel Universe. The whole thing felt kind of preachy to me.
The new Ms. Marvel works because Kamala Khan being a Muslim is just a part of her and not her whole identity as a person and as a hero. Her religion doesn’t come up in every issue and no one even knows about it either. They see her as a superhero and appreciate her for her deeds. With Thor it feels like the whole premise is built upon a female taking on a mantle from a man. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the issue, just that the new Thor needs to bring more to the table rather than being a female Thor. The whole issue went more or less like this:
Odin: How dare a female take the hammer! She must be punished!
Ex-Thor: A female took my hammer!
Absorbing Man: A female took Thor’s hammer!
Thor: Yes, I picked up the hammer and I am a woman!
You see the pattern here? It’s all about a female wielding the hammer and various characters reacting to it. I want to see more depth in the main character and the plot, but by the looks of things, the pattern of ‘Oh! Thor-is-a-woman! Who-is-she?’ is set to continue in the upcoming issues.
I enjoyed the conversation Thor had with Freyja on the moon. I liked how the All-Mother advised Thor to be worthy of the name because Mjolnir isn’t loyal to anyone. I do hope Aaron gives a better story in the coming issues and lets readers see that the new Thor has more to give rather than just being the current owner of Mjolnir who happens to be a woman.
What did you think of Thor #5? Did you enjoy the art by Jorge Molina? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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5 thoughts on “Thor # 5 Review: Behold, A New Age of Thunder”
Good to actually see even a somewhat critical review come out for once. This run of female Thor has been filled with such horrible uncharacteristic behavior by established characters that it has been damn near unreadable. Female Thor is a badly written Mary Sue. Eric Masterson, the first long term replacement Thor, struggled to fill the shoes of Thor.
The current substitute somehow is presented as better than the original and is literally given a free pass in this issue by a villain known best for fighting She Hulk in order to establish who is the strongest woman. This writing is pathetic and anyone who believes this is a empowering to woman need to rethink this the way we rethought the rape of Ms. Marvel.
there was a line in this issue from the absorbing man that said “damn feminists are ruining everything!” or something like that. after having read these new thor issues, i’d have to agree, given the way they are characterizing her. titania knocks out her own husband and gives up to this lady thor basically because of feminist sisterhood? it’s like the thor writers are trying to prove that everything the anti-feminists are saying about thor being ruined by feminism is true. and they’re going to keep doing it! new thor is pretty bad, and it looks like it isn’t going to get any better.
I’ll be honest, till now, the series didn’t feel “preachy” to me at all. The reactions she was getting weren’t exactly unrealistic and I didn’t much mind the “damn feminists” comment in this issue. I felt it was a pretty funny way of breaking the fourth wall and taking a jab at people complaining.
Well, that was until Titania showed up. Gotta say that her stepping down was more than even I could take and had me rolling my eyes big time. Nice show of solidarity and yadda yadda but lbr it made no sense.
I’m really hoping that this was a one time thing, them saying that if this is the only thing people have to say, they’re not going to listen to them, or something. Okay, good, now lets move on to actual plot.
As for her being terrifically competent with a hammer she only just got – let’s roll with it for a second and say that Mjolnir has really taken a liking to her and she’s experienced in combat or martial arts or something. Anything goes.
Now here’s where I think the conversation with Frejya is actually foreshadowing of what her main struggle is going to be – being worthy of the name, not just the hammer.
This would in fact tie in nicely with the current biggest issue(aka her being a woman), since part of ex-Thor’s identity is that he’s a guy. This difference is of course a very shallow reading of both Thors, which is why I hope they move away from it(soon!) and expand it to everything else being Thor entails. Because while she clearly admires/respects Odinson a great deal, and has a mind to carry on his legacy on at least the same level he did, this issue showed even more that the other’s that she’s also overly self-confident, almost cocky and/or arrogant. If all she sees in her “job” is punching big bads with that neat hammer of hers, well, there’s gonna be problems sooner or later.
In other words, I think her being a tremendously skilled fighter is no accident, because the physical part of being a superhero, of being /Thor/, was never meant to be her biggest struggle.
Holy gee, this turned into a rant but I just gotta add this one more thing:
Have all of you taken a good look at that nifty list Odinson had?
Imagine if she actually turned out to be Loki. Now that would be a plot twist so dumb I might actually even like it. Just. Imagine.
Yeah, i saw the list! Truth be told, now that i know it isn’t Mama Thor…i would love for the new Thor to be Loki! That would be awesome ^^
Specs aside tho, it means Odinson believes Loki might be worthy.
Oh when Thor/Loki shippers sniff this one out…
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