THE UNWORTHY THOR #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Inker: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Plot: After losing the worthiness required to wield the mighty Mjölnir, Odinson goes out to discover who he truly is and how he can gain redemption. For now, the hero is trying to find ways to be useful and have a purpose once more.
Story: Since losing his worthiness back in the large scale Original Sin story, Odinson has been toned down massively as a character. While the idea of Odinson not holding the title of “Thor: God of Thunder” is definitely strange, Jason Aaron seems to have a clear path set up for the hero that focuses on who the character really is deep down. Thor is usually slinging around a cocky attitude because of the strength and power Mjölnir gave him, to the point where he truly felt invincible. This story is setting the character up to embark on a seemingly long quest that brings the character back to his cosmic roots.
Thor is in a super unique position in this issue that shows he is extremely broken right now. The character has never had an overly hard life as the son of Odin, but striping him of all his power and his trusted weapon is a great idea because it ends up humanizing a god. Jason Aaron is great at writing Thor and he shows no fear in Unworthy Thor #1 when displaying just how depressed the character is. The entire book seems to show how unhinged Odinson is right now but some of the lines Aaron has Thor saying are pretty sad; “Gods, I hate trolls. Almost as much as I hate… myself.” The character is broken down to such a base level in this book that he finally feels much easier to relate to with how Odinson is feeling like he has failed.
There is a wild feeling to the Odinson that readers meet in this issue, one who isn’t afraid of death when he fights. The Unworthy Thor features a character who doesn’t fully lack confidence, but feels like he isn’t thinking rationally, which sets up a compelling story. There is a mystery to Unworthy Thor in not knowing the hero’s limits and how much he can take on; foes that once seemed like a joke who Thor could take out with the flick of his hammer now welcome a fight from the Asgardian. It’s an interesting place to take the character but Aaron seems like he’s setting things up to have a lot of fun and take the character into uncharted waters.
While The Unworthy Thor #1 has Odinson is a dark place, Aaron is clearly setting up an epic story of redemption for the character. While the hero has very little self worth currently, it doesn’t fully destroy his confidence that he will, once again, rise to glory and wield Mjölnir. The inclusion of the Ultimate Universe Thor’s Mjölnir is a solid way to eventually have two Thors in the comic universe. Aaron really nails the tones in this issue to make it really interesting because Thor isn’t one to quit, but he can definitely lose track of what matters and his purpose, so there is an awesome balance of a downtrodden character trying to lift their self out of a hole.
Art: The art in The Unworthy Thor #1 doesn’t sell the book short either, echoing the wild and depressed tone to Odinson and the book that Aaron has established. Many of the scenes are drawn with beautiful detail to Odinson, showing how untangled he has become physically as well as mentally. The character spends his time drinking and fighting to avoid the reality that he isn’t fully accepted anywhere. Odinson is unworthy and unwanted at this point and the art reflects that; the closeups of the character add nice detail to his hair, making it look greasy and grimy while also adding lots of lines to his face to give the appearance of someone who is unwound and broken down. Odinson appears with an aged look to him compared to his normal polished godly nature, yet, his eyes are beady and crazy looking, and Olivier Coipel has a great attention to detail in The Unworthy Thor #1, making the character’s various expressions clear in each panel.
Matthew Wilson elevates the artwork to the next level with his coloring choices as well. All of the action sequences are colored nicely, adding to how heavy each scene feels as Odinson continues to get beat down. Most pages are vibrant with color, showing how much abuse Odinson truly is taking; the scene above utilizes the purple and pink colors to give a dark feel to things and help bring the white lightning to life as it strikes the character. There is so much emotion pouring through the pages of The Unworthy Thor #1 because of the great combination work from Coipel and Wilson.
A lot happens in The Unworthy Thor and the art team shows their ability to stay on track with the changing moods and scene types that Aaron is writing. Coipel and Wilson are able to quickly go from a big fight scene on one page to Odinson depressed when reviewing the past when he lost Mjölnir. The two artists use different styles and colors to bring this book to life and they seem to nail the tone and emotion that Aaron is trying to communicate.
Verdict: The Unworthy Thor is a great introductory issue that reveals where Odinson is headed as a character. Jason Aaron has a great grasp on the character and the choice to have Odinson be broken down to such a base level and then send on a redemption story is a great choice. The inclusion and set up that Odinson is hunting down the Ultimate Universe Mjölnir is a neat aspect to include and creates a logical way to have two characters operating under the title of Thor in the Marvel comics universe.