Graphic Novel Review: The Unworthy Thor

The Unworthy Thor.

The Unworthy Thor. - Credit: Archant

Will it be hammer time again for the son of Odin?

(Panini Books)

“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

And so it was over the long centuries, as the son of Odin wielded the mighty Mjolnir in defence of the realm eternal, until the day came when he could no longer lift it.

During the events of the Original Sin storyline, which saw Earth’s heroes investigating the murder of the Watcher on the Moon, superspy Nick Fury whispered a hitherto unknown secret into Thor’s ear. From that moment he was no longer deemed worthy, unable to lift Mjolnir and stripped of its otherworldly powers.

In the wake of this cataclysmic event, a new female Thor has become Mjolnir’s champion after it was proved that “she be worthy”, leaving its previous owner bereft of name and purpose, an “unworthy Thor” known only as the Odinson.

But somewhere in the darkness between worlds, in the ruins of old Asgard, another hammer breaches the dimensional barriers and crashes to land. It was once the weapon of the Ultimate Thor, who lost his life during the reality-warping Secret Wars, and has the potential to restore our Thor to his former greatness.

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Aided by his one-time hammer brother Beta Ray Bill, the Odinson embarks on a determined quest to seize this alternate Mjolnir and once again be proved worthy, a journey which will test him to the very limits of his strength, and force him to confront the nature and purpose of godhood. But before he can take hold of the fallen hammer, the Odinson must first reveal the devastating secret which cost him everything…

A companion title to Jason Aaron’s acclaimed series, which began with the son of Odin’s battle against the God Butcher and has continued with Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, this title retains the main book’s high standards of storytelling while also establishing a fresh status quo for the original wielder of Mjolnir.

As a long-term fan of Thor dating back to the Lee-Buscema years (I was a bit too late for Kirby), it is my opinion that we are currently witnessing one of the strongest runs in the character’s long history, and Aaron should stand alongside the likes of Walt Simonson, Dan Jurgens and Roy Thomas as one of the leading Thor writers. Although ostensibly a spin-off, this series is really just an aside to the main book, and deserves to be considered as part of the wider narrative which Aaron is crafting.