Graphic Novel Review: Thor: Who Holds the Hammer?

Thor: Who Holds the Hammer?

Thor: Who Holds the Hammer? - Credit: Archant

Who is the mystery lady with the power of a Thunder God?

(Panini Books)

Who is the mysterious woman now wielding the Uru hammer Mjolnir as a female version of the Mighty Thor? The original, now going by the name of Odinson, is determined to find out, despite giving his blessing to his erstwhile successor.

Meanwhile, his former allies the Warriors Three are determined to find out whether the new Thor has what it takes to deserve that name, and an unholy alliance between the Dark Elf Malkeith and the minotaur-empowered businessman Dario Agger is intent on strip-mining the Ten Realms of their mineral wealth, no matter the cost.

Having ticked off various names on his list of potential candidates as the new Thor, including the cancer-ridden Jane Foster, the Lady Sif and the Valkyrie, the Odinson has just one option remaining – the SHIELD agent Roz Solomon…

Writer Jason Aaron succeeded in delivering an outstanding series featuring the original Thor, but just might be excelling his own high standards with the Thunder God’s replacement. Although the mystery of Mjolnir’s new wielder is part of the appeal of this current book, the revelation of her identity at the conclusion of this volume is just part of the overall story he is crafting.

Fusing Asgardian court politics with real world ecological issues, and still finding time for spectacular battles and pitch perfect characterisation, Aaron’s run may just become recognised as one of the greatest in Thor’s 50 year-plus comics history, and that’s no small achievement.

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The only criticism about this latest collection is its brevity, with one annual and just three monthly issues included, the page count has been bolstered by the inclusion of a 1970s What If? story which reveals another account of a female Thor. While entertaining in its own right, and with a hilarious conclusion that you have to read to believe, it doesn’t compare to the outstanding content of the modern series.