Writer Jason Aaron has crafted an impressive run on various volumes of Marvel Comics’ Thor over the last few years. He can do no wrong when it comes to the God of Thunder, and he proves that by using one of the publisher’s Generations-themed one-shots to examine what makes our two Thors (the original and currently “Unworthy Thor” and the Jane Foster “Mighty Thor”) worthy.
Joining Aaron on Generations: Unworthy Thor & Mighty Thor #1 are artist Mahmud Asrar, colorist Jordie Bellaire and letterer Joe Sabino. It’s great to see Asrar and Bellaire team up for a Thor story. Some of Asrar’s line work lacks detail in wider shots, with one instance being a room full of Asgardian figures ranging from Valkyrie to the Warriors Three. It may be a deliberate artistic choice, to allow Bellaire’s colors to shine through — and it doesn’t take away from how impressive some full-page layouts of both Thors turn out. One example is the introduction of Jane Foster’s Thor, who doesn’t make her appearance until the halfway point of the issue.
If you’re familiar with Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder and its issues featuring the younger Viking Thor, then this Generations one-shot will be very familiar to you. Thor wishes he was truly worthy enough to lift Mjolnir, but he’s just not ready yet. His somewhat loving father Odin makes sure to remind Thor of this fact, which makes for a comedic back-and-forth between the two. Apparently, Odin isn’t a fan of his son dressing in rags like “one of those filthy beasts” on Midgard. Maybe Thor should get some tips from his father on the type of beings he should spend his time with (more on this later).
Instead of Mjolnir, Thor is reduced to using his trusty battle axe Jarnbjorn when he answers a prayer from Vikings under attack from the villain Apocalypse. Aaron makes a callback to when writer Rick Remender had the two characters cross paths in Uncanny Avengers. Before the battle can get underway, the Mighty Thor enters to throw the Unworthy Thor for a loop. Thor was never known for being a feminist, but he makes that very clear when he refers to his female counterpart as a “wench.” Her rebuttal is perfect, pointing out that using words like “wench” is exactly why he isn’t worthy enough to hold Mjolnir.
Let’s take a minute to focus on the fact that our hero of the present day doesn’t show up until halfway through the issue. Marvel hasn’t explained how its heroes are time-traveling to interact with the heroes of the past. The credits page at the beginning attempts to offer some insight with flashy phrases like “An instant apart!” and “A moment beyond,” but no real explanation is given. Maybe it’s for the best — our current heroes are meant to learn a valuable lesson from their cohorts, so time explaining the hows and whens aren’t necessarily needed.
Speaking of lessons, Jane Foster learns what makes a Thor worthy. With the cancer growing in her body, Jane begins to ponder embracing being a God full-time, thus giving up her humanity in the process. She ultimately decides against it after watching Thor inspire the Vikings, and vice versa. It’s a simple conclusion, but one that weaves naturally into the story Aaron is telling in Mighty Thor.
Where the comic really gets juicy is in its final pages. After watching his son attempt to lift Mjolnir again, Odin can be seen up in the stars speaking to a figure off the page. We soon learn it’s none other than the Phoenix, who will costar alongside Odin in Marvel Legacy #1, also written by Aaron, as a member of the 1,000,000 B.C. Avengers. Odin drops some teases as to the shared history between the two. What could have happened between the cosmically enhanced beings that would leave a pompous God like Odin feeling like a love-struck teenager?
Though the answer lies in Marvel Legacy #1, Generations: Unworthy Thor & Mighty Thor #1 marks the first Generations title to finally stand out from the pack as having a vital impact on the larger Marvel Universe.