Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Thor #16 by Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D'Alfonso and VC's Joe Sabino, on sale now.
Writer Jason Aaron has steadily crafted stories starring Marvel's thunder god every month since 2013, from Thor: God of Thunder to the adventures of Jane Foster as the goddess of thunder. A solid hit with critics and readers, Aaron's run on the main Thor title comes to close with Thor #16 and, with it, Aaron's beloved take on the adventures of the Odinson in the modern-day Marvel Universe. However, before launching September's King Thor, which follows an older Thor in the far-future's final confrontation with Loki and ending Aaron's run on the character seemingly for good, the award-winning writer has left the present-day Asgard facing a new beginning.
Aaron has put Asgard and the Ten Realms through the proverbial wringer as his ongoing Thor saga reached its cataclysmic climax. The classic Thor villain Mangog had reemerged, laying waste to everything in his path as he cut a path through the cosmos with his long-hated Asgard in his sights. Destroying much of the Norse kingdom, Thor's trusty goat Toothgnasher was brutally killed while Volstagg was driven to become the short-lived War Thor against him. And before Asgard could pick up the pieces, Malekith launched the War of the Realms, nearly assassinating Odin before destroying the Bifrost connecting the Ten Realms and staging an invasion of Earth.
With both Mangog and Malekith vanquished and order restored, at least for now, across the Ten Realms, Asgard finally takes the opportunity to rebuild in Aaron's final issue of Thor, as the Odinson keeps himself busy as the new King of Asgard, replacing his father. And from the ashes of Mangog's rampage and the Marvel Universe-consuming war led by Malekith, Asgard is reborn anew, with what appears to be a prosperous future ahead of it while Thor leads through his actions rather than from atop a throne.
Rendered into stunning visual life by longtime Aaron collaborator Mike Del Mundo, with a lush color palette by Del Mundo and Marco D'Alfonso, Asgard is packed full of life as Yggdrasil blossoms within its heart and a new Bifrost springs from its regal gardens. The sight is a far from depictions of Asgard for the past several years, the capital city a literal ghost town and in complete ruins from constant conflict and abandonment. And while Thor is away to look after the other Nine Realms, there are significant changes for the Asgardians as well.
While Jane Foster had become the new Valkyrie by the end of War of the Realms, other roles are quickly filled in the New Asgard. A new Parliament of Realms has been formed with a considerably more peaceful Volstagg representing Asgard while T'Challa represents the Earth in addition to his current duties leading the Avengers. A peacekeeping force with representatives from each Realm patrol the cosmos to quell any remaining chaos from past conflicts while the Warriors Three have rebranded themselves as the Ministers Three to match the more peaceful times.
Jason Aaron have begun his Thor run with a literal twilight of the gods as the opening arc featured Gorr the God Butcher savagely hunting deities across the Marvel Universe. From there, things only escalated as both the Odinson and Asgard itself was rocked by relentless attacks and brought down to its very foundations. However, before moving to the far-future for what is sure to be the God of Thunder's final adventure, Aaron has left the Marvel Universe with a new vision of Asgard springing from the fires he had lit to bring the Norse kingdom to the brink. For a character associated with the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth; Aaron has provided Thor with a new beginning before moving millennia in the future to craft his true omega.