WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for King Thor #1 by Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina and Joe Sabino, on sale now.
All good things must come to an end. Although writer Jason Aaron has been weaving an epic, thunderous Thor tale ever since the Marvel NOW! relaunch in 2012, the scribe is bidding farewell to the God of Thunder with a final miniseries: King Thor. Esad Ribic, who illustrated the first volumes of Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder seven years ago is also back to close the book on this overarching Thor saga.
While the creative team that started it all is back to bring Aaron's epic full circle, Aaron and Ribic aren't the only ones returning to conclude the fan-favorite Thor run. In fact, the titular King Thor, who debuted in the creative team's Thor: God of Thunder #1, is back. But that's not all -- King Thor #1 also features the surprise return of the villain that started it all: Gorr, the God Butcher.
The God of God Butchers
Although he was mentioned by name in Thor: God of Thunder #1, Gorr the God Butcher made his first appearance in the second issue of the series. The character was an alien from a barren planet who eventually lost everything -- even his faith in the gods who failed to save his family.
When he gained the power of All-Black the Necrosword, he swore to kill any and all gods, throughout the entire universe. This quest sent him on a bloody rampage throughout the stars, one that eventually brought him face-to-face with Thor.
Gorr proved himself a formidable opponent, so much so in fact that he got under Thor's skin -- even after his death. While the God Butcher was eventually defeated, it took three Thors to end him. Thanks to the help of both his younger and future selves, Thor defeated his enemy, and the young Viking Thor sliced the villains' head off in Thor: God of Thunder #11 after nearly a year-long battle.
Although he has been dead for six years, Gorr has now returned in King Thor #1. In the issue, we find ourselves millions of years into the future, near the end of time. There, the aging King Thor is fighting a cosmic battle with his brother Loki, who is now armed with the Necrosword. The battle is a devastating one, and Loki is about the strike the final blow when he is interrupted, stabbed through the chest from behind. Loki's attacker (and Thor's "savior") is then revealed to be Gorr, who is very much alive and somehow in possession of All-Black the Necrosword.
But how can that be? As far as we know, Loki is the one armed with the Necrosword. Plus, last we saw Gorr, he had lost his head, in a very literal sense. However, he's here in King Thor, armed with his weapon of choice and a head on his shoulders, seemingly with the same appearance he had in Thor: God of Thunder.
For the moment, all we have are questions. However, since the arc that featured Gorr involved time travel, we'd wager that this Gorr is actually from the past of the Marvel Universe. After all, in God of Thunder, Gorr found the Time Gods' Pool of Forevers and used it to travel through time. We saw him travel to the past as well as the future, meaning that King Thor could very well reveal Gorr's final trip through time.