WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Thor #6 by Jason Aaron, Christian Ward and VC’s Joe Sabino, out now.
In the far-future world of Old King Thor, life in the universe is nearly extinguished. That’s the story being told currently in the background of Jason Aaron’s run on Thor, as it has been throughout his six-year tenure with the God of Thunder. There’s been a major player missing from this alternate future, however, and now, thanks to this week’s Thor #6, they’re back and seemingly more powerful than ever.
King Thor spent centuries living among the ruins of a long-dead Midgard until a fight with Galactus spilled his blood on the Earth, from which life began to grow. With the help of his three granddaughters, Thor cultivated a new form of humanity on the planet, nurturing this last flicker of life in the universe. Recent issues of Thor saw him travel out into the cosmos and find out they truly are alone, as almost all life in the universe was dying or already extinct.
The only beings seemingly left alive were Wolverine (possessed with the Phoenix Force) and Doctor Doom, who had acquired the powers of Starbrand, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider and the Sorcerer Supreme. During interludes in the most recent issues, however, readers have learned of two other beings that remain alive: Ego the Living Planet and a single worm on his planet surface.
Now going by Ego the Necroworld, the once Living Planet has been consumed by an oily thick madness brought on by the dreaded weapon known as All-Black, the Necrosword. This weapon was first introduced in 2012 in the first issues of Jason Aaron’s run on Thor: God of Thunder, wielded by Gorr the God Butcher.
Gorr used the deadly weapon to carve his way through the heavens, seeking total and final vengeance on all the gods in the cosmos before he was brought down by three versions of Thor pulled from across time. It’s only in recent issues of Venom that we’ve discovered the long history of the Necrosword, and that it was created by Knull, god of the symbiotes, and lost by him as he too fought against the gods.
Now, though, All-Black has found its resting place buried within Ego, twisting him into a sinister and powerful Necroworld. As we discovered in last month’s Thor #5, he was challenged to a round of combat by a small, green worm that seemingly lived on Ego’s surface. This challenge amused Ego greatly, but as we’ve seen in issues #5 and #6, the battle has not gone the way Ego expected. Utterly defeated and torn to pieces, the Necroworld declares the worm the victor after the latter did nothing but whisper persistently and maddeningly into the mind of Ego for 99 straight years, driving him insane.
After being declared victorious, the worm states that all it wants is the Necrosword, and if it receives the power of the All-Black, it will stop its incessant whispering. Ego agrees, and as the sword is handed over, the worm transforms, declaring that it is not to be called a worm anymore. As its form grows, it declares that it should be called Loki the Necrogod, Loki the All-Butcher, Loki the End.
In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that Loki has managed to stay alive for all these centuries, and if anyone was to achieve that by transforming into a lowly worm and seeking out the Necrosword, it would be him. What’s interesting is discovering that he wishes to be called the All-Butcher.
Essentially imbued with the powers of the god of the symbiotes, with a weapon proven to be powerful enough to slay countless gods, Loki takes on the name All-Butcher in a nod to the Necrosword’s previous owner, Gorr. Where he was merely a God-Butcher, however, Loki’s new name seems to be a little more final.
The issue ends with the words “End of Interlude. End of Everything,” which only goes to reinforce the feeling that the death of the universe suddenly got a lot closer. Throw in the fact that Thor recently entered the Forever Sleep following his centuries-long battle against Doctor Doom, and the burgeoning life on Earth is even more in peril. Despite the hyperbole at the end of the issue, there is undoubtedly more to come in this story, which we’ll see unfold in future issues of Thor.