SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Thor #1 by Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, Christian Ward and Joe Sabino, on sale now.
The story of King Thor is a story about the end of the world, and what comes after it. Since he began his run on Thor: God of Thunder in 2012, Jason Aaron has exploted different eras of Odinson’s legend and with his King Thor stories, he gets to tell the tale of a God who has given up, inspired by those younger than him to push through and say no to the apocalypse.
This week’s Thor #1 catches us back up with King Thor, over two-hundred years since we last saw him, and following the death of an old friend, he seeks answers in the stars where he finds an even older friend as the new host of the Phoenix Force.
The Grace of Thor
The last time we saw King Thor, he had recommitted himself to the prosperity of Earth and created a new race of humans from the ash and dust of the once dead planet. Now, two hundred years later, the first of those new humans (named for Jane Foster) has passed away. But in her wake, she leaves the beginnings of a new society of humanity as her legacy.
As Thor mourns her passing, his granddaughter Ellisiv tries to discuss with him her findings that the stars are going out and the universe seems to be dying, but the pair are interrupted by the return of Mjolnir, bearing foreboding news.
The fact that Mjolnir itself is here is eventful enough, because while we’ve seen King Thor with the legendary hammer before, this is the first time we’ve seen it since Jane Foster threw it into the sun to stop the Mangog in the present day. From that, we can take it that despite Odinson’s current quest to forge lots and lots of new hammers to find a replacement for his signature weapon, at some point Mjolnir will return from the heart of the sun and find Thor worthy once more.
As for Mjolnir’s findings, they seem to corroborate Ellisiv’s own as King Thor journeys into the cosmos to find no sign of life anywhere left in the universe. Despite all of his efforts to restore Earth, the universe around it isn’t just dying, it’s already dead. Traveling to the far reaches of the universe, beyond the limits of where he’s ventured in millennia, he finds no life to speak of — until he runs into an old friend. Just as King Thor has given up hope, he finds The Phoenix, possibly the final Phoenix, in the form of the one and only Wolverine.