Jason Aaron’s epic “The God Butcher”/”God Bomb” saga starts to show its age in “Thor, God of Thunder” #10, as three incarnations of Thor continue to alternate between being laid low and fighting the good fight against Gorr, the God Butcher. Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina continue, and succeed, in at least making that good fight look good, even if it’s gone on a little too long.
Aaron’s run on the title has been excellent overall, but this issue does little to further his story. The major elements in this issue are largely recurrences of past events; Gorr brutalizes young Thor, again, after his latest defeat. Young, current and elder Thor eventually reunite, again, to rise up against their foe. Little has really changed since the Thors of three eras first stood together to face Gorr two issues ago.
That said, Aaron chooses some pretty cool aspects to recycle. The grandeur of last issue’s battle isn’t quite achieved this time around, but it’s a grand spectacle nonetheless. Aaron continues to explore and further deepen Gorr’s self-defeating hatred of all deities, and takes it to a depth in this issue that alters the story dynamic a bit; probably the furthest progress made by the story in this chapter.
A story that’s been so dark, brutal and violent needs a touch of lightheartedness, which Aaron supplies in the form of elder Thor’s feisty granddaughters. The banter between these three warriors amidst a very grim circumstance helps ground the mood of the story and keeps the level of despair from rising too high and sucking all the fun out of the storyline.
As he has done consistently, Ribic brings all elements of this book to life, from the barren and bloodied otherworldly landscapes, to the beaten and grizzled but still regal appearance of a future Thor, to the bloody magnificence of gods battling a god-slayer. Svorcina plays no small part in setting the mood — the muted earth tones of Gorr’s bleak slaughterhouse world are in vivid contrast to the brighter reds more typical of the battle sequences, and the disparity helps offset the repetitive feel of the issue.
“Thor, God of Thunder” #10 has the feel of a second go-round on a rollercoaster; it’s fun and it’s a thrill, but all the while during the experience is this underlying feeling that it’s time for it to be over soon.