Jason Aaron's work with the Thunder god -- all three of them -- fighting Gorr, the God Butcher, has been remarkable, but the struggle comes to a close in "Thor: God of Thunder" #11. As with every installment in this adventure, this chapter, part five of the "God Bomb" story is full of action, adventure and new concepts spun from Aaron's imagination and given shape by the art of Esad Ribic.
Ribic's art is filled with power and texture. The darkness Gorr commands is scratchy and shifting. The power in Thor's physique is barely contained and when the two collide, funneling through the thunder and lightning of Mjolnir, readers are treated to a stunning visual spectacle. Ribic uses cross-hatching and traditional, hand-drawn patterns to illustrate texture and add depth. Occasionally, Ribic puts those over to the side, allowing colorist Ive Svorcina to define planes and shapes. In those instances, the figures pop out of the panels and out of the backgrounds. Svorcina uses a range of colors for the backgrounds, playing through the spectrum in accordance with the story.
Aaron's story is filled with emotion: Thor, Gorr, the little girl from Indigarr are all emotionally invested in the events of this book and Aaron treats them all individually, giving room for every voice to speak and every character to reach out in an attempt to connect with the reader. What could be a simple knockdown, drag-out fight to the finish filled with cliches and predictability is quite the opposite. After all, how often does the same hero team up with an older and a younger version of himself, wield twice the number of unique, enchanted hammers and still leave readers wanting more?
"Thor: God of Thunder" #11 contains everything that has made the series great. As Gorr's saga comes to a conclusion Aaron not only wraps up the story, but puts a bow on it. While the threat of Gorr is the threat of darkness and the unknown itself, Aaron is able to infuse the legacy of Thor with hope and gladness, giving readers an adventure to revel in on the way.
This might not be the greatest Thor story of all time, but Jason Aaron has made this the greatest Thor story for the present. So many fellow comic fans gripe about the condition of stories and the lack of emotion or happiness in comics today, but Aaron's work with this title challenges all of that, combining fun, excitement and adventure in every single issue. The Marvel NOW! movement gave Thor a chance to be refreshed and readers a chance to begin a new adventure. Eleven issues ago, I had no idea what we were going to experience. This has been beyond my wildest imaginings and I'm stoked to see what Jason Aaron and company have in store next.