Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW

All-New Marvel NOW! finds its way to Midgard to sweep up the thunder god in "Thor: God of Thunder" #19.NOW, wherein Jason Aaron reacquaints readers with Roz Solomon, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent whose specialty is environmental law. Thor took a shine to her back in "Thor: God of Thunder" # 12, which is enough to fuel good-natured teasing from Phil Coulson.

In the first three pages of "Thor: God of Thunder" #19.NOW, Aaron jams in a memo from Roxxon Energy Corporation's new chief executive officer, a glimpse into the lonely depths of space and a "You speak whale" declaration. Aaron also throws in a flying S.H.I.E.L.D. car, some dead planets, giant subs and underwater ninjas. Under Aaron, Thor isn't simply limited to encounter other Norse gods or even gods from other pantheons, but rather against anything and everything Aaron can think of. In this comic, Aaron uses Thor to define the world around the thunder god. Thor seeks to make the world a better place and wishes for companionship along the way. That doesn't define Thor, but it does provide topography to his world.

With a capable creative crew composed of artist Esad Ribic, colorist Ive Svorcina, and letterer Joe Sabino answering every single one of Aaron's creative challenges, "Thor: God of Thunder" #19 is a spectacular looking book. The distant future of King Thor is orange, hazy and hot, serving a solid contrast to the sickly green barrenness of the issue's opening scene. Everything in between is gorgeously rendered, beautifully colored and playfully lettered. The sound effects of Mjolnir destroying gigantic whaling submarines in the ocean's depths are akin to those kids would make creating the same confrontation in the depths of a backyard swimming pool. Thor clocking a frost giant is given a full page, delivered only with images, no lettering necessary to relate the events of that image. These three visual artists do not hesitate to unleash their creativity, expanding the artwork to fill the adventure, giving one another space or augmenting the very best in their collaborators.

Taking on environmental or social issues in a comic book can be a dicey proposition with a slippery slope. Thor upstages Roxxon, but the manner in which that is accomplished is sure to leave readers wondering why that wasn't done sooner or can't be done more often. Aaron is competent enough to put a price behind Thor's gift. The writer also removes the face of the foe of environmental upheaval. Sure, there are proxies to punch, but the real problem is bigger than Thor, more widespread and more tenacious. Thor's ties to humanity may not lead to his downfall, but it will leave to heartache, as Aaron has already shown in previous appearances of King Thor. Environmental issues, fallen frost giants and returning resource plunderers make for quite a wide array of content in the pages of "Thor: God of Thunder" #19. NOW which serves up an in-progress jumping on spot for fans of the thunder god.

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