“The Last Days of Midgard” storyline hits its finale in “Thor: God of Thunder” #23, written by Jason Aaron with art from Esad Ribic, colors from Ive Svorcina and lettering from Joe Sabino. “Blood of the Earth” brings about the conclusion of future-King Thor’s battle with Galactus and pauses the chess match between current-day Thor and Dario Agger, also known as the Minotaur.
While all five installments of this storyline have featured the present and the future, Aaron blurs the lines between the two a bit more convincingly in “Thor: God of Thunder” #23, cutting from one scene to the other as the thunder god is leaping into battle in the present and connecting with his quarry in the future. King Thor fights Galactus with a surprise weapon in hand, but one that makes a degree of sense to readers who been with the series throughout. In addition to balancing the two timelines nicely, Aaron spreads around the wealth to all of the characters in “Thor: God of Thunder” #23, giving Thor (both of them), Roz Solomon, Ulik, Agger the Minotaur, Galactus and the Girls of Thunder — Frigg, Ellisiv and Atli — all meaningful scenes or at least contributing dialog. One page, with four widescreen panels and one word balloon succinctly shows Aaron’s comfort with the character and knack for writing convincing and interesting exchanges.
Esad Ribic’s storytelling and economy of line — coated in colors from Ive Svorcina — amplifies the atmosphere of both the single page and the rest of “Thor: God of Thunder” #23. On that one page, letterer Joe Sabino makes every single one of the seven words count and does so in a manner that flows right into the artwork. The comic delivers plenty of other noteworthy exchanges, but that one single page, capped off with a satisfied, but vulnerable Thor, captures the essence of the story and this creative team’s work with the thunder god. Ribic and Svorcina conceal characters and dramatically light them throughout “Thor: God of Thunder” #23, making this comic appear more like an art book than a sequential tale. The story is quite clear, however, as Ribic moves readers through the story with great efficiency, but gives them enough to pause and absorb along the way. Sabino also gets quite a workout in this issue, lettering everything from Galactus’ anguished scream to the battle dialog between Ulik and Thor. In this work, it is quite clear that the letterer has fun rendering a variety of fonts and word balloon types. The visual contributors are perfectly matched to the character of Thor, regardless of the story point on the Thunder God’s timeline.
“Thor: God of Thunder” #23 is yet another fine example of what Jason Aaron brings to the character. The biggest difference is that readers see the conclusion (even if it is only temporary) of two storylines while a myriad of possibilities unfold for future stories. Despite being the fifth chapter of a five-part narrative, this comic is quite welcoming to new readers. Aaron and company pack in everything from science fiction to humor and wrap it around Thor, the Asgardian god who loves mortals — perhaps too much. “Thor: God of Thunder” #23 leaves readers with a cliffhanger, wondering what will become of Broxton, Oklahoma (or “Ooklahorma” as one of the trolls calls it) despite the completion of the dual conflicts that have driven “The Last Days of Midgard,” as Aaron continues to freshen up the mythology surrounding Thor.