“Thor God of Thunder” #6 from Jason Aaron and Butch Guice tells the origin story of Gorr, the God Butcher and doesn’t feature any Thor. The issue presents the major beats in Gorr’s life that fuelled his desire to kill gods, and then give him the opportunity to do so. This issue is a kind of one-shot between arcs and works relatively well as a history lesson fleshing out the character and enriching the overall story while not being completely necessary. This is a fast paced issue that packs in many eras and progresses the character quickly.
Gorr, as presented in the opening arc of Aaron’s run on the book, has been an outstanding villain. Powerful and menacing with a belief in his cause, Aaron has set up a wonderful opponent for the God of Thunder. This issue attempts to unpack the original why of where this mischievous quest began. The writer is mostly successful in making readers understand and feel why Gorr snaps and begins his villainous ways. The entire scenario and character arc is actually a massive and effective deconstruction on religion as a whole and pushes forward some dramatic questions without feeling sacrilegious in the real world. Make no mistake, though, this is a great commentary on what faith and delivery mean to actual people, especially when you have one but do not receive the other.
My main problem with this issue is that much of it feels a little straightforward. This issue demonstrates why Gorr has a problem with Gods, but there isn’t anything exciting about how it’s done. It is possible that such an impersonal disconnect is part of the whole gag, but it comes across as a touch flat. I couldn’t wrap my head around a planet where the people live under the constant weathering damage of the sun. Planets are spheres and unless there was a binary sun on the exact opposite side of the nameless planet (which is science I don’t even know could work), these people should have gone to the cold side, or the bridge area which is surely tropical. Though it must be said this origin take had a very golden age pace and vibe to it so these small questions most likely aren’t as serious as half a paragraph might intonate.
The art on this title from Esad Ribic has been gloriously received and I’m not usually a fan of an art change up in these types of runs. However, Butch Guice does great work here and Aaron makes this in between one-shot so different from everything else that it actually feels like a different style was demanded and the issue works better for it. This is a great way to treat a necessary art break and make it feel organic. Guice always designs a clean and yet innovative page. His style here — with Tom Palmer on inks — feels like a jam-packed origin issue from decades ago.
“Thor God of Thunder” #6 is an intriguing and throwaway one-shot origin tale of Gorr that establishes why he wants to kill all the gods. The pacing is brisk and the character moments come thick and fast. There is no major defining moment that will grip you in Gorr’s build up but the reveal of the first gods he sees is a fantastic Jack Kirby style splash of deliberate pomp and grandeur. Overall, this is an informative and emotional done-in-one origin tale but it doesn’t feel essential. It’s fun, but readers will be very keen to get back into the larger story.