“Thor: God of Thunder” #8 from Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic is a continuation of the overarching “God Butcher” storyline. This issue continues to be equally spectacular as previous installments, as a young Thor rallies the hordes enslaved on a world the God Butcher uses to fuel his ultimate weapon, the God Bomb. There are some deep character moments among the high action, and the result is one of the most unique Marvel stories to date.
Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic deliver a pulp Thor that hasn’t been around enough of late. Readers have seen superheroic Thor and mythic Thor, yet this take on the God is more like an old pulp paperback novel with exceptionally pleasing results. Thor walks around with his shirt off as entire worlds populated with Gods work tirelessly to generate a bomb the size of a moon. These ideas are gonzo and you can’t help but feel Aaron is drawing more from the early pulp masters than he is deep mythology or other Marvel canon. This is a wild ride with every aspect turned up to an electrifying degree.
The time travel component of this storyline is kept simple and not deeply explored, which makes it work all the better. Aaron gets to drop some cheeky moments and references but he doesn’t completely need to map it all out. The audience merely needs to understand the event is happening, not necessarily how it happens. The intricacies would only slow everything down and the speed is part of the allure of this frenetic narrative.
Esad Ribic draws a definitive Thor that looks like the God always should have looked. The muscles are strained and visceral, the faces are full of pride and hubris. Ribic conveys acres of story in just a reaction, but he can also depict a space ship soaring through the cosmos, under attack from space sharks. The idea is ludicrous, but Ribic pulls it off with aplomb. From the Girls of Thunder to the God Bomb itself, this book is loaded with things that would make Frank Frazetta fans smile.
“Thor: God of Thunder” #8 is a warped look at how intricate and involved myths can sometimes become. Aaron takes everything a step too far but he also makes it all work. Aaron writes some spectacular characters and he matches these moments with gigantic thought explosions that make the book fun while still holding real stakes. This book is the high adventure pulp serial Thor has always needed. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.