The Thors operate like a police force and keep the peace on Battleworld, matched into partnerships for beat patrol and law enforcement. Writer Jason Aaron is no stranger to Thor (or even multiple Thors in a single issue) and that sensibility serves him and artist Chris Sprouse well in “Thors” #1.
Sharp-eyed readers will have seen several fan favorite thunder gods in various “Secret Wars” titles to this point but, in “Thors” #1, Aaron and Sprouse dial in on a baker’s half-dozen of these hammer-wielding heroes. Thunderer Thorlief (irreverently referred to as “Ultimate Thor” in story) and his peacekeeping partner, Stormbreaker Ray (who resembles Beta Ray Bill), are on the scene, called in by Thorius of Egyptia. The other Thors on hand include Runey (also designated the Rune Thor), his patrol partner, the Destroyer, and the unlikely pairing of Stormborn and Groot. Sprouse crafts each Thor distinctively, from headgear to hammer. The expressions vary, as does the range of said expressions from one Thor to the next, thanks to Sprouse and his distinguished inker Karl Story. Colorist Marte Gracia keeps all the Thors in a similar palette, with some exceptions driven by character, such as Stormbreaker Ray’s orange complexion.
When readers meet Throg, the trio of Sprouse, Story and Gracia deliver a vision that is not unlike the work of Walter Simonson, the first comic creator to cast Thor into the body of a frog. Later on, Sprouse leaves his impression on the character and manages to squeeze Kermit the Frog’s telltale disgusted expression in. Odinson makes a comical appearance and the art team delivers a strong rendition of the Ghost Riders, packing the flaming skeletal bikers in alongside astonishing details.
The story itself is a mystery, as Thorlief and Ray are set on the case of an Allthing: a crime so heinous it requires Thors solve it or risk losing their hammers. In the opening scene of the issue, Aaron completely reimagines the Thor mythology but aligns it to familiar story dynamics, like police procedurals, while using immensely powerful and dynamically fun characters. Readers unfamiliar with Thor’s history in the Marvel Universe can pick this up easily and be equally entertained. Of course, like most of the “Secret Wars” concepts, deeper experience shades the events and adds considerable depth to the adventure.
Aaron puts the reader alongside Thorlief and Ray and, by the end of “Thors” #1, he has not only provided enough evidence for the likeability of these characters, but he has given each a distinct personality, despite their similar assignment and comparable word balloons from letterer Joe Sabino. Just like any good cop show, however, Aaron chooses to focus on the characters behind the badges (or hammers) and gives readers reason to return for the next issue. It helps that Aaron, Sprouse, Story, Gracia and Sabino leave a striking cliffhanger for readers to reflect upon. “Thors” #1 is a must-read for fans of any thunder god but, for those who have truly enjoyed Aaron’s work on “Thor: God of Thunder” and “Thor,” this is a comic you cannot miss.