Thor #6 // Review
King Thor and Old Man Phoenix vs Doom, wielding the power of the Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Starbrand, and Doctor Strange! Who will win? Find out in Thor #6, written by Jason Aaron, with art by Christian Ward. Previously, in the far future (if that makes any sense), King Thor had revived Earth after it was destroyed, only to find out the universe was dying around it. He then went on a quest to investigate the universe’s death, and ran into Logan, aka the current host to the Phoenix Force. They fought when Old Man Phoenix told Thor it was time to let the universe die, but, back on Earth, the now-godlike Doom showed up demanding answers. Unhappy to see his homeland of Latveria had been replaced by a garden, Doom attacked the entire planet. Only King Thor and Old Man Phoenix working together have any hope of stopping him.
You can’t talk about this issue without addressing the epic action, if only because that’s what the entire book is. This is a dream fight, and you can tell it must have been on Aaron’s bucket list to write, because he definitely seems to be having the best of times delivering it to readers. The idea of Wolverine hosting the Phoenix Force is enough to get the average person’s attention, but throwing a souped-up Doctor Doom into the fight, and having him be able to go toe-to-toe with opponents on this level for the fate of the Earth, just yields insane results. Every beat of action, and the reasons for the fight, show just how well Aaron knows these characters. He makes full use of their personalities and fighting styles throughout this issue, and even manages to work in some decent character development for King Thor and Old Man Phoenix in the process.
The story, itself, while an entertaining interlude, only shows hints of a connection to the ongoing saga in the present, but, with a promising surprise ending, there is hope that it might connect back to the past through some sort of time-traveling Marvel fun. These trips to the future (and sometimes the past) are a hallmark of Aaron’s Thor run, but sometimes it’s hard to discern their significance to his ongoing story. Are they just an entertaining sidestory that he picks up once in a while, or will they eventually connect in a larger way? The audience is usually left in the dark, but luckily, they are always fun enough that it doesn’t matter. This issue was no different.
Christian Ward, while different in style to the regular artist, Mike Del Mundo, is actually the perfect artist to handle those duties in his absence. Like Del Mundo, he is a master of fantasy art, so it makes him a perfect fit in the world of Thor. Not only that, but his design for the future Doom is inspired, combining all the most important visual elements of Iron Fist, Starbrand, Doctor Strange, and Ghost Rider with Victor in a perfectly balanced way. This could have been a mess, but in the hands of Ward, it has become something that will be remembered by the fans for some time, and surely be used again in future stories.
In the end, this was an amazing, action-packed, super-fun detour into the future of Thor and the Marvel Universe. If you’ve enjoyed Aaron’s take on King Thor in the past, you will love this issue. If you’re new to Aaron’s Thor altogether, buckle up; it’s a wild ride full of pure insanity, but it’s worth sticking around for the next big ball of crazy he’ll inevitably throw your way.