Thor #15 // Review
The War of the Realms comes to a close with a bittersweet epilogue in Thor #15, written by Jason Aaron, with art by Mike Del Mundo, and colors by Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso. Previously, Malekith the Dark Elf waged war on the Ten Realms and brought his full might down on Midgard (Earth, for you humans). The heroes of the realm banded together to stop Malekith, but his armies threatened to overcome even them. Finally, Thor united with his younger self, King Thor from the future, and Jane Foster, wielding the War Thor hammer, to bring Malekith down. In the process, Thor regained his worthiness and was able to reforge his hammer Mjolnir in the heart of the sun. Now, the war is over, and Odin wants his son to become the new All-Father of Asgard. Will he take the throne, or forge a new path in the wake of the Ten Realms’ greatest war?
This story serves as a pitch-perfect cap at the end of the massive War of the Realms, serving to tie up all loose ends, most importantly of which, “what’s going to happen to Thor now that he’s finally worthy again”? Aaron does a fine job of bringing his era to a close (even if this isn’t actually his final issue), hopping back and forth between Thor, Loki, Jane, and the now-dead Malekith showing the readers their ultimate fates (for the foreseeable future, anyway). Emotions run high in a particularly effective scene, where Thor has a heart to heart with the revived Mjolnir, and even more so when Odin finally shares his feelings with his son. There are so many well-earned moments in this issue, you can’t help but applaud Aaron’s storytelling as a whole.
There is a bit of a feeling of this issue being filler, or at the very least, stretching Aaron’s final chapters a little longer than they need to be, but he writes this stable of characters so well, you won’t mind having the ride extended a bit. Especially, when you get hints about cool things, like the evolution of Jane into the hero, she was always supposed to be, or where Loki’s heroic turn in Realms has led him. Even nearing the end, Aaron manages to surprise the readers. Thankfully, he’ll be co-writing the upcoming Valkyrie book, alongside Al Ewing, so he’s not entirely done with Asgard yet.
Del Mundo, whose next issue is his last, will be missed on this book. This man was born to draw Asgard, and its extensive cast of all manner of gods and beasts. Alongside his co-inker, D’Alfonso, he leaves an indelible mark on Thor in his final issues, and will, no doubt, be remembered as one of the bests this title has seen for years to come.
In the end, this quiet, peaceful little ending to The War of the Realms is exactly what was needed. It’s not brimming with excitement, or action, but instead focuses on the characters, what the war has meant for them, and where they will go next as a result of it. If you’ve loved Aaron’s run on Thor, as most people have, this issue is a must read.