Thor, Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron is a much better than advertised tale of Gods and Goddesses and the role of male and female even in the realm of the Gods of Asgard. Jason Aaron handles this deftly without becoming annoying. He does it by just telling a damn good story.
After the events in Original Sin, Odinson; the God of Thunder is rendered unworthy and cannot lift the hammer, Mjolnir. He falls into a deep depression from the words whispered in his ear by Nick Fury. The Hammer of Thor, Mjolnir, lies dormant on the surface of the moon, waiting to be called into battle. But when the Frost Giants, with the aid of a evil elf, invade the Earth, the Hammer of Thor is called into battle. Mjolnir responds to the call of one who is worthy, the mysterious Goddess of Thunder. Her identity hidden from all, even the all knowing Odin, the Goddess of Thunder flies into battle against the Frost Giants.
However the new Goddess of Thunder finds that her help is not welcomed by all. Odin rages at the thought of a woman holding the Hammer Mjolnir. Then there is Odinson, the original Thor, whose anger that someone else, an impostor would dare to take up the mantle of Thor. But the Goddess has allies as well, in the form of the Goddess Frigga, Queen of Asgard, wife to Odin and mother of Thor.
Jason Aaron takes a concept (which is not new by the way, a woman has carried the hammer before and taken up the mantle of Thor) and makes it much more than a statement on the diversity of the new Marvel regime. He turns it instead into a good tale of Gods and Goddesses and the lack of acceptance to change.
The new Thunder Goddess wins the grudging respect of Odinson as he watches her in battle wielding Mjolnir. He recognizes that she is indeed worthy to wield the hammer of Thor. The mystery being, why is he no longer worthy? What were the words whispered in his ear by Fury. This underlying mystery, as well as the identity of the new Thor makes for a terrific backdrop to the adventure and battles between the Thors and the Frost Giants. Toss in a mad elf king and a minotaur and the clash between Frigga and Odin and you have one of the better reads put out by Marvel.
A good fun read.
Thor, Volume 2: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron ties together books 6 – 8 of the series and reveals the identity of the new Thor, Goddess of Thunder.
Still Battling the Frost Giants who are after the skull of their fallen King, Thor the Goddess of Thunder finds herself pursued by an even more powerful force. The Destroyer from Asgard, wielded by Odin’s mad brother, Cul Borson, to hunt down the new Thor and take back the hammer Mjolnir. Frigga, knowing that this is folly, gathers together a group of superheroes and warriors, all women, to stand alongside the new Goddess of Thunder to battle the Destroyer.
Odinson, the original Thor, has been busy himself. He recognizes that the new Goddess of Thunder is indeed worthy of wielding the hammer, but must know who she is. He compiles a list of suspects and visits each one, doing his best investigating which is something he is very bad at. But still he cannot fathom who she is. When he learns of Odin sending the Destroyer after her, he stands at her side.
What makes this book work is the battler of wills between Frigga and Odin over the new Thor and the shared sense of duty that Thor the Goddess of Thunder and Odinson share. Odinson does provide quite of bit of comic relief while the Goddess of Thunder battles not only the Frost Giants but the will of Odin himself, the AllFather.
The unveiling of the new Thor is somewhat of a surprise, but for those of us who have read comics for years and not relied on the movies to shield light on the Marvel Universe, there could have been no other choice.
After all, she has wielded the hammer before.