The Mighty Thor: At The Gates of Valhalla #1

by Harlan Ivester on May 16, 2018

At the Gates of Valhalla
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Jen Bartel & Ramon Perez
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            After having our hearts collectively torn out and shredded to pieces by the latest issue of the Mighty Thor, I was left wondering exactly how the transition between protagonists would go. I thought that The Mighty Thor: At The Gates of Valhalla might answer that, or it would take advantage of the space not available in Mighty Thor #706 to pound our emotions into the ground some more. Now, I’m not so sure why it exists at all. Mild spoilers.
            This issue is two parter, finally bringing back future Thor’s granddaughters to the spotlight. They go from past to more past to future to “present” throughout the pages, finding something whenever they go (I’m sorry.) to try to check off the boxes required for a good story. Their half of the issue is clearly supposed to be the heart felt side, while Malekith’s half is the dun-dun-dunnnnnn, the-worst-is-yet-to-come. It’s supposed to be an epilogue to Jane Foster’s time as Thor and a prelude to Odinson’s return, but it fails to pay tribute to what we love about Jane as Thor while also simply reminding us that Malekith is a bad guy, in case the Mangog was too distracting. What the Goddesses of Thunder have to say to each other is at least amusing, but Jane’s tears tell me that this script was aiming to make me shed some as well.
            Jen Bartel seems comfortable working on the first half. Her Goddesses of Thunder are beautiful and bad ass. Facial expressions capture the girls’ attitudes towards each other, rather than just adding an affliction to the word bubble that’s already there. Likewise, Ramon Perez’s efforts to reaffirm just how terrible Malekith is are much more successful. r/hittablefaces material. Matt Wilson is always an MVP to me. This issue isn’t as heavy on the magic as his Thor stuff normally is, so his energy is channeled more into emphasizing the mood. While the script may be failing to move me emotionally, the art team holds the book to a higher standard.
            If you wanted to read about Jane Foster at the gates of Valhalla, I’d read Mighty Thor #706 instead. That’s not to say that I didn’t like this issue because it’s subtitle wasn’t literal enough for me. It’s because I feel that that issue had more weight to it. The art is enjoyable throughout, but I found myself wondering what exactly the point of this one shot was since it doesn’t say good bye to Jane or “hey again” to Odinson in any meaningful way. It’s a no from me, dawg.

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