The Mighty Thor #706

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Russell Dauterman

Colors: Matt Wilson

Cover: Russell Dauterman

Published: April 25, 2018

It’s no use tiptoeing around what happens in this issue as it needs to be discussed because it’s important and wonderful and a big surprise (I was not expecting it al all). The review for The Mighty Thor #705 signed off with “goodbye Dr. Foster, and may you find peace.” That was (it definitely was) a little premature as it turns out Jane Foster is… ALIVE! After she threw her hammer and attached mangog, into the sun, kissed the Odinson, and then passed away in his arms, Jane Foster found herself standing before the beautifully wrought gates of Vahalla. Back on the moon the Asgardian survivors gathered around Jane’s body as they saw for the first time who was The Mighty Thor. Odin, ignorant grumpy Odin, upon seeing who it was transports himself to meet Jane at the gates. Initially he is the same angry old man gesturing menacingly towards a very over it Jane (she’s dead after all). Eventually though he softens and even demonstrates appreciation towards Jane for her sacrifice and doing what no other god could. But even as the gates open and she looks at her reward the thought at the front of her mind is, “I wasn’t ready to die.” This book, from it’s first issue to it’s last has always been about hope and a celebration of life. The reviews of issue #704 and especially #705 really went in on the idea that Jane grabbing the hammer for both the first and last time were acts of hope, and were whatever the opposite of nihilism is (according to Camut it’s existentialism?). They were moments in which she affirmed the guiding ethos she had lived her life by. To protect and cherish and value life, even when it was extremely difficult and did not happen as she wanted/planned/expected. She loved life up to and past the end, and even when a future without pain or need or want is presented to her, she would prefer the weird, ugly, beautiful, glorious thing we call life.

The Mighty Thor (2015-) 706-006
Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson/Marvel Comics

At this point though, with the Asgardians on the moon and Odin standing next to her, the path back is not clear. Back on the moon, the Asgardians hear the rumblings of the Mother Storm that was released when the hammer flew into the sun. It seems to pause over Jane’s still lifeless body where an obstinate Odinson refuses to believe this is the end and begins to channel the storm into Jane’s body, because she too “has thunder in her veins!” Back at the gates Jane begins to feel a tug, and Odin can see it, back towards the world of the living. He arrives back at the moon as the Odinson struggles to channel the storm alone (it melts away his metal arm) and lends his abilities to the effort. With the two of them channeling the Mother Storm, and with a ‘KRAKOOM’ of thunder, Jane Foster is brought back to the world of the living. The rest of the issue is mostly setup for the next run of Thor which will see the Odinson return to the mantle, find a new hammer, and (hopefully) find a way to end Malekith’s treachery (its been a long time since he was mentioned). There is one very nice moment (it bangs a little of this scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming when Tony stark takes the spider-suit back) where Jane tells the Odinson that holding a hammer and flying about the nine realms does not make one Thor. He was, and will be Thor again because of his character, because he stands up for those who can’t even when the cost is great. It’s a nice moment between two characters with a bit of rocky history, but also a grounding for what the mantle of Thor means moving forward and what ‘worthiness’ means. In the final scene Jane looks out from the edge of Old Asgard as a memory of The Mighty Thor, hammer outstretched and a smile on her face, crosses the sky. Its a beautiful encapsulation of what has been a wonderful series that was always full of courage and hope.

The Mighty Thor (2015-) 706-016
Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson/Marvel Comics

The final page of this issue is so simple and so perfect. It’s brilliantly colored with pinks and purples and blues, and the depiction of The Mighty Thor is so powerful and majestic. Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson’s work on this book has been absolutely incredible stuff. They’ve been so consistent in their depiction of this nine realms and enough cannot be said of how they drew Thor. Even in the darker moments it was always colorful, there was always something interesting to look at, and it was never ever boring. With Thor they never missed an opportunity to show how powerful she is (rippling biceps and abs) but also let her be emotional and have feelings and just be a person who can be all sorts of different things at once. It was just… (chef’s kiss). Another scene worth mentioning in this issue is the moment when the Gates of Vahalla open. It happens in the clouds but Vahalla itself is bathed in this wonderful warm glow that you can imagine settles over someone like the best blanket ever. The colors are truly spectacular and its a great bucolic scene that welcomes you in. This though wasn’t meant to be Jane’s end point (I shouldn’t have doubted) because no matter how ideal that existence would have been, it can’t beat what life has to offer.

(Subjective) Score out of 10: 9

The Mighty Thor (2015-) 706-021
Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson/Marvel Comics

 

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