THE MIGHTY THOR: AT THE GATES OF VALHALLA #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Jen Bartel, Ramon Perez, Matthew Wilson, Joe Sabino
Edited by Sarah Brunstad, Wil Moss, Tom Brevoort
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 16, 2018
I thought my last review of The Mighty Thor would be my last words about thunder and hammers for awhile, but I didn’t make it long. Who can stay quiet when you get a comic like this dropped into your lap?
At The Gates Of Valhalla tells two tales: one of the mighty Goddesses of Thunder, who you’ll recognize from earlier in Jason Aaron’s Thor run, and a “check-in” with Malekith and what’s going on in the War of the Realms. You know, that little thing that was happening over there. These stories act as both an epilogue to Jane’s tale and primer for what is coming in the future, with some subtle hints placed here and there that definitely piqued my interest.
The Goddesses of Thunder are as fun as ever in the first story, “The Tomorrow Girls”, featuring Jen Bartel’s fantastic pencils. Bartel’s style is perfect for this tale, and she captures the attitudes of these Goddesses well. They have all the fire and fury of a young Odinson, and you’ve never seen such joy at the sight of a troll. Their banter is fantastic, and moments near the end of this story were truly sweet. Matt Wilson’s colour work is a great compliment to Bartel’s pencils, and I’m more excited than ever for Blackbird to be released.
Ramon Perez handles pencil duties for the second story, “The Lord Of The Realms”, and I have to commend editorial for choosing two artists that have differing styles without having conflicting styles. It is obvious that two different people penciled this comic, but the transition from one story to the other is not jarring, like if the combination was starkly contrasting styles like Bartel and Andrea Sorrentino or something like that. Perez’s work is, as always, solid. He and Aaron take readers on Malekith’s Tour Of Mayhem (TM), acting as either a jump on point for the War for new readers, or a reminder of how much shit this elf is kicking up all over the place. Aaron weaves new information into the tale for readers who have been along for the ride since the start, achieving a good balance of introduction/recap and being worthwhile for existing readers. In the end, the creative team got me excited to see hammers hit this jerk’s face at some point in 2019.
The Mighty Thor: At The Gates of Valhalla #1 bridges the gap between these two “eras” of Thor well. We have an epilogue for Jane’s run with a call back to Old King Thor’s time, and a look forward at the mayhem that is coming to the Realms in future issues. Thor fans, give yourself the treat of two solid stories by skilled creators as you get ready for the next volume of Thor, because there must always be a Thor!
The Verdict: 9.0/10