by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
In the six issues of Jason Aaron’s latest Thor relaunch, the veteran writer has the most fun with an arc set in the far future at “the end of time.” While it’s certainly been a trip to see Marvel staples like Wolverine and Dr. Doom juiced up with powers of other heroes, I was most affected by the commentary at work – both from environmentalist and societal perspectives.
The first notable instance of this is during the interlude where “The Worm” (Loki) is tormenting Ego the Living Planet to get what he wants.
The idea of a planet tearing itself apart to rid itself of a tiny worm is an effective and relatable image – who among us hasn’t been driven into a frenzy trying to swat one measly fly? While we have been in Ego’s position, more often it seems that we are the worm – exploiting the Earth for our own personal gain at the expense of the planet itself.
Eventually Loki’s “whispers” drive Ego mad, leaving him broken and defeated. He gives in and tells Loki that he can take whatever he wants from him. Without laying the metaphor on too thick, this really feels like a metaphor for taming the Earth by beating it into submission and sucking all of the life out of it for our benefit.
The main hook of the story however focuses on All-Father Thor and a Phoenix-possessed Wolverine battling Dr. Doom – who has been imbued with the powers of Iron Fist, Starbrand, Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider. With a far-out premise like that, artist Christian Ward does not fail to deliver.
Ward’s colors are powerful and electric. The orange red flames match the cosmic powers that are battling, worthy of The Phoenix itself. There is a powerful contrast on display during the battle, with verdant green landscape of New Midgard juxtaposed with the volcanic showdown at the Earth’s core.
Again I find myself returning to the commentary angle. Doom and Thor are battling for generations – 99 years to be specific. In that time the people of New Midgard move on and become used to the violence and destruction that their battle creates.
They have become apathetic to their circumstance, similar to how we are with many things climate change and otherwise. It is easy to become complacent, but unlike the residents of New Migard, we don’t have an All-Father to save us from our apathy.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?