Creating Stakes in Mighty Thor 701

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

700 issues in, the gods of Asgard have faced annihilation numerous times. But they have always pulled through, because that’s how decades-long serialized mythologies work. Every threat must be bested in order to perpetuate the franchise. This isn’t something that bothers me: the “what happens” never concerns me as much as the “how it happens.” But for anyone demanding meaningful, lasting, concrete consequences in their storytelling should welcome the rise of Mangog. Mangog is here to kill the gods, and by the end of issue 701, he’s already got a definitive Win in his column. Continue reading

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Discussion: Mighty Thor 700

by Taylor Anderson and Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: Midway through the extra large, special 700th issue of Mighty Thor, Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, asks which ingredient is the most essential in the makeup of a Thor. It’s a good question, and one that writer Jason Aaron has been exploring ever since he took over the reigns of Thor some 60 issues ago. While Aaron has posed various answers to this question multiple times, he’s never come outright and revealed to readers what exactly makes a Thor Thor. That is, he’s never done that until now. Using the 700th issue as his podium, Aaron waxes poetic on the nature of Thor, presenting us with not so much a new Thor narrative, but a grand tapestry that relishes in pondering what Thor has been, currently is, and what it will always be. Continue reading

War Gets Gritty in Star Wars 37

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

One of the things that sets Rogue One apart from the other Star Wars movies is just how gritty it is. This isn’t a movie with whirling Jedis and fuzzy Ewoks. Most people who see it comment on just how much of a “war movie” it is — which is to say it forgoes the more family-friendly entertainment in favor of action that is grueling and violent. Star Wars 37 follows much in this same and while it might not be as compelling as Rogue One, it’s still a welcomely fresh take on the Star Wars universe. Continue reading

The Power of Humanity in The Mighty Thor 23

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

Late in The Mighty Thor 23, as Thor and the War Thor clash over the fate of Svartalfheim, Thor yells that they “have to behave like gods!” I have to wonder what gods she’s been hanging around to make that statement, because almost all of the gods Jason Aaron has presented us throughout his Thor epic have been reckless and arrogant at best, and downright sociopathic at worst. Throughout this issue, Aaron and artist Valerio Schiti seem to be arguing that godhood is more of a weakness than a strength.  Continue reading

A New and Exciting Adventure for R2-D2 in Star Wars 36

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

One of the reasons The Simpsons has endured for so many years is its deep bench of characters that can be called up to shoulder the heavy lifting of any particular episode. The Star Wars universe has a similarly diverse and beloved cast, and the Star Wars comic is at its best when it sloughs off any need to be connected to a larger continuity and just concerns itself with featuring the characters we love in new and exciting adventures. Continue reading

Hutt Temptations in Star Wars 35

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

After a series of long arcs and crossovers, Star Wars is switching formats to give us single issue stories that are mostly self-contained. Star Wars 35 is a lighter chapter where Han Solo and Chewbacca get back to their smuggler roots as they haul Grakkus the Hutt to a Rebel base. Continue reading

Discussion: Generations: The Unworthy Thor and the Mighty Thor 1

by Taylor Anderson and Drew Baumgartner

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: I never have high hopes for crossover issues simply because, more than anything else, they tend to be really goofy. Goofy can be a good thing, but the kind of goofy I’m talking about here isn’t. Going into this issue, I was prepared to be underwhelmed simply because the the idea of pre-Mjolnir Thor teaming up with the current Thor felt, well, goofy in a bad way. However, I am delighted by this issue because it knows exactly what it is. Writer Jason Aaron is firing on all cylinders in an issue that is at once funny, brazenly over the top, full of great character moments. Continue reading

Thor Morality Explored in Mighty Thor 22

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

War is all-consuming, even if the war itself is just. If you doubt the logic of this statement, just ask Volstagg what he thinks about the subject. After witnessing the deaths of innocent Dwarven children at the hands of fiery Muspelheim marauders, Volstagg has become the War Thor. In this role, he will do all he can to exact revenge on the Queen of Cinders, who ordered the strike on the Dwarves — even, it would seem, commit the same crime he’s avenging. But one has to ask: is killing children the act of a Thor? Continue reading

Hammer Time in Mighty Thor 21

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When it was first announced that a woman would take up the mantle of Thor a couple years ago, people were shocked. The uproar about this wasn’t so much about a different person being labeled Thor, but the fact that a this person was going to become Thor while using the Odinson’s signature hammer, Mjölnir. (I would be remiss not to mention that blatant sexism and fragile male egos also contributed to the backlash against a woman being named Thor, but that’s a different discussion entirely). There have been plenty of versions of Thor in the Marvel pantheon, but the idea of Mjölnir going to someone else seemed to agitate fans. That this bothered people raises a question: if a person is Thor, or a version thereof, based on which hammer they wield, who is actually the hero, the hammer or the person who uses it? Continue reading

Dramatic Irony in Star Wars 33

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are a lot of upsetting things that happen in The Empire Strikes Back: the Rebellion loses its primary base,Han is frozen in carbonite, and Luke finds out Darth Vader is his father. For all that, the perhaps the most disturbing part of the movie happens early on when Leia kisses Luke on the mouth in an act that borders on incest. That Leia and Luke didn’t know they were siblings when this happens doesn’t make the kiss any less disturbing, but you have to wonder why Leia even thought about it in the first place. Continue reading