Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Oliver Coipel + Kim Jacinto
Color Artists: Matthew Wilson
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Unworthy Thor #3 is the necessary “cool-down” chapter in this excellent mini-series.
After two phenomenal opening issues, Jason Aaron takes a well-deserved knee to unpack everything that has happened up to this point. He checks in with all of our protagonists and antagonists, pushes Thor (Odinson) farther on his self-introspective journey back to “worthiness”, and, most importantly, introduces a new and exciting conflict to carry us through the final chapters of the story. Aaron does a fantastic job with all this story work and sets the table incredibly well for the final act.
The issue starts with Odinson still in the clutches of The Collector. Odinson periodically escapes to blitz his way to the hammer that fell from the Ultimate Universe only to be constantly
brutalized by Collector’s henchmen at every occasion. Along the way, Odinson falls deeper into his existential depression, meets a dog that is definitely not as cool as Toothgnasher, tussles with the new players introduced into the book (I’m no snitch), and finally reaches a manly epiphany of needing to hit some people. You know, the part where the action hero looks at the camera and yells “I’m gonna kick your a**!!!!”, “I’m gonna end you!!!”, “Why is it extra for guac?!?!”, or “the streets will run red during the third act!!!” All of that stuff.
Good stuff? The Collector! Never before has this guy who kinda-sorta looks Benicio Del Toro been so cold, calculating, and outright menacing. Aaron, being the unsung hero of Marvel that he is, takes this fringe character whose essentially just a stamp collector and makes him a legitimate threat to Odinson and the rest of the Universe at large. Nice work.
Also, I really appreciated the plot structure of the book. I mentioned in the beginning that this issue was the necessary breather before the final act; the part where the heroes collect themselves and plan their final push. This is generally the most boring part of the arc but Aaron bucks that trend marvelously. By framing the issue around Odinson constantly escaping captivity and trying to blitz his way toward the hammer, Aaron gives us just enough action to carry us through the issue while also making enough time for Odinson to essentially spout off the necessary exposition. That, plus the way the new villains introduce themselves and another strong showing by Beta Ray Bill, the book leaves you salivating for issue four.
Bad stuff? Ha! As negative as I am, I have nothing bad to say about this issue. I could make a point of saying that, “oh this is the intermission”, “not much happens”, “not enough Toothgnasher”
but this break in the story is necessary to make the overall tale stronger. Unworthy Thor #3 is an excellent example of how to write such an issue as even though I knew it was the intermission, I never felt bored. I never felt this issue was filler and I was left excited about how the series is going to end.
Verdict: Buy! And Continue to Buy!
Unworthy Thor has been a fantastic mini-series and issue three is another strong installment. It’s the necessary intermission between the second and third acts but with Aaron’s excellent plotting and story structure, this issue gives us a great balance of exposition, plot advancement, and action that leaves you angry that you have to wait another month to see how it ends. I can’t recommend this series enough to anyone who’s ever been enamored with Thor and his hammer and I urge you to grab all three issues.