The Death of The Mighty Thor Part 4
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Matt Wilson
Cover: Russell Dauterman + Matt Wilson
Published: January 17, 2018
After seeing Jane Foster collapse at the end of the previous issue, this one opens with her and agent Roz in a flying car above New York City moments before Jane’s last transformation into Thor. They are talking about pizza when Jane is suddenly gone as a massive burst of thunder (“krakooom”) rolls across the sky. Elsewhere in in the city we see Sam Wilson trying to call Jane as he hears the thunder and Stephen Strange trying to get out of a garbage dumpster as he hears it. Their’s and Roz’s reaction are appropriately despondent as they know the cost of this decision. Cut to now and Jane is in a hospital bed in NYC, after she collapsed in Asgardia, surrounded by Roz, Odinson, Sam Wilson, and Dr. Strange. These are the only people who know about her other job and despite what’s happening in Asgardia they can only focus on her (and it’s not going well there). Heimdall, Cull and Asgardian warriors are battling the mangog on the rainbow bridge, trying to contain it and losing. In one powerful motion the mangog destroys the rainbow bridge, but still keeps towards the city. Meanwhile Dr. Strange is explaining how Jane’s cancer has metastasized and gone from treatable stage one to stage four in her liver. Each time Jane transforms the hammer purges the chemo treatments from her body but leaves the cancer cells, allowing them to grow. But even as her dire situation is explained to her Jane seems preoccupied until Mjolnir appears at the window beckoning. Back in Asgardia Lady Freyja take control of the Destroyer in a final desperate attempt to stop the mangog, while Odin sits on his throne. Cut back to earth where Jane is preparing to grab the hammer for what will be the final time. One last sacrifice, one last moment to stand among gods and fight. And she knows she is needed, she knows the mangog has reached Asgardia and is tearing across the city and through the destroyer as it makes its way towards the unstirred king. But Jane doesn’t grab the hammer and Odin gets off his throne and head towards what is very likely his final battle. He will not be alone though as Odinson arrives at his side and they face destruction together.
Jane does little to no talking in this issue so her motivations for not grabbing the hammer are up for speculation. Undoubtedly she realizes the futility of surviving for one final fight, and perhaps she even took Odinson’s words from last issue to heart when he asked her to use her strength to live. But maybe she knows that her fight isn’t with the mangog. Sure she would probably be able to hold him off or knock him back until the next time he came in judgement, but this fight is of gods and monsters. The gods still have to live up to the faith that is placed in them by Jane and the rest of humanity, and they must prove they deserve it. Its unclear how Odinson, Odin, Lady Freja and the rest can win this fight, but it is their responsibility to prove themselves worthy of their station. And this gets to something that Odinson says when he joins his father, that they they will preserve the realm and defeat the mangog as they have always done, “With thunder and blood.” This seems problematic because the mangog stands to judge them for the way they have always done things. That is a classic response by Odin and Odinson, but it seems that they need a better way forward if they are to survive. These are morsels to think about, and admittedly might be probing in the totally wrong direction, as this arc wraps up in the next two issues and the judgement of gods and fate of Jane Foster balance on a knife edge.
Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson have really figured out how to make the mangog extremely threatening. It is always sort of leaning forward is if it is always ready to rip someone apart. When it’s battling the destroyer they use perspective to show the size of the monster as it holds the destroyer in one hand and rips off it’s head with the other and then spits at Odin. And as terrifying as the mangog is, the scenes in the hospital are equally worrying. The way they draw Jane’s sunken eyes isn’t inhuman, but still extremely unsettling. She’s a shell without any color and very little life that exists to serve another purpose. But this depiction is necessary to show exactly what Jane has given during her service as the God of Thunder. The writing and art in this book, as always, continue to crack on towards a finale that promise to be very epic.
(Subjective) Score out of 10: 7