By Eric Drumm
The Marvel Universe is home to heroes, villains, monsters, space bugs and just about anything else that the House of Ideas can dream up. With that in mind, its not far-fetched for a god to come to Earth and pick a side. Luckily for us, the Norse God Thor
decided to fight for good. And just what is Thor the god of? THUNDER!!! And that's just what crashes across the heavens when he makes his triumphant return in THOR #1.
Shortly after his debut in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83, Thor joined his fellow heroes as a founding member of the Avengers. Inhabiting the body of a young doctor named Donald Blake, Thor became the heaviest of hitters in the Marvel U, regularly knocking out the Hulk
and as well throwing down with Thanos
-level villains. Armed with his mystical hammer Mjolnir, Thor was a literal force of nature, bringing down the thunder on all evil.
However, even the mightiest inevitably fall. After a costly battle with his evil brother Loki
and the Asgardian fire demon Surtur, Thor left the Earthly plane. Peacefully hibernating in a sort of limbo, Thor left without telling his fellow Avengers. With his whereabouts unknown, it was assumed that he was missing and would hopefully one day return. Strap in, kids. That day has come.
But where exactly has he been? More importantly, why has he come back now after the devastating events of "Avengers: Disassembled" and CIVIL WAR? Writer J. Michael Straczynski [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN] says that it all comes down to choice. "Thor has been in a kind of limbo, having accepted his own death and the death of all things Asgardian," he explains. "But his work is not yet done, and a call comes from the most unlikely of places, forcing him to choose between returning to the living world and staying where he is. It's the fundamental choice we must all make between finding something worth living for, versus something worth dying for."
Normally, we'd think that a god would have a grand return. Perhaps descending from the heavens into the middle of Times Square or onto the White House lawn. In this case, the God of Thunder lands in a fairly unexpected place--Oklahoma. It seems odd that Thor would choose this destination for his springboard back into action, but JMS says that it's only natural. "In classical mythology, you could be crossing an open field and come across a god...Diana, Hercules, Thor, they weren't removed from the human world, they were right there amongst us," he professes. "I wanted to go back to that model, for both the contrast it gives us and a sense of how the gods fit in to our own lives. And there's a specific reason for Oklahoma that can be found by anyone looking to do a little historical legwork...." The clues are out there, so stopping by the library on your way to pick THOR #1 is highly recommended.
Although he is set to return, Thor is going to find that things are quite different than how they were when he left. Let's see what has changed: Scarlet Witch
went crazy, destroying Avengers mansion and braking up the Avengers
(oh, and she killed Ant-Man
in the process), the Hulk was banished into space only to recently return with major anger issues in WORLD WAR HULK, the government has passed the Super Human Registration Act, his fellow heroes fought against each other in a superhero Civil War (which involved a clone of himself blasting a hole through hero Goliath
) and his good friend and teammate Captain America
was gunned down after being disgraced and arrested. It's plausible that he might be more than a little confused. With his friends either dead or potential enemies, and his image kicked through the dirt a bit, he might be more angry than confused. When a thunder god gets angry, destruction is almost a given. Just how ticked off will he be? "Ticked won't begin to cover it," JMS assures us. "He and Iron Man
are going to have a massive throw-down over what Tony Stark did in his absence. We'll also deal with registration as only Thor could deal with it." An off-handed guess of how Thor will deal with it is that he will toss around his magic hammer and fire off a few lighting bolts. But that's just a wild guess. We'll all have to read the series to find out.
Dealing with the world that had carried on without him, Thor will have to get adjusted pretty quickly. However, he came back for a reason, so he must focus on his immediate task and keep punching Iron Man into outer space as secondary. "The main task before Thor is to find his new place in the world and return the lost Asgardians to life, a task that will take a long time to accomplish, and require things of him he may not be prepared to give," says JMS. "And some of those Asgardians, once recovered, may not be quite what they'd been before they died...." he mysteriously added in a spooky voice.
Art thou prepared for the second coming of the son of Odin? You better be. THOR #1 by J. Michael Straczynski arrives July 5..