In the wake of Jane Foster's death, Odinson is back again as the mighty Thor.
It's been a long time since Thor last wielded Mjolnir. Back in 2014, Nick Fury's whispered truth left Thor unworthy. The hammer was ultimately picked up by Jane Foster, whose worthiness was proved by her willingness to sacrifice herself. Every time Jane picks up Mjolnir, the effects of her chemotherapy are reversed. And it's all building up to the tragically inevitable death of Thor.
Marvel is now beginning to reveal what comes next. Writer Jason Aaron is continuing to chart Thor's ongoing tale, but this time he's partnering up with artist Mike Del Mundo. In an official synopsis released to ComicsBeat, Marvel has teased an intriguing new twist.
"The artifacts of Asgard have been scattered across the Earth, and to reclaim them, Thor will have to face some ugly truths…Like the production cost of hundreds of new hammers! And he’ll need every last one of them if he’s going to stop the unstoppable when none other than the Juggernaut joins the fray."
Aaron is clearly excited about this latest relaunch. "Even though Thor Odinson is now reclaiming his mantle," he explains, "this new volume will also be going in a very different direction." He promises that the entire Marvel Universe has been changed by Jane Foster's death. That presumably has something to do with the Asgardian artifacts scattered across the globe, and the multitude of hammers Thor is wielding on the cover. Why are there so many hammers? And why is Thor paying for the "production cost" of these hammers?
Jane's death may have changed everything, but it hasn't brought an end to the War of Realms. The conflict has just escalated to a new level. The monstrous being known as the Mangog has launched a devastating attack on Asgard. He's beaten both the Odinson and Odin himself to a bloody pulp. Jane has been forced to pick up Mjolnir one last time, well aware that it will mean her death. She's just arrived on Asgard, ready to take on the Mangog and battle for the fate of the gods.
It's certainly an appropriate point for a Thor relaunch. Marvel has announced the "Fresh Start" initiative, an attempt to draw fans back after declining sales through 2017. It seems to feature a lot of classic characters stepping back into the spotlight, and Thor is clearly one of them. There's a sense in which Jason Aaron has been telling only a single story over the last six years, and this is just the next chapter of it.