Warning: Major SPOILERS for War of The Realms #6
The War of The Realms was never going to be won without changing Thor forever--and the rest of Marvel's Universe along with him. Now the war is finally over... ending in more spectacular fashion than any Thor fan likely thought possible.
An event years in the making, fans couldn't know just how much of Jason Aaron's time at the helm of Thor's story would be brought to bear on this final chapter. And while every Marvel hero gets their time to shine in this finale, there's no question that Thor's transformation is to thank for victory. The Dark Elf Malekith? Dead. His armies of the Nine Realms? Wiped out. Midgard? Recovering stronger than before, like so many other Realms.
The glory rests with Thor more than any other. The only questions fans will have to ask is... which version of Thor actually deserves more than the rest? We're diving headfirst into the climactic finale of the War of The Realms, so be warned that SPOILERS are coming fast.
Odinson Unites The Storm of Thors
When War of The Realms #5 left off, Malekith had engineered his final showdown by holding Odin and Freyja hostage at Stonehenge, relying on a magical safeguard. Should "anyone but Thor" arrive to face him, then the King and Queen of Asgard would be killed as a result. So as every fan of Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic's Thor: God of Thunder series now knows, when faced with a problem only Thor can solve, the only answer is to get more Thors. Retracing his father's path to higher godhood, Thor sacrifices his left eye for the wisdom to end the war. Having attained it, he then sends time travelers Mister Fantastic and The Thing to recruit Young Thor, God of the Vikings from his own past.
He then sends them forward to call upon Old King Thor, millions of years into the future. The elder god has known that the War of the Realms was coming for some time, and is all too ready to meet it head on (as his granddaughters read about it in their history books). This "Thor Corps," as the modern day Thor calls it, was previously chosen by fate to unite against Gorr the God Butcher (in his God of Thunder series). But as Thor trusts to the universe, Jane Foster trusts in herself... lifting what remains of the War Thor's hammer, and becoming her own Thor form once again. Together, they are 'The Storm of Thors' driving straight for Malekith. But they're not what Thor will need to truly win the war.
Mjolnir Returns, and Finds Thor Worthy
It's been some time since Jane Foster saved Asgard from extinction by throwing Mjolnir into the sun (and Mangog the mythical monster along with it), destroying the famous hammer. Thor took it to mean that Mjolnir, along with its power, had ceased to exist, burned up inside the sun. But small clues have been dropped as the War of The Realms heated up that not all was as it had seemed. And that the legacy of Mjolnir, like that of Thor, was about to change in dramatic fashion. And as Thor--the main Thor--faces off against the Dark Elf Malekith for one final fight to the death, the change finally comes screaming down to Earth.
The exact cosmic forces and larger meaning of Mjolnir's return can be discussed another day. For now, all fans need to see is the moment that the hammer falls to Earth, with its famous inscription carved anew: "Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." Despite Malekith's protests that Thor is still "unworthy" as he believed himself to be prior to Mjolnir's destruction, the god of thunder sees with more than just his eyes--sorry, his eye. From Thor's new point of view, it's the effort that counts. And if the past few years of Thor's life have proven anything, it's that he can never give up. Once Thor takes Mjolnir back into his hand... well, fans can guess what happens next.
Thor Ends Malekith With a Single Blow
After seeing the Dark Elf Malekith spend months grinning like the whiny, self-satisfied, and arrogant leader he is (in the best way possible), there is really no way to describe the satisfaction in seeing Thor landing a hammer blow directly across his chin. A blow so powerful, it manages to completely separate his body from the Venom Symbiote he had acquired and merged with in earlier issues. Granted, the Symbiote has likely been looking for any opportunity it could get, but still, it's no small feat.
Those who would fear that Thor's mercy would let Malekith live can also rest easy. While Thor offers to end the war if Malekith will surrender, the Dark Elf decides to rely on desperate bravado and empty threats. Unfortunately for him, his war dogs smell the fear he denies, and tear him to pieces themselves. So with the head of the army removed, and the Angels of Heven, Frost Giants, Trolls, Fire Goblins, and the rest of the monsters invading Earth driven back and defeated by the rest of Marvel's non-Thor heroes, the fight finally ends.
The final panel of War of The Realms #6, despite being a conclusion, marks this as "The Beginning" for its hero. It won't be hard for fans to see why, either. Having given his eyeball, and having replaced Thor's missing arm with the Destroyer's, the modern Thor is now the version that will presumably live to the end of the universe as Old King Thor. Thanks to the storyline glimpsed in Aaron's Thor series, it can be assumed that with this war now finished, King Thor can return to his own future at the end of the Marvel Universe, and fight his brother, the Symbiote Loki, to the death.
The Young Thor will return to his own time, and eventually grow into the mythic champion he watched save the Ten Realms from Malekith's darkness. But what about the modern day Thor? The future is still wide open for him... so here's hoping the next few months will be less of a test than the last few. Epic, glorious, and victorious as they may have turned out to be.
War of The Realms #6 is available now from your local comic shop, and direct from Marvel Comics.