Jason Aaron’s run on Thor has been legendary in multiple ways. Since taking on the mighty god of thunder in 2012, he’s explored the character as a cross-generational entity, as an appellation - with Jane Foster wielding Mjolnir - and even retold the origin story of the mighty hammer itself. His latest tale finds the son of Odin without his hammer and waffling about his very place in the universe.
During the “Original Sin” story arc, Nick Fury, Sr. became the Unseen after sort of murdering Uatu the Watcher (it's complicated). After his conversion, he whispered something to Thor which caused him to become ‘unworthy’ of holding the empowering hammer. Unworthy Thor #1 found the Norse hero, who now goes by his familial name Odinson, setting out on an adventure to find an alternate version of Mjolnir... and he found something fans will want to know about.
Asgard Is Missing
Though still a powerful deity, Thor Odinson took losing his place in the superhero pantheon particularly poorly. Swilling mead and thrashing trolls became a way of life until the Unseen, already responsible for his downfall in the first place, came to him and revealed the existence of yet another Mjolnir. Apparently, the hammer’s incredible will to survive allowed it to tear through the fabric of reality after its own Thor was killed and Marvel's "Ultimate" world collapsed during the events of Secret Wars.
Seeking the hammer, Thor heads to its last reported location, among the ruins of the abandoned Asgard. What he discovers, though, is that the entire former kingdom has vanished. Fortunately, he also finds his old friend Beta Ray Bill in the vicinity. Bill, it seems, has some insight into where the Norse realm went - and who took it.
Thor Gets Repossessed
Upon discovering the rumors of Thor's de-powering weren’t exaggerated, the equine-alien offers the Norse warrior his own mystical hammer, Stormbreaker. While flattered, Odinson declines the offer, instead prodding Beta Ray for more details. Before Bill can reveal the culprit, though, they’re attacked by the Asgard-nappers. The Norseman charges towards a solar system-sized transport on his trusty goat, Toothgnasher, but is knocked unconscious when the ship’s owner detonates a massive, ancient bomb.
Having avoided sleep for months, Thor’s brief period of downtime forces him to dream, during which writer Aaron gives fans some insight into the Asgardian's doubt about his own value - and his fears about being an outmoded deity (the subconscious sequence also includes a cameo from Gorr the God Butcher).
When Odinson awakes, he finds himself in the hands of yet another temperamental entity: none other than the Collector. It seems the ancient being swiped the remnants of Asgard with his sights on something much smaller and much more valuable.
Despite his herculean efforts, the Collector isn’t interested in Asgard or even Thor himself, but more so the secrets he believes the son of Odin can reveal about Mjolnir and how to pick it up. In order to elicit an answer from the tight-lipped deity, he threatens to slaughter the last living being from an otherwise-extinct species. As Thor scrambles to explain that he can't even hoist his former hammer, much less an alternate version of it, he tells the Elder that Mjolnir decides who is worthy of wielding it.
The Collector, who possesses countless objects of universal value, simply can't abide the idea that someone with his vast powers is incapable of lifting the Dwarf-crafted weapon. However, Taneleer Tivan's threats towards the alien spark a righteous anger in the Asgardian. Before the Collector’s henchman can shoot it, the hammer begins to glow, unleashing a powerful blast that knocks the would-be murderer off his feet. With Mjolnir's electricity coursing around him, Odinson realizes that he is Thor and he is worthy of the hammer.
But as he reaches for his Ultimate prize, the Collector shoots him in the back.
An Worthy Epic in the Making
Only two issues deep, the Unworthy Thor has already laid the groundwork for some serious intergalactic adventure. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place as Jason Aaron builds what looks to be yet another exciting story arc. The second issue is once again graced by Oliver Coipel’s gritty yet fluid artwork, which perfectly matches the feel and scope of the cosmic saga.
Even though Thor is on the verge of regaining his hammer and his worthiness, the Collector certainly won’t make it easy for him to succeed. Will Beta Ray Bill (assuming he survived the blast) be able to change the tides in his favor? At the same time, what is Nick Fury Sr.’s Unseen up to? First alerting Thor to the Ultimate Mjolnir, his next appearance is breaking into the Triskelion and brokering a deal with Thanos, which is never a good idea in the first place, but especially since this particular watcher has long-since overextended his mandate by getting involved.
As the adventures resume next month, it will be fascinating to see whether Thor finds redemption, and what role the Unseen and Thanos will play in the coming events – as well as how Thanos' role will tie-into his own ongoing series. If the Mad Titan is on the loose and in search of a mighty Asgardian hammer, things could definitely get interesting in Unworthy Thor.
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Unworthy Thor #2 is currently available online and in stores. Unworthy Thor #3 arrives on January 4, 2017.