I was not prepared for this. When someone tells you that this run of Thor has been the best work produced from Marvel in current years? They aren’t lying. It doesn’t get better than a run spanning through a series of books interwoven because the writer actually had a long-term plan in mind. There are still some readers out there who struggle to even understand how we got around to Jane Foster’s Thor, and the answer to that? Its one piece of a larger story told. All of which has led us back to the days of King Thor as he fights for the continued existence of life in the multiverse.
This creative team put everything they could muster into this final chapter. I was already blown away by the fact that there was still gods to answer the call to action at the end of time, but it was another thing to see how Thor and Gorr could continue defying limitation with each flip of the page. My jaw was on the ground when Gorr first unleashed his ocean of black on Thor and Loki. Though when he went so far as to engulf everything into himself? There was nothing but chills. You could easily calls this a game of 1-up between them, but overall this was Aaron proving his understanding of the appeal in being a god. That being that there should be nothing you can’t accomplish when you acknowledge that the power of a god is nothing without faith from the people who worship you, belief in what you yourself can do, and the determination to break the ceiling because you represent an ideal.
What was so empowering about this final issue was also the fact that after all of these years, it would be now where Thor finally comes to understand what’s his driving force. Up to this point you could always say it was the desire to be worthy, but this only scratched the surface of what he needed to find within himself to do the impossible. He had to realize what it meant to actually be a god. The responsibility that goes with it, and beyond simply creating or restoring faith. It helped that even Thor wasn’t the only person learning this in the moment. I suppose all it really takes is facing the literal end of everything.
Speaking of the end of everything, it was heartbreaking to see where this was all leading to. No matter how this story ended, it was never going to be a truly happy ending. Maybe for the people who these gods have saved, but not all could move forward without taking that one last step to preserve what was still left. Before this issue started, I was riddled with questions surrounding how you destroy all that Gorr now is, when Gorr is now everything. When this happened, there was no way of turning back. The answer to those questions was quite brilliant on Aaron’s part. There was only one thing left that any god could do in Thor’s position, and the execution of that moment and choice was beautiful. In that moment, it wasn’t even just about what it meant to be a god. It was also about what it meant to be a hero.
Now when I saw the page count for this issue, part of me was really wondering what they were planning to do with those extra pages. I found it very smart that they went with the decision to use some of that spare room to for the last time make the statement that everything about this Thor run involves all Thors. This is the story of Thor whether we are talking about his past, present future, others who have picked up the hammer, others who have yet to pick up the hammer, and even those who wield the hammer in different realities.
Ribic and Svorcina went above and beyond for King Thor #4. Masterful work from these two as they took perfect command over the darkness of Gorr and the explosive lightning of Thor. From the start of this issue I was blown away by what a dark universe looked like. Many would struggle with handling that many shades of black without losing everything to it, but that was not this art team. They nailed it with what it should look like when the only light source s roaring lighting fighting back against black. The effect produces just enough of a light source that you get those highlights giving room to shape and range that dips into shades of purple. Aside from this, even the warmth of the sun was something to appreciate as it radiated overtop of that darkness. They definitely went out in style as well. It went a long way that even through the final exploration of all these Thors and hammer wielders throughout space and time, that the artists who breathed life into them could be right there to do it again for one last send-off. I mean it was one thing to see all of those names that would be involved with this issue listed, and another thing to see each of their works put on display. Quality work from each and every one of them.
With the conclusion of King Thor #4, that’s it. Seven years spanning and here we are at the culmination of everything the God of Thunder has been through since his first encounter with Gorr years ago. This was an epic in the making seven years ago, and ended turning this into exactly just that. I don’t know what the next run of Thor will bring us, but that creative team will have some big shoes to fill if they aren’t trying to captivate us with the embrace and terror of being a god.