He’ll Bring the Ax, She’ll Bring the Hammer! (Thor Generations #1 Review)

Written by Jason Aaron

Drawn and Colored by Mahmud Asrur, Jordie Bellaire

Cover Art by Mahmud Asrur, Jordie Bellaire

Variant Covers by Olivier Coipel & Jason Keith, Das Pastoras & Alex Ross, Jack Kirby & Paul Mounts, Dale Keown & Jason Keith

Marvel Generations has arrived! Taking a page from DC’s playbook and offering a unique glimpse into how various characters that have worn the hero titles over the years would interact is now in stores. Thor Generations stars the original Odinson, in his distant past before he earned the right to wield the mighty Mjolnir and the newest hero to take up the namesake: Jane Foster, the Mighty Thor, who transforms from a weak cancer-riddled mortal into the Goddess of Thunder.

Here’s a high level breakdown of the issue and the recent history between Odinson and Mighty Thor!. While I do my best to keep away from spoilers, beware of the risk when reading below if you haven’t read any recent Thor material over the last several years.

Thor Comic History You Need to Know: Odinson debuted way back in 1963, during the Silver Age of comics. He was inspired by the Norse God that goes by the same name. Originally a ego-centric hothead, it’s only when Odin attempts to inspire humility in his son and casts him down to Midgard (Earth for us fellow mortals) does he truly gain the worthiness required to wield Mjolnir. Choosing to stay on Earth and continue his double life as both mortal physician Donald Blake, with co-worker and eventual lover Jane Foster, Thor joins the ranks of the original Avengers team.

Fast forward several decades (and several stories) later, Odinson eventually loses his access to Mjolnir when a Watcher-imbued Nick Fury reveals “Gorr was right” in a whisper that was teased about but not revealed for several issues. For those unfamiliar with the plot written by Thor writer Jason Aaron, Odinson faced a villain named Gorr the God Butcher for several issues in the Thor: God of Thunder title. Gorr was a villain who believed all beings who dubbed themselves ‘Gods’ were self-serving and unworthy of the worship they received from mortals, having experienced the loss of his family from a so-called ‘God’ and taken a vendetta against anyone wielding the title since. When this whisper was revealed to Odinson, it showed that somewhere in his unconscious psyche he truly believed the words whispered to him, causing him to lose the access to the hammer.

To fill the void left by Odinson, Jane Foster was claimed by the hammer and took up the mantle of Mighty Thor in Odinson’s place. Jane’s tie to the hammer is much more controversial than Odinson’s, not only due to the fact she’s female and mortal but that she suffers from a cancer diagnosis and the use of the hammer weakens her form with each use, as the transformation negates her chemotherapy treatments. Odinson, now dubbed the Unworthy Thor, sought to redeem himself, eventually taking up the axe JarnBorn when refusing the alterate-timeline Ultimate Thor hammer, as Jane was wielding Mjolnir. Writer Jason Aaron did an amazing meta-inspired parody in the comics when some Marvel fans reacted badly to her ascension as the newest Goddess of Thunder, having Odin and several members of the nine realms reacting harshly to her new Godhood-like powers. Because of this hostility, for several issues Jane did not reveal her identity.

Eventually, Odinson learns of her identity and lashes out at first, playing back to how his original ego halted his access to the hammer. Hopefully, in upcoming issues, he’ll remember his humanity and humility, and if Jane does not survive her turn with the hammer, he’ll be ready to fill her shoes.

What You’ll Find Out in Generations: Generations picks two different Thors, in two different timelines, and places them both in the same space for several hours. As is with the current comics, Odinson does not have access to Mjolnir and Jane does. This causes understandable friction between the two, with Odinson wondering why he’s somehow not worthy yet she is, giving a nod to how the older Thor in current active comics might stand to also be bitter at the circumstances of his fate.

The comic takes place when Odinson is young and has yet to be cast down to Midgard and earn his worthiness. Having been tricked into a visit to Earth by adopted brother Loki when he should be attending a regal function with father Odin, Odinson quickly becomes embroiled in the local drama. He joins forces with Vikings who have traveled to ancient Egypt for plunder and fame and prayed on his assistance. There, he and his Viking worshippers encounter the X-Men foe, En Sabah Nur (AKA Apocalypse), and his cult Clan Akkaba. Odinson is amazed at the power of Apocalypse and is soon aided by Jane, who is transported to the battle by unknown means. Odison eventually concedes that she is a good ally, despite his discomfort at she wields the hammer instead of himself.  Once the fight is over, Jane shares what she believes made him worthy of the hammer in the first place, offering a bonding between the two. As she vanishes back to her timeline, you see Odinson dismiss her as a witch.

What Just Happened? Periodically through the comic, Odinson is visited by his father, who is displeased with his son’s motivations and character. After the fight in Egypt, the readers witness Odin and Phoenix having a tête-à-tête, revealing to readers that they have a history. Not just any history, as the last panel has them embracing.

Marvel has been dropping slow teasers about the upcoming 1,000,000 BC Avengers, showing audiences that the Avengers was in fact NOT the first Avengers. Perhaps Odin and Phoenix Force, who are both part of the team, have some as-of-yet unrevealed history?

Final Rating: 9/10

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this issue, even with the oddball Phoenix/Odin love history bomb. Jason Aaron is becoming one of my favorite writers at Marvel. I hope we continue to see his awesome writing abilities for many, many years.

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Erin Schramm
Executive News Editor/Comic Reviewer/Podcast Diva
A nerdy comic fanatic located in Dallas, Texas. Happily living the MWOK life (married without kids) with an enormous amount of comic-related paraphernalia.

Comic Reader, Toy Collector, Movie Hoarder and wannabe Foodie.