Today I wade further into the depths of Marvel Legacy with the anniversary Mighty Thor #700.
Renumbering for this title seems inevitable as the book climbed to number 700. Towards the back of the book, on the page with the digital code, there is a breakdown of how the numbering works here. I’ve heard online that the math doesn’t really work out for this, but I’m not going to double-check it. I feel like there’s a conflict with the ’90’s Journey Into Mystery series, like there’s some overlap with that numbering and Thor’s. Not sure how that works out.
Issue 700 here is written by Jason Aaron and drawn by a slew of artists. Way too many to list here.
Inside, is the typical recap page detailing how Jane Foster is the current wielder of the hammer and her recent troubles with Malekith. There is also mention of how Jane is currently battling cancer. The title of this storyline, “The Death of the Mighty Thor”, does not bode well for her character.
On the most recent episode of the Campus Comics Cast, Scott Reed, one of the co-hosts, pointed out that Marvel tends to not treat the Big C lightly. This may be leading up to Jane Foster being gone for real following this tale. If you would like to check out the podcast (and hear my great voice), it is available here: http://www.burgcomics.com/
The story starts with a big splash page of Walter Simonson’s Thor. This is a great way to kick off this anniversary issue. Simonson had a great run on Thor and to include so many artsits, precludes his being involved. If not, his absence would be noticed.
“Classic”, but currently “Unworthy” Thor is talking to Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, about the threat of Malekith and other recent events. Honestly, this portion of the story is filled with things that relate to what has been going on in the book. I have not been reading Thor, so a lot of this is going over my head and is hard to keep up with. (Thor has a dog?) While this is probably relevant to the monthly readers, it’s not really convincing me to be engaged with this title.
There are several other plots running through the issue. The one that stands out, and should, is Jane Foster Thor fighting She-Hulk. She-Hulk, now grey and covered in glowing green cuts (?) or wounds of some kind. It is an interesting look for the character, but definitely not the classic She-Hulk I’m familiar with.
It turns out that Jennifer Walters was in the same hospital that Jane Foster was receiving her cancer treatments in and hulked out. Jane then has to convert to the mighty Thor and stop her rampage through the streets. Plus, seeing Daniel Acuna draw this section just makes me regret DC losing him after his great run on the Flash.
This is the best story in the book. My problem is that it should have been the focus of the issue. I realize that this is a milestone issue and they want to celebrate that. There are subplots of other “Thors” throughout.
Apparently, Volstagg has gained the hammer of the Thor from the now defunct Ultimate universe. When he wields this Mjolnir he transforms into the War Thor. It seems that things went bad for him with this and he is almost addicted to the hammer. Similar to how the One Ring affects characters in the Lord of the Rings. I am a big fan of Ultimate Thor and so it’s cool to see that hammer here, and it seems to be something interesting for Volstagg.
Another subplot centers around a younger version of Thor with some fun moments. King Thor from the future and his granddaughters make an appearance. Galactus, now fused with the weapon of Gorr the God Butcher, has a great fight with Ego, the living planet. Loki spends some time with his biological father, Laufey. Malekith and Thanos both check in near the end to be all foreshadowy. Notably, Thanos is shown in love with Hela here. This seems to confirm rumors about their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throg, the frog Thor, has his own story that ties into Jane Foster’s fight with She-Hulk. In the end, Throg comes to Thor’s aid.
Unworthy Thor Odinson fight a whole mess of monsters and during the course of the battle, there is a nice two page spread of hints to upcoming stories. What readers online seem to have picked up on is a new uniform for Thor Odinson, with a shiny new gold arm and Mjolnir.
The gold Mjolnir reminds me of Beta Ray Bill’s hammer, Stormbreaker. Speaking of which, where the hell is the horse-faced alien? With all this focus on alternate Thors, why is he absent? I’m not sure what his current status is in the Marvel universe, but at the least a flashback. And why no Eric Masterson? Again, even a flashback if you have to.
Speaking of things missing, with all of the artists involved, where is Chris Samnee? Samnee had a great run on the short lived Thor: The Mighty Avenger a few years ago. This was one of my favorite runs of the character and it would have been nice to see his work here. One of the issues of this run was featured here as my first Breather Book. https://detective651.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/breather-books-thor-the-mighty-avenger-4/
Aaron’s story ends with Volstagg, again War Thor being drawn to Mangog, the threat alluded to in the Marvel Legacy special. Sidenote: Mangog kills Toothgnasher, the goat, and that is not cool. Again, a beloved character being killed off just to heighten the threat of the villain.
After the massive main story, there is another 3 page origin by Robbie Thompson and Valerio Schiti. The pages tell Jane Foster’s backstory and how she came to be Thor. It is done in a great, concise way that tells the reader all they need to know about the character. I know I’m starting to harp on about this, but these should be the opening of the issues. I know they’re not going to do it. I also know that I’m not going to shut up about it.
The Marvel Value Stamp that comes with this book is Spider-Man. Again, it appears that there is no bonus digital book that you get with this one. At least, there is not another one listed like they typically do.
This oversized (and pricier) anniversary issue has a lot for longtime Thor fans. It celebrates the multiple iterations of the character and sets things up for the near future. However, I was really hoping for a bigger page count for Jane Foster. This is the version that I keep hearing about and was hoping to see more of here. Unfortunately, it appears that her days are numbered so that may be why this is the case.
I haven’t picked up Thor on a regular basis for awhile. In fact, I think the last time was the above mentioned, Thor: The Mighty Avenger series. If Jane Foster is on her way out, there’s probably no reason for me to pick this up again.
Check back soon for my look at another Marvel Legacy title.