This fourth issue of Thor, featuring the new, female Thor, finally gives the readers the fight they knew was coming: Thor vs. Thor!
Thor #4 Cover
That is, the old, male Thor, who is quite unhappy with losing his hammer, and the new, female Thor, who is still learning how to be a Goddess of Thunder, but is not lacking in cajones, as it were...
Thor #4 provides us some needed backstory to what happened to old Thor after Malekith chopped off Thor's arm way back in Thor #1. We first see the old, armless Thor in recovery back in Asgardia, being tended to by Asgardian healers, and being lectured to by his dear old dad, the cantankerous Odin. The All-Father relates that Thor's goat brought him home after he lost the arm (Thor, not the goat), and that he, Odin, is pretty steamed that a woman has stolen Mjolnir! Odin and Thor both seem a lot more upset at losing the hammer than the lost arm.
Writer Jason Aaron captures the family dynamic between Thor, Odin, and Freyja perfectly. This issue shows that Thor and Odin are actually quite alike in being obsessive and easily angered. They are also both quite stubborn, which leads Thor to once again ignore dad's wishes as he again heads to Midgard to do battle. Oh, and we finally see the origin of the new metal arm that old Thor is sporting. Aaron again does not forget to tie in the Marvel Asgardians with the old-time flavor of the Norse myths and lore.
When male Thor appears on Roxxon Island, where the new, female Thor is facing down Frost Giants, Malekith, Dario Agger (The Minotaur), and Ulik the Troll, you would think that male Thor would get all medieval on his old foes (especially the one who still carries his severed arm around his neck), but noooo...male Thor has eyes and hatred only for the female Thor, whom he accuses of being a thief. Demanding back his hammer, Thor is met with steely resolve and Asgardian-like language from his female rival.
In this reviewer's opinion, the best part of this comic (in terms of Aaron's writing), is when female Thor taps male Thor on the chest as she chides him about the hammer wanting her. You know the fight is on at this point.
Thor #4 Hammer Tap
While the old hero vs. hero meme is often over-done in comics, this one is necessary, and, frankly, pretty cool. At the end, male Thor accepts that the hammer has chosen the woman (whose true identity is still unknown), and declares her to be the new Thor. He takes the identity of Odinson. All this takes place in front of the Avengers, quite a few Asgardians, and his mom, Freyja.
One of our ongoing complaints involving Marvel's recent run of stories, has been the lack of coordination between the various titles. Meaning, in this case, that the metal-armed, and axe-wielding Odinson has appeared all over the Marvel Universe, as well as the question of who the new Thor is (see a great reference to this in the new SHIELD series), we only now see how everyone knows of her and of Thor's new identity as the Odinson. We pine for those long-ago days when Stan Lee or Roy Thomas, or whoever the editor was at the time, would leave little editorial breadcrumbs for the reader to know which other issues and titles to go to for the timeline continuity or to find out when something had occurred. Marvel really needs to work on bringing that piece of their culture back into the fold.
Regarding the art in this issue (and the whole run of these Thor comics), Russell Dauterman's art has been perfect! His visualizations and concept of the new, female Thor have been excellent and are to be especially noted for not over-sexualizing her or giving her one of the typically impractical comic-book costumes that female characters seem to wear that show off cleavage or whatnot.
If you like Thor (male or female), or just a good story with great art, pick up this series!