Artist: Esad Ribic
The first issue of this series was brilliant and after Jason Aaron's disappointing run on his Incredible Hulk series I was happy to see that this series didn't follow that trend. It has also been nice to see a different take in a Thor series and I like how this series so far has been nothing like any other Thor series I've read.
This fight between Thor and the God Butcher from last issue is halted this issue as we go back to Thor's earlier years. This issue sees Thor's first encounter with the God Butcher and how a young God of Thunder dealt with a killer of Gods.
This was an amazing issue and I am loving what Aaron has been doing with this series. The way Aaron has connected three different periods of Thor's life, all connected to the God Butcher. This new villain has been brilliant and Aaron has done a great job in showing that this is something that can easily kill Thor, if Thor is off guard. It was also nice to see that Aaron was able to redeem himself as the Vegetable villain he created in Incredible Hulk was a joke whereas the villain he's created in this series is a worthy foe for Thor. I've also loved how he's handled Thor over the first two issues and like how you can see the difference in his attitude throughout the different periods in his life, and how it's easy to see the overconfidence in the younger Thor as well as the serious Thor in the present.
The art from Esad Ribic over the first two issues has been brilliant and although the facial expressions on Thor are a bit unrealistic at times the overall art is fantastically beautiful to look at. The detail throughout his work is outstanding and I love how the changes in Thor's appearance is noticeable, whilst being similar. The way he draws the fight sequences in this issue is also amazing and I like how he draws the God Butcher. The atmosphere in this issue is also brilliant and I love how you can really feel the old Norse setting in this issue. Ive Svorcina's colours throughout the fist two issues have been amazing and they really make Ribic's art stand out and look very sleek. Svorcina's colour's also add a brilliant tone and felling to the series and along with Ribic's outstanding art, and Aaron's writing make this series truly astonishing.
I liked how this issue went back to the Thor's first encounter with the God Butcher, and how we got to see more of the younger Thor. I also liked how we get to see Thor before he is worthy of wielding Mjolnir and how it didn't matter how hard he tried to lift the hammer he couldn't due to not being serious or experienced enough to be worthy of lifting it. The way it was on a stone also reminded me of the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian Legend which was nice but not necessarily relevant for Norse mythology. I also loved seeing the younger Thor travel through Midgard during this issue and how the locations he chose including what would eventually would be called Russia, and how the cold snow regions kept the dark cold feeling that this series has given during Thor's earlier life.
It was also nice to see more of the God Butcher in this issue and actually get a proper look at him. I also liked how the God Butcher actually spoke in this issue making him slightly more menacing, although his appearance makes him menacing enough. The fight the embroiled in this issue was also brilliant and I loved how we get to see the younger less experienced Thor taking on this God killer. Although the God Butcher had the upper hand throughout the better part of this fight it was nice that Thor showed that he would not be beaten easily and that his confidence took a side step, showing a more serious Thor.
Although this issue was mostly set in the earlier years of Thor it was also nice to see at the begging, the end of the issue how it acknowledged the other time periods in this story and showing how the fight with the God Butcher that started in this issue followed Thor throughout his life. The way Aaron connected the events in this issue whilst showing the events in the rest of Thor's life was brilliantly done and I am looking forward to seeing a more in depth look at Thor's other encounters with the God Butcher, and how the God Butcher adapts to a more experienced Thor.
This was a brilliant issue and the series is not only one of the best series to come out of Marvel NOW! so far, but one of the best starts ever to a Thor series. I would highly recommend this issue and am looking forward to seeing the progression of Thor's fight with the God Butcher.