Jason Aaron took over the writing duties on Avengers in May of 2018. His Avengers roster boasted one of the most powerful lineups in the team’s history, with T’Challa/the Black Panther serving as the Avengers’ chairperson and Steve Rogers/Captain America, Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, Thor Odinson, Tony Stark/Iron Man, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, and Avengers newcomer Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider filling their roster. Soon, Blade the Vampire Hunter would join their ranks. Their headquarters is the body of a dead Celestial, a race of cosmic space gods responsible for the creation of much of the universe, located in the unforgiving terrain of Antarctica and imbued with all sorts of universe-shaping tech. T’Challa’s Agents of Wakanda, led by Okoye, fill the information gathering and covert action void for the Avengers in a post-S.H.I.E.L.D. world. Together they have battled Celestials, waded into a vampire civil war, faced the Phoenix force’s return to Earth for a new host, halted Namor’s holy war against a pollution-spewing surface world, and juggled the always-mounting international tensions as all countries of the world wonder whose interests the Avengers serve.
Then one morning Blade woke up to a world where the Avengers never formed and he was the only one who remembered the way it was supposed to be. And I can’t stop thinking about this!
The centerpiece of Jason Aaron’s epic seven year run writing Thor: God of Thunder/The Mighty Thor/Thor was Jane Foster lifting Mjölnir when the Odinson found himself unworthy to do so. She became Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, and the stories that followed were the best Thor comics I’ve ever read. It may be the best executed single story arc I’ve ever ready in any comic ever. When the Odinson eventually reclaimed his title as the God of Thunder, Jane returned her focus to her civilian life, medical career, and – most importantly – fighting the cancer raging inside her. However, her superhero career was far from over and the stories Jane Foster now finds herself in (written first by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing and now by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk) dance along the mysterious, wonderous, frightening, sacred threshold that is the dividing line between life and death. Continue reading →
This is a milestone for me :). This piece is my 300th post on My Comic Relief!! I’ve been trying to figure out which comic was worthy of such a tribute since about my 256th post. Then, like a blinding flash of lightening it hit me. I adored Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s work with Jane Foster in The Mighty Thor. She’s become my definitive Thor. I’ve written several pieces exploring the brilliance of this run but I’ve never written about the end of Jane’s time wielding Mjölnir. To do so, I wanted it to be special. Instead of another analysis, I aim to simply pay tribute, to eulogize in the wake of “The Death of the Mighty Thor,” to talk about why I fell in love with this character and this comic. In short I want to explain why Jane’s time as Thor became MY FAVORITE COMIC BOOK STORYLINE OF ALL TIME. In my heart, she’ll always be who I mean when I invoke the name “Thor.” Continue reading →
I’m not one for team books. I used to be but, by and large, I just can’t get into them now (minus the incredible exceptions of Mark Waid’s Champions and Gerry Duggan’s Guardians Of The Galaxy). I find them to be crossover hubs and often more action heavy then character focused. However, like Lewis Black and candy corn, I can’t stop trying them. This week, motivated by my love of his work on The Mighty Thor and knowing I’d see them in my Free Comic Book Day selections anyway, I decided to give Jason Aaron, Ed Mcguinness, and David Curiel’s new take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a try…sadly, I wasn’t impressed. Thankfully, I have higher hopes for my other Free Comic Book Day picks! Continue reading →
In preparation for my paper on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture at the end of the month, I’ve finished reading his entire Thor: God Of Thunder series. Following Gorr the God Butcher, Aaron introduces another villain who is equally rich in menace and theological significance. Dario Agger, CEO of Roxxon Energy Corporation, will challenge first the Odinson and then Jane Foster when she becomes Thor. In continuing his exploration of what makes a worthy god Aaron uses Agger as the personification of two of our most sinful and dangerous traits – the idolatrous worship of wealth and wanton environmental destruction. These then are the forces a worthy god opposes. Continue reading →
Jason Aaron began his run writing Thor: God Of Thunder by introducing the villainous Gorr the God Butcher. For millennia Gorr travelled the cosmos, killing all immortal beings he encountered in the most macabre fashions he could imagine. The story is obviously rich with theological implications, considering both the nature and purpose of our ideas of the divine as well as introducing the question that will form the core of Aaron’s run to date – what is a worthy god? In preparation for a paper I’ll be presenting on Jason Aaron’s use of the Divine Feminine in The Mighty Thor at the ACA/PCA Conference on Popular Culture next month, I’ve been reading all of Aaron’s work with Thor (both Odinson and Jane Foster). My research also led me to many articles interpreting Aaron’s work as a sort of atheistic manifesto, something I felt warranted further discussion. Continue reading →
Ever since Jane Foster picked up Mjölnir and became Thor, Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman have been delivering the most exciting, original, and thoughtful stories – all gorgeously rendered – I’ve ever found in the pages of The Mighty Thor. Sure, I loved Tom DeFalco’s Thunder God, my intro to the character. I’ve enjoyed the other versions I’ve read too. (And who doesn’t love Chris Hemsworth?) But Jane Foster’s the mightiest Thor for me. Their most recent arc, “The Asgard/Shi’ar War,” is a perfect example of why this has become my definitive take on Thor. It features what all the best Thor stories do – a wild cosmic landscape, universe-spanning clashes between celestial beings and alien forces, layered/interesting characters – while also offering an elegant theological commentary on the ontological nature of both humanity and divinity. Continue reading →
It should’ve come as no surprise that I grew up to study (and now teach) theology. As a kid I was always fascinated by mythology. I had two gorgeous, hardcover collections of myths my parents gave me as presents. They were the Doubleday volumes D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and D’Aulaires’ Norse Gods and Giants. I lived in those books, reading and rereading the legends – creating versions of these ancient deities out of my LEGOs to harass my other LEGO characters – and obsessing over the heroic tales and the trials of the gods. Exploring the spiritual stories we use to try and express our deepest truths has always been something I’ve loved. It should be easy to predict then that, growing up, Thor was my second favorite superhero (second only to Spider-Man). But even as a lifelong Thor fan, I couldn’t have predicted how quickly Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman ‘s current take on the character would become my all-time favorite. Continue reading →