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Fathers and Sons Are at the Heart of THOR #10!

The WAR OF THE REALMS is ever-looming, and the God of Thunder is trying to do everything he can to avoid it. In THOR #10, the All-Father, Odin, makes his presence known. Odin sits in the ashes of Asgard, and we find out his true thoughts on his son, Thor.

Odin’s Empire of Dirt

THOR #10 opens with Odin sitting on his throne in Asgard, which lies in ruins. Odin convinces his brother Cul to go to Svartalfheim, home of the Dark Elves, to spy on Malekith. Cul is reluctant but ultimately agrees; however, he threatens to come for his brother’s throne. Odin has been forging hammers for Thor and drinking his time away, his power diminished with the destruction of Asgard — after Cul leaves, he continues to drink.

Thor arrives, looking for the dwarf Screwbeard, but especially more hammers. He only finds Odin stumbling around, looking for more mead. The dwarves are passed out, Odin having drunk them under the table. Thor wants nothing to do with his father, as Odin is his usual boorish self. Odin tries to acknowledge his rescue of his sister Angela but ends up mocking her. In his mind, Odin wants to warn Thor of what’s coming, especially to tell him what Malekith is up to, but his mouth does something very different. He mocks Thor, calling him his mother’s boy, and telling him Midgard is doomed. Thor tries to leave, but Odin forces the issue, with a hammer to the face.

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Over in Jotunheim, the giant Stonesnow seeks an audience with the King of the Frost Giants, Laufey. Stonesnow’s son was transformed into a frog by Loki, and he demands recompense. When Loki refuses to kill the frog, Laufey knocks him over and does it himself. Malekith appears, seemingly inviting Loki back so he can witness the fall of Midgard. Loki promises to be there when Malekith attacks Midgard, which is just vague enough for Malekith to be suspicious. Malekith tasks a few elves to follow Loki, and make sure he can’t interfere.

Father Vs. Son in THOR #10

THOR #10
THOR #10 Page 1. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

An intense battle is fought on Asgard’s remains between father and son, one that seems entirely unnecessary. Odin’s own thoughts are specifically of love and admiration for his son. He admits his own jealousy and recalls the harsh treatment he felt at the hands of his own father, Bor. Bor was a brutal father, and it seems Odin is as well, despite his desire not to be.

Thor eventually gets the better of Odin, showing incredible power — perhaps a sign of a passing of the torch. Balder intervenes before Thor can kill Odin, and everyone goes their separate ways. In a surprising turn, Odin seeks help from an unexpected source. Pick up THOR #10 to find out whom!

THOR #10 Tackles Toxic Masculinity & Alcoholism

It seems that the topic of toxic masculinity has been a hot button issue lately. Writer Jason Aaron’s Odin and Odin’s relationships with both his son and his father are examples of toxic masculinity.

In THOR #10, the only mention of Bor is damning. When young Odin would run away from home, his father Bor would mercilessly beat him once Odin returned. That implies an incredibly cruel and distant relationship. Odin is now repeating the sins of his father with Thor. The heavy drinking, the quick temper — these are toxic traits. The All-Father is just like every abusive father, and Thor is determined to not be his victim. Odin himself is a victim, and it’s often victims of child abuse that become abusers.

THOR #10
THOR #10 Page 4. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Thor, the God of Thunder, is an excellent example of ideal masculinity. First of all, he’s courageous, unafraid of jumping into danger. Secondly, he is kind, defending the weak and defenseless. In addition, he fights for what he believes in. He is just and will make villains answer to his many hammers. In his encounter with Odin, he tried to de-escalate the situation and leave, albeit briefly. It was Odin’s stubbornness and need to express himself through violence that caused the fight. The bloodlust Thor showed at the end may not have been ideal, but especially when facing your abuser, it can be difficult to hold your emotions.

Writer Jason Aaron has been weaving Thor’s story for a while now, and he is one of the best at what he does. This issue is one of his best works yet, spotlighting the tumult within the All-Father and his first steps to possible redemption.

Del Mundo’s Art Shines in Thor #10

Artist Mike Del Mundo and co-colorist Marco D’Alfonso knocked this issue out of the park. Del Mundo’s line work is incredibly detailed. I like his figure work especially; it gives a dynamic sense of movement.

There’s a lot going on in each page, too. These densely-packed pages actually work very well, especially the fight scenes. Your eyes go from panel to panel rapidly as the fight intensifies, and it really lets you fall into the moment. I found myself re-reading panels because I was just following the beautiful imagery one panel after the other. There’s a terrific page, where the panels are actually inset inside of Thor’s hammer, and it’s a beautiful example of how Del Mundo maximizes each page he works on.

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Del Mundo and D’Alfonso’s colors are a great final touch as well, not just differing the palettes between realms, but between moods as well. The colors all dull out except for the blood on Thor at one point, emphasizing the bloodlust and rage that Odin has driven up in him. The cold, dead grayness of once-vibrant Asgard is also a great touch. This art team is one of the best teams working in comics today.

Is It Too Late for Father & Son? War is Coming!

Overall, this was a very good, emotionally-packed issue. The issue serves as a huge wake-up call for Odin. Even through the alcoholic haze, he’s starting to change. He goes through the motions of being like his father, Bor, but his thoughts betray him. He wants to love and appreciate his son, and it takes a near-death beatdown to get him to seek help, which I suppose is the type of intervention an eons-old god needs.

Thor facing down his abusive father may just be a turning point for him, as well. With the WAR OF THE REALMS coming, if Odin can get his act together and be a real father to his son, maybe they can turn the tide against Malekith. Or maybe it’s too late. What role does Loki have to play? The WAR OF THE REALMS is going to be very exciting! Jason Aaron has done a great job setting it up!

THOR #10 by Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Joe Sabino
Art
Characterization
Plot

Summary

Writer Jason Aaron provides us with a hard hitting father-son conflict in THOR #10. The hammers and fists fly, but the core of the story is the conflict in Odin’s heart. An abusive father tries to be better. The art team of Del Mundo and D’Alfonso do an amazing job. This was a nice interlude issue before the big war.

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