Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Clay Mann & Patrick Zircher
Let me get this straight. For the first act, we have Thor and Brunhilda kicking the crap out of each other. Then, a giant frost giant shows up and a few other Asgardians join in on the asskicking. Then, they all go out and get drunk for a couple days straight before Odin shows up in the motherfu--ing Destroyer armour to kick the living crap out of Thor? Do comics get any better than this? This is what we call a license to print money folks.
While the issue lacked the subtler charms of previous versions, the amount of awesome contained within these pages more than makes up for it. If you were, for some reason only god, or Odin, in this case, knows, disappointed with the slower paces of pervious issues by Fraction, Zircher and Mann, this one more than makes up for them. Yes, issues with Thor wrangling a blood colossus, killing millions of skeletons and slaughtering trolls and giants can be considered slow paced in comparison to the wall to wall action of this epic issue.
Furthermore, after the confrontation between Thor and Odin, the rampaging and petulant Thor of this era is defeated and we're given a great scene between the two as Odin gives Thor his first lesson in humility, robbing him of his memories as a god and forcing him to live as a mortal in simpler times. It was a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy and a great addition to the Thor mythos in my opinion.
Verdict - Must Read. Can't wait for an oversized hardcover of these issues. If any comics deserve the treatment, these Ages of Thunder stories do. Zircher and Mann did fantastic jobs here and it'll be a real treat to see their work. If you haven't picked any of these up yet, for shame, but you might be better off waiting for the eventual trade at this point and getting one of the best series of books of the year.