Thor has been through a real rough patch lately. He lost the ability to wield Mjolnir in 2014’s Original Sin, followed by his left arm. These defeats lead to Jane Foster taking up the hammer and the mantle of Thor. And even though the Odinson recently reclaimed that mantle, Mjolnir itself was destroyed in the heart of the sun, leaving Thor to settle for an armory of lesser hammers instead.
Thor has still more to lose in the final chapter of War of the Realms. This issue opens with Thor tied to the World Tree inside the sun, hoping to find enlightenment and power just as his father once did. But even though Thor follow’s Odin’s example and offers up an eye in sacrifice, it’s only when he gives up his small remaining fragment of Mjolnir that the World Tree opens itself up to him and bestows the knowledge he needs to end the war.
Exactly how this affects Thor isn’t immediately clear. Instead, Thor immediately presses the attack on Malekith, who has captured Odin and Freyja and created an enchanted barrier that prevents anyone but Thor from entering. Fortunately, there’s more than one Thoraround. The Odinson again joins forces with his younger self from the Viking Age and the old King Thor from the far future of the Marvel Universe. Even Jane Foster joins the fray, now empowered by the damaged Mjolnir of the Ultimate Universe.
Together, the four Thors attack Malekith, who’s been powered up himself after claiming All-Black the Necro Sword and drawing on the power of the symbiote god Knull (more on him here). At first it seems as though Malekith has grown too strong for even four Thors to defeat. But the Odinson finally reveals the power given to him by the World Tree. He combines the power of the storm with the heat of the sun, reforging Mjolnir and at long last reclaiming his greatest weapon. That finally gives him the boost needed to defeat Malekith. And though he stops short of killing his foe, Malekith dies anyway when his own beasts (who attack anyone who shows fear) devour him alive.
Having seen his son once again save the Ten Realms from utter destruction, Odin finally humbles himself and recognizes Thor as the true, worthy king of Asgard.
With Thor losing an eye, reclaiming Mjolnir and becoming king, the series winds up bringing him that much closer to becoming the grizzled, lonely Thor of the future. No doubt this development will feed into King Thor, a new miniseries debuting in September that’s intended to serve as the final chapter of Aaron’s long Thor saga. This issue also sets the stage for two new ongoing comics debuting in July. Valkyrie will explore Jane Foster’s new role as she replaces Brunnhilde and the other slaughtered heroines of Asgard. Meanwhile, the new Loki series will explore his reign as king of the Frost Giants, with the seemingly dead trickster emerging from Laufey’s belly holding the Casket of Ancient Winters.
For more on this epic finale, check out our review of War of the Realms #6.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.