For two solid issues, the Goddess of Thunder has held onto Mjolnir, followed her Asgardian instincts, and lived up to the expectations befitting someone wearing the mantle of Thor. Which is a good thing, because the Odinson arrived at the end of issue #3, bearing a new arm, his enchanted axe, and a grudge. [Beware thee spoilers, Midgardians.]
Backstory! Thor had his left arm sliced off with Jarnbjorn, an axe that can kill Celestials (which is kinda Thor's fault). He wakes in Asgardia, city of the gods, unable to clap and wondering what the hell happened.
Odin is there, bearing a pointy golden helmet. It's clear he loves the little birds so much that come and scry for him, he gave them that ridiculous hat to perch on.
Screwbeard arrives with a gift that took all of "several hours" to make, out of black uru: the same metal as Mjolnir, forged in "the same furnaces". So... that's a good arm, right there. For some reason I'd figured due to flash-forwards that Old!Thor wound up taking an arm off the Destroyer, but this is so much better than that.
Thor gets to his feet and is informed that Mjolnir no longer rests on the moon, that it's disappeared... along with his mother.
Which catches you up to the present. The Odinson arrives on Roxxon Island (encased in ice, thanks to the Frost Jerks), where Lady!Thor is mid-fight with Malekith and a Minotaur who is not-so-secretly Mr. Agger, Douchebag-Executive-Officer at Roxxon.
Odinson can't take his eyes off his hammer, and it goes badly. (I leave any and all Captain Hammer references to you, Dear Readers, in the comments.) Thor discovers that perhaps tapping the Odinson in the chest with his own hammer is not the wisest of moves.
Few things in the Marvel universe are worse than a pissed off Asgardian, and right now, the Odinson is livid. He goes into a berserker rage, and has at it with Lady!Thor.
Points and tips of the hat to the continued fine work of Russell Dauterman, no one draws a literal battle of the gods quite like you, sir. It's grandiose, the collateral damage is extensive, and you can almost feel the air crackle with every THOOM.
Hel, see for yourself.
And while this grandstanding and mighty battle unfolds, what are the bad guys doing? Not. Much. I get that the focus of these new issues has to be on Thor, as she goes through her growing pains, but Agger, Malekith, and the Frost Giants seem to be all hat and no cattle. Malekith took off the Odinson's arm, not long ago. Now he's content to swagger, make jibes, and do that annoyingly consistent thing where he cocks his head at a 70 degree angle. Then he runs away. If the goal here is to make me want to see him smashed into a black and blue paste, well done.
Point is: These bad guys are not dangerous, right now. They're not a threat. They're not doing anything, which is probably okay because in this issue, there wouldn't be room for them to be, on top of the Thors going at it. And by going at it, I mean...
Ahem. After they duke it out over Mjolnir— wherein the hammer flies like never before, then returns to Thor's waiting hand. The Odinson is gobsmacked. He admits the hammer never did that for him, and concedes that the hammer has chosen. He then asks Lady!Thor if she is his mother, given her disappearance and the mask. This is her response.
So no. No, she is not Thor's mother.
Then they go to work, killing Frost Giants. The artwork is again, gorgeous. There are splash pages in this issue alone that make it worth the price of purchase, even if there were no plot, no progress, no dialogue. But it has those things too, so bonus!
Malekith slips away through a portal like the coward he is, but not before incinerating Odinson's amputated arm. Insulting as that is, it least it nips in the bud any prospect of another ill-conceived clone of the son of Odin.
Asgardian wizards and witches come and thaw out Roxxon, freeing heroes who... cameoed for reasons. The All-Mother is there with the frozen heroes, and she claims no knowledge of who this new Thor is. Thor flies off, now confident that she is indeed worthy to carry Mjolnir, and do the work of a Thunder Goddess. Odinson makes peace with the turn of events.
Elsewhere, Agger and head-tilting Malekith make sordid deals over the INTACT skull of the Frost Giant King. (The other was a decoy, made to be stolen.) Agger's greed is absolute. He wants entire realms, and Malekith seems fit to deliver. (Again, neither of these bad guys have done anything impressive lately, so the impact of this lacks weight. Still.)
Time will tell, at least until the new Secret War comes along and rips the Marvel Universe apart at the seams. Until, enjoy the ride!
What say you, Midgardian?