Hitting stores today, Thor: Ages of Thunder #1 is the first part in a serialized graphic novel written by Matt Fraction with pencils by Patrick Zircher and Khari Evans. Existing outside the current Thor continuity, this graphic novel is a fascinating story in that it digs back into the Marvel Asgardian mythos and shows the origins of the Marvelized version of Thor and the Norse gods.
This first issue opens with a beautifully rendered map of Ygddrasil, the life tree that is the center point for the Norse cosmology. And right away we get exposition and narration that sounds less like a comic issue and more like the recounting of a creation myth. There are a few points where Fraction gets too clever, and his narrative voice rings a little too modern, but for the most part he maintains the epic mythological tone quite well.
The central story in this first issue concerns the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their desire to lure Idun the Enchantress away from Asgard. Their attempts involve warfare, trickery, and even dabbling with Loki prior to his being a Marvel supervillain and generally hated by everybody. The characters here—Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, the Enchantress, the Executioner, and all the rest—are recognizable from their Marvel appearances, but they very clearly are steeped in their mythological origins in this story.
Ages of Thunder is an engaging and brutal comic book that definitely is worth a read. I give this issue: