This week marks the end of Marvel Comics’ The War of the Realms event, the most spray-painted-on-the-side-of-a-van storyline the publisher may have ever released.
And you may be asking yourself, how could you possibly end an event that kicked off with an army of fire demons, frost giants, dark elves, and angels successfully conquering Earth while Loki was eaten alive by his own father?
In The War of the Realms #6, event architects Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman showed us exactly how. Let’s break it down.
[Ed. note: This post will contain big spoilers for The War of the Realms #6.]
You wanted more Thors? How about four Thors?
The mastermind of the War of the Realms has always been the Dark Elf Malekith, who you might know from his tragically forgettable film debut in Thor: The Dark World, and with his armies on the run all over the realms, he turns to a last personal gambit to bring about the end of Thor.
Malekith captured Thor’s parents, All-Father Odin and All-Mother Freya, as they successfully fought to destroy his Black Bifrost and thus his way of replenishing his troops. In The War of the Realms #6, he has brought them to Stonehenge and demands Thor come to face him personally. If Thor doesn’t show up, Malekith will kill them. If he brings anyone else with him, Malekith will also kill them.
So Thor doesn’t bring anyone else, he brings three other versions of himself: Jane Foster, transformed back into Thor by the godly power of the Mjolnir of a dead universe; and, thanks to some time travel help from the Fantastic Four, his younger and older selves, who have regularly appeared in backup stories and one-shot fables throughout Aaron and Dauterman’s years-long run on the Thor mythos.
The four Thors, with but two Mjolnirs between them, face off against Malekith’s war dogs and Malekith himself, who, following a series of earlier events, had merged with the Venom symbiote and bent it to his will.
Again, I’m pretty sure this is all painted on the side of a van somewhere, but let’s go back to Mjolnir.
Mjolnir’s back, baby
Thor’s hammer is back and you’re gonna be in trouble hey nah, hey nah — Mjolnir’s back.
Mjolnir has been missing since last year, when — in order to save every Asgardian — Jane Foster bound the monster Mangog in the chains of Fenris, attached Mjolnir to those chains, and threw the hammer into the center of the Sun. And Thor hasn’t even been worthy to wield Mjolnir since 2014, when he lost faith in the purpose of the gods.
But in order to figure out the key to finding Malekith, Thor hung himself from the remnant of the world tree at the center of Earth’s sun, like his father before him, to gain wisdom. And while he was there, it seems that he made contact with some other forces as well, namely the God Tempest, Mother of Thunder — the ancient storm that Odin bound within Mjolnir at the dawn of history — which was still alive.
And with the heat of a star and the remnants of Mjolnir’s Uru metal that lay there, Thor wielded the God Tempest herself to reforge Mjolnir, with a branch of Yggdrasil as its grip. Mjolnir is back, and it’s back in the hand of Thor Odinson.
Thor is All-Father of Asgard
Long live the king
The final moment of The War of the Realms #6, after Malekith’s bloody defeat, is one with big implications for Asgardians everywhere. Odin — who has been working through a lot lately, including asking Tony Stark for help in sobering up — knelt before his son and declared him king of Asgard, All-Father of the Asgardians. What does that mean for Thor? We’ll likely find out in various War of the Realms epilogue issues, including War of the Realms Omega #1 and Thor #15 on July 10.
A smattering of set up
Valkyrie, and Loki, and Venom, oh my
Despite his own father, Laufey, crunching and swallowing him, Loki is alive. Daredevil, wielding the sword and all-seeing divine power of Heimdall as the God Without Fear, slung his blade down Laufey’s throat, allowing Loki to carve his way out of the frost giant king’s belly. And now that Laufey’s dead, Loki just might be rightful king of the Frost Giants? Expect that to come up in his new series, kicking off with Loki #1 on July 17.
Before she released it and her Thor powers for good, Jane Foster had a strange encounter with her alternate Mjolnir, where it appears that some kind of magic metal was grafted to her arm. Likely, what we saw was the creation of Underjarn, the All-Weapon (at the risk of repeating myself... UNDERJARN, THE ALL-WEAPON), which she will wield as the first of a new generation of Valkyries in her new solo series, Valkyrie: Jane Foster, kicking off on July 24.
And finally, the Venom symbiote hasn’t been doing too well lately. After nearly dying to save Eddie Brock’s life, it was left in a functional but comatose state — essentially, it was without a voice or mind. But the dark magic that flowed through it when Malekith forced it to merge seem to have restored its consciousness. We’re likely to see the fallout from that over in the Venom mythos, as the books prepare for August’s Absolute Carnage event, kicking off with Absolute Carnage #1 on Aug. 7.