"Ragnarok, Part the Last"
Writers: Michael Avon Oeming with Daniel Berman
Artist: Andrea Divito
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Thor comes to the realization that the only way to escape the seemingly endless cycle that his people have become trapped in by a group of elder gods is to bring about Ragnarok, and than destroy the means that is being used to reset the clock, we see he makes contact with Surtur, and unleashes the demon upon Asgard. As the issue ends Asgard is destroyed, and Thor is left alone to openly wonder what he's going to do next now that he's all that remains of Asgard.
The final issue of Thor is essentially an excuse for the writing team to wipe the decks clear so that when the character is brought back, the yet to be announced creative team has a clear slate to work with. Now if one is a fan of the Asgard mythology that was developed over the past few decades than you might be annoyed by the dismissive manner that this arc pushed this material off into comic limbo, but speaking as a reader who never quite connected with the Asgard cast I have to say I'm intrigued by the promise of a new beginning for the character, and if the Ultimate line of books has proven anything the removal of decades of continuity can result in a character who is more readily identifiable. I'll also credit this issue for offering up a grandiose send off, as the final moments of Asgard and it cast of characters have them going out with a bang, rather than a whimper. From a storytelling sense I also have to say I did enjoyed the explanation for how we could be treated to multiple versions of Ragnarok. In the end one's enjoyment of this issue is largely dependant on how big a fan one was of the previous continuity, and while the wholesale dumping of a character's past can be a wise move in the search for new readers, if the relaunch isn't handled right there is the danger that you'll drive away the fan-base the title did have. Still as far as last issues go this one does have a nice sense of closure to it.
Andrea Divito turns in a great looking issue, though the writing on this final issue is certainly in the artist's corner as it calls for several big impact moments. However, the double page spread of Surtur's attack on Asgard makes for a fantastic image to convey the final moments of this part of Thor's world, and the material that involves the thread of fate being destroyed by Thor made for a memorable sequence, as the Tree of Life does an impression of the house at the end of "Poltergeist". Now the art could be a little stronger when it comes to the facial expressions of its characters, but then again this issue doesn't call for a wide range of emotions from its cast so this isn't as big a problem, and given the art's success when it comes to delivering the big impact visuals I'd have to say Andrea Divito did a wonderful job of clearing the decks.
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