Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8 / Writer: Torunn Grønbekk & Jason Aaron / Artist: CAFU / Colorist: Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino / Marvel / Release Date: 2/17/2020
Almost Missed It
Allow me to start this momentous review of this culminating issue to War of the Realms with a silly little anecdote. I promise it’ll make sense when you read the actual issue itself.
The first thing I did Wednesday morning was wake up and see a notification from Comixology—my payment hadn’t gone through for the last issue of War of the Realms.
I did what any sensible person would do—I panicked.
I spent about twenty precious minutes of my morning before going to work trying to figure out what was wrong with my Paypal account. After almost giving up in frustration, my husband leaned over and said calmly, “Just delete that payment option, and then put it back on.”
He was right. I needed to let go of this old Paypal connection—the same one I’ve had since about 2015—and start again if I wanted to get a hold of this precious final issue, the one I’ve been waiting for for so long. I couldn’t get something I really wanted because I was to anxious, angry, and wound-up.
So, after calming down and refocusing, I knew what I had to do.
I paused, took a deep breath, deleted the payment option. I gave it a few minutes, relinked my Paypal… and it was working again. The comic was in my account not ten minutes later. I was even able to read it through to the end before I started my day properly.
Think of this as a very convoluted way of linking my stupid panicked morning brain to the themes of War of the Realms and it’s conclusion—letting go of things is good. Constantly trying to make something broken work when it’s clearly not going to, is not healthy. You have to acknowledge your actions, find the faults, and if you can’t fix it, start again.
Did I just compare me being stupid with Paypal to an epic crossover event with gods, heroes and monsters that’s been building for over five years? Yes I did.
Perspective is important you guys.
(Plus, in my other reviews I’ve already praised both Aaron’s writing, Dauterman’s art, and Matt Wilson’s colours to death. I’ve gotta change it up somehow.)
There’s also a further interesting perspective on said theme to be found in Thor # 13, which ties directly into this issue (i.e. sometimes you need a moment to centre—do something else—before trying again. You might surprise yourself.
This is something all of us needs to hear from time to time.
In many ways, this is also the overarching theme of Jason Aaron’s entire run—the Gods have to change, or they are not worthy of the worship they receive from humans. If they do not learn how to be born anew, they will not survive. Those who cling to the destructive and toxic things that brought them power will ultimately be consumed by those things, and it will lead to their downfall. No matter how painful it is or how much soul searching you need to do, you need to face up to letting the past go.
Did it Deliver?
I’d say yes. I’d even go so far as to say HELL YES. The thematic tie-in to the rest of Aaron’s run is masterful. He’s dug deep and went back to the conclusion of his first arc—the God Butcher arc—to draw a big, satisfying bow on the whole thing. Just like the end of that arc, Thor needs to dig into the past, the present, and the future to finally move on to where he needs to be. Jason Aaron has been pretty candid about how he’s sort of planned a lot of this since the beginning, hoping he’d get to see this through to the end. And he did. Thankfully.
I wonder if it’ll prove to be so tied in to the rest of the arc that it might put new readers off? It’s a lot of comics to read to get here, but it’s worth it. Aaron’s big strength, at least in terms of theme, is consistency. He knows what he wants to say with his story—mistakes, change, redemption. It runs through his Thor like a spine.
Even when Jane was Thor, it was present, if different. Unlike Thor Odinson, Jane didn’t need change or redemption—she was the change and redemption. Had anyone else written this, or maybe if she hadn’t been as popular, maybe she wouldn’t have had her voice or her story for as long as she did. She would’ve been a footnote in the story of Thor rather than a chapter.
Thor, the character and the story, needed that shake up in order to come back stronger. Whilst this could’ve ended up as a kind of Trinity-Syndrome situation, it didn’t. That was still my fear for the conclusion of this event. It skated dangerously close at times, but it never got there (to my relief). I’m pretty sure that maybe trying to avoid Trinity Syndrome is why she’s now getting her own solo title as Valkyrie.
Now, you might be wondering, “Wait, she’s not Thor any more right? Why are you suddenly talking about Jane again?”
Oh… no reason. (You need to read it if you haven’t already).
As for the actual execution of the story? I have to admit, I had doubts as to how this whole thing would even tie together. This isn’t just the conclusion of this event. This has been building up since at least 2013, when Malaketh was first reintroduced.
Did it stick the landing? With a few minor, tiny little wobbles, I am happy to say—again—yes. I feel like I might’ve spoiled too much already, so I’ll leave it at that. Some many not agree, but for my money, as someone who’s been obsessively into Thor’s comic book saga since Aaron first started writing it, what I consumed satisfied me immensely.
One particular thing I was hoping to happen, happened. So, I was going to be pretty forgiving of a lot of other aspects of this issue regardless.
There’s a one shot left, and then it’s time of the new Valkyrie series.
If you thought I was obnoxious when Jane was Thor, just imagine how insufferable I’ll be come July.
Verdict: 5 out of 5