Thor #4 Variant - Salvador Larroca - Marvel

Thor #4 Variant – Salvador Larroca – Marvel

Who is she, anyway? That’s the big question – and one of the reasons we keep reading. We know what makes a hero…but who is so worthy?

***Warning: Spoilers ahead!***

Issue #4 is all about identity – written and illustrated beautifully in a way that shows Odinson exploring his lack of worth by challenging a more confident Thor. This issue is more about what happens to the characters psychologically than anything else.

What if there was some other version of yourself that was deemed more worthy – or less? Facing that other would be such a challenge…especially if the other seemed so familiar.

As a point of truth, the hammer is at the center of this assured conflict. (Note – from here on out, we’ll refer to the unworthy as Odinson or Prince of Asgardia instead of Snortblatt as he has self-identified that way rather solidly. Well, that makes things a bit easier!)

What Does Mjolnir Represent?

In most incarnations – including this comic and MCU – Odinson is a very sentimental character. It’s a strength and a flaw and the reason he’s my favorite. Over the centuries, he’s become attached to places, things, family members, and loves – and despite often being worthy (or maybe because of it), he feels loss and remembrance on a slower pace.

When Odinson questions Thor’s identity, she says: “Open your eyes! You cannot hold on to something you’ve already lost.” This sums up much of his character – but also his relationship with Jane Foster.

That doesn’t mean it’s Jane speaking. I mean, I want it to be Jane, but it could just as easily be Roz, acknowledging that he should move on.

Thor goes on to say: “I am the one holding the hammer. Who are you?” This makes me feel that the hammer represents self-worth and identity – because if you don’t acknowledge that you’re on a journey – if you stop growing because you can’t let go of your past – you are losing self-worth. If you don’t believe me, read the issue again with this perspective in mind.

Furthermore, Mjolnir can obviously choose who is worthy as a wielder. Odinson says “I am the one who never let it go!” and the hammer does not answer well to this – Mjolnir obviously doesn’t like his answer. I hope some of the fans who had a closed mind to this whole arc are paying attention, because Mjolnir is speaking to them as well: It’s only going to make the fandom stronger if you include more people.

And What Of The Mask?

Thor #4 Cover - Dauterman - Marvel

Thor #4 Cover – Dauterman – Marvel

Thor’s helm is a mask. It shields her identity and for me, it’s one of the more appealing aspects surrounding the mystery of her character. It’s also very personal to me.

I like exploring concepts of worth, identity, and development through live action role play, and for years I have been playing a character who wears a mask.

Once fae, it was simply custom – or perhaps that mortals were unworthy. Now mortal, she still wears it and some wonder why, including myself. I’ve come to realize that it’s her signature piece – a part of her identity. As an expressive person, she does not wish to hide the truth, but to expose it…and yet she deems few worthy of seeing her face (incidentally, she carries a hammer – something I decided upon deliberately years ago because I admire Thor).

There’s a lot of promise, potential, and power in Thor being a woman – and the mask very much speaks to that.

Odinson’s reaction to the mask itself says a great deal about him as well. He challenges Thor to combat. They aren’t gentle with each other – it’s a real fight. But when he demands to know her identity, he doesn’t rip it off, despite the rage and violence. There’s an earned respect there that goes beyond winning a simple trial of combat. These two have withstood physical and emotional battles together before.

Who Does Odinson Honor?

Rather appropriately, Odinson believes the worthy woman to be his mother. Thor seems surprised but not offended; the comparison is an honorable one. This reinforces the everywoman idea – when you think about every possibility, you are able to realize the worth of many female characters, including some who have taken an awful lot of fan hate over the years.

For this reason, I want to say that Thor’s true identity isn’t as important as what she represents, but I know that she can only represent all that she does because she is worthy to do so. While I still want her to be Jane Foster, the evidence in previous issues still sways me towards Roz.

What are your thoughts on the identity of Thor at this point in time?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation from the mentioned brands or websites for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I just really like Thor.