Four issues in, Marvel’s Generations series has been quite an intriguing read. Kicking off with Generations: The Strongest (Banner Hulk & The Totally Awesome Hulk), it was followed by Generations: The Phoenix (Phoenix and Jean Grey), and Generations: The Best (Wolverine & All-New Wolverine), all of which have been enjoyable pairings that served to enhance the newer characters’ stories.

So far, the stories have each focused on the lessons that the characters impart to each other. The Hulk story focused on Amadeus Cho learning that the Hulk is not a gift, but a curse, while Jean Grey learnt that she has to take control of her own life and not worry about becoming the Phoenix; while All-New Wolverine gave Logan a lesson about being a parent.

One thing that has been a little lacking in all three books, however, is spectacle.

Sure, we’ve had the two Hulks take down a sea monster, the Wolverines fighting The Hand and Sabretooth, and even Jean Grey sucker-punching Galactus in the face, but for sheer spectacle and thunderous action, there can only be Thor. And boy, do the god and goddess of thunder deliver.

The Odinson did not like it when strange women handled his hammer.

Generations: The Thunder plucks Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor and brings her back to a past where the Odinson is still unworthy of wielding Mjolnir. After being forced to attend an official function in his “formal wear” (which happens to be his superhero costume), he hears a prayer from his loyal Vikings on Midgard and rushes to their aid. Little does he know that the Vikings have sailed to Egypt, which is under the protection of one of the most powerful mutants of all time – Apocalypse!

Just as Thor is about to jump into battle, a huge lightning bolt comes down, and there stands the Mighty Thor, holding the hammer he so coverts.

As far as the major fights go, the two Thors’ showdown with Apocalypse is definitely the most satisfying in Generations so far. The two Thors going at it with Apocalypse is a sight to behold indeed, and goes to show that even without his hammer, the Odinson still packs one hell of a punch.

Artist Mahmud Asrar is pretty gratuitous with all the awesome smiting scenes, and writer Jason Aaron manages to keep the exposition at a minimum and let the two characters’ actions speak for themselves, as they should.

The banter between the two Thors is also pretty amusing, especially when the brash young Odinson ponders how a “wench” can wield the hammer that is his birthright.

For all the thunder and lightning this issue has, however, it is what happens in the end that probably has the greatest repercussions for the Marvel Universe. Firstly, Jane Foster learns why it’s so important to hold on to being Jane Foster when she could so easily be Thor forever.

It’s the final revelation that is the biggest one though – the sight of Odin conversing with the Phoenix Force, reminiscing about the time he and the Phoenix were a couple, with him wielding Mjolnir!

For those not in the know, it’s a neat look ahead to the upcoming Marvel Legacy, which will feature “the Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C.” – Odin, the Phoenix Force, Iron Fist, Agamotto (remember Dr Strange’s Eye Of Agamotto?), and the original Ghost Rider.

The Generations series has had its fair share of surprises, but the Thor issue has been the most satisfying so far.

Here’s hoping the next 10 issues will have more of the same.

Generations: The Thunder

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Publisher: Marvel Comics