Over ice cream today, I thought about my history with Thor. I never actually read Thor from years back, but that was only because I just didn't think he was worth reading. I only started reading the series as the behest of my husband who marveled at Stracazynski's take on the Aesir. I was instantly captivated. I devoured every issue that Straczynski moulded (I think he moulded every single issue like a sculptor gets his fingerprints all over his art). I became a Thor-aholic. I couldn't wait for the next issue to come out.
Now that Gillen is writing it, though, I don't feel the same excitement over the comics. Don't get me wrong, I still think Thor is interesting [I am a slave for all things Norse], it's just that I'm not grabbed by it anymore. And I think I finally got it all figured out.
I think Straczynski understood that Thor was both a man and a god, and he made sure to make that balance apparent in his work, that is, Donald Blake actually was integral in Thor's decision-making. This, just like what Straczinski is doing to Superman, humanizes Thor, and makes him a little bit more understandable and relatable to the feeble human mind. For me, Straczinski's Thor was not just a deus ex machina member of the Avengers who came at the very last minute to kill whoever the Avengers were attempting to beat some super powerful mega villain. Thor became a being that was both human and divine-- one who faced the same problems humans had but also had the powers and sensibilities of a god.
I hope that when Matt Fraction picks the series up, he doesn't lose this perspective that had me starstruck even when I only subconsciously understood it. I can only hope.