Quote:I used to buy this when it was coming out (Back then, comics were cheaper. Boy, I miss those days.), and I thought that the first year or so (Heroes Return.) with John Romita Jr was really good. That Destroyer arc was the best, as I really did not know about the character before then, and that made me really dig him. After that, there was some good stuff, but it started to lose steam. I think that Jurgens should have left a lot earlier (Say, after the death of Odin.). Overall, I think that Jurgens was underlooked, and I would classify the Dark Gods storyline as a classic. If just for the first year, I would give him either a B or a B +, overall I would give him a C or a C-.
The first two years of the run were as good as anything on the comic other than Walt's first two years.
Awesome stories, totally embraced what made the character great, introduced some great new villains, pacing was fantastic, JRjr's art was bold and beefy (perfect for Thor).
Years 3-4 were good but not as great as the first two years. I think starting the Desak threat in an annual was a mistake and the build-up took too long and too much of it was 'off-screen'. Gladiator and Zarrko working together was cool though. Thor Girl was fun. The demise of Odin at the hands of Surtur felt a bit too 'homage' though, although the silent issue was fantastic.
The final two years were okay. We got the resolution of the Desak build-up and a brief reappearance of Perrikus, but of course we had the whole Reigning storyline. While philosophically very interesting indeed, I think the slower pacing of that story, its lack of action and that it indirectly cast Thor in a shady light ultimately hurt it. Plus it just went on too long without Classic Thor (take note Jason Aaron).
Dan has commented that the Reigning was initially meant to be a mini-series and personally that would have probably been better. What they could have done was just have a divergent story line and then double-shipped Thor for a year. So say have Issue #60 A and Issue #60 B with 'B' being the divergent Reigning storyline.
Great run though and I do not foresee anyone having anywhere near as good a run as that in the current climate.
First 2 years = A+
Years 3-4 = B+
Years 5-6 = C+
I know we all have our preferences, but I'd put him in the bottom 25% of Thor writers, or at least close to it.
Jurgens did introduce characters I liked...I liked Magni, his characterization of Amora, the Dark Gods, his characterization of Zarkko (though I would have explored him a bit more), and I even liked the idea of Thor girl....BUT
I felt he was great at story set up, but horrible at resolution. The resolution of the Jake Olsen storyline and drug use etc. didn't make logical sense based on what was shown previously, for instance. The Reigning dragged on too long, and had poor resolution, etc.
I do hold that his first two issues are among the best in comics period...they were awesome, if a bit reminiscent of the Death of Superman, but still wonderfully executed, but most of what came after was good set up, horrible let down at the resolution.