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Old Man Pheonix vs. Thor, who ya got?

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Thor #5 Review

Old Man Pheonix vs. Thor, who ya got?

If you read Thor #1 you’ll know there are plenty of loose ends to wrap up, not the least of which is what has happened to Wolverine. In a closing scene we learn Logan is now bestowed with a cosmic power that is quite a shock. That story is carried forward in today’s issue and it also pushes old Thor’s story forward to a shocking end.

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

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Why does this matter?

Christian Ward and Jason Aaron are teaming up again, and you know Ward will bring the cosmic visual goodies. Ward’s work on Black Bolt is otherworldly and it delivers big time this issue as well. This also aims to tell a story of the end of the universe, but as this story reveals maybe it’s not as close to its end as we thought.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Old Man Pheonix vs. Thor, who ya got?

Just two buds drinking some brews. Credit: Marvel Comics

This issue is all about bringing Logan and Thor together, opening with a moment they shared in a dive bar in the early days and then jettisoning the narrative to eons from now. Aaron does a good job setting up the fact that these two aren’t best friends, but they get along pretty well. It’s fun to see how Ward and Aaron characterize both in the past and in the future showing how they’ve changed and been weathered by war and the end of days.

This issue also progresses storylines for Ego (who ate Galactus) and Thor’s daughters. There are twists in this story that are quite big — so big you might think it’s an alternate dimension, but as far as I can tell this is canon. That’s a good thing, especially with alternate-dimension hopping going on all the time (I’m looking at you, Spider-Geddon and Marvel Two-in-One). The ending drops a hammer down in regards to who the greatest threat the universe has ever seen and longtime comic readers should get a kick out of it.

The biggest kick you’ll get in this book is how Aaron integrates fun cosmic-isms for character traits and the like. If you’re going to go big with your ideas you might as well steer right into them.

Ward is an excellent artist, especially when it comes to mystical, cosmic, and otherworldly sights. Wolverine sporting the Phoenix is impressive and Ward never lets you forget he’s basically a god now. The flaming claws look great, and his scraggly beard complements the ferociousness nicely. Ego is freakish and strange looking, which complementing his new evil persona. There are interesting uses of color streaking across the page here and there with motion blur or focus used to help enhance the trippy nature of space.

Old Man Pheonix vs. Thor, who ya got?

God damn these visuals are good. Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

I’m not sure what the scenes with Logan and Thor add to the story. We already know they are familiar with each other and these scenes seem to run on a bit long to remind us. The scene doesn’t do much as far as their conflict later in the story either since they’re more at odds than chit-chatting like they are in the earlier scene. As an idea this issue is cool, but it doesn’t quite sell you on the bond these characters share.

Is it good?

A good issue that progresses the story of future Thor well. The cliffhanger alone should be worth the price of admission though the nature of the story is lost when it comes to Logan and Thor’s relationship.

Thor #5
Is it good?
An action heavy issue that's rendered beautifully by Christian Ward's trippy art.
Christian Ward shows off impressive skills, rendering the cosmic future quite impressively
The cliffhanger is pretty damn awesome
Lots of fighting...
...though it feels pointless
The relationship dynamic between Logan and Thor isn't very interesting

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