Thor has been an epic ride, offering up new idea after new idea and properly telling a cosmic tale that’s dark and yet right at home in the Marvel universe. Donny Cates and Nic Klein have been able to make a version of Thor that’s metal as hell, and also naturally progress the story from where Jason Aaron left off. In the latest issue out today, Thor fights a black death that wants to consume everything — but how is it tied to Galactus?
This issue opens with Lady Sif at Asgard awaiting her king. You’re properly set up for the battle in the book thanks to this scene reminding us Thor is doing this without the aid of his people. Cut to Thor and Galactus teaming up on a black smoke cloud fighting for their lives. Cates properly sets up an issue that reminds us all the end times Thor has fought against and many of the villains he’s vanquished. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but it’s a nice way to touch on what came before as we prepare for the new direction for the character.
Many will be talking about the final few pages. However awesome the fight sequence is, that takes up much of the book. That’s because Cates has properly put his stamp on a key character and may have forever changed them. It’s a cool idea, the kind that blows your mind since it’s so natural, yet you’ve never thought of it.
Klein’s art, backed by Matt Wilson’s colors, continues to bring the flowing locks of Thor into perspective as he floats about, vanquishing evil. The art is so metal it makes me wonder why Marvel didn’t get Marilyn Manson to do a song for it. Double page splash pages are properly used to show the size and scope of blasts of energy, a full-page featuring something new is quite impressively done, and I continue to marvel at how dark the book is yet so right for the subject matter.
This is a solid issue in a slower-plotted first story arc for Donny Cates. Some may be a tad annoyed at a slower pace, but the sheer number of awesome moments and ideas is hard to deny. I can’t help but be amazed at how Cates seems to have so many clever ideas as he builds on Marvel history and paves the way for his own.
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