Marvel’s celebrating Thor’s 750th issue this week with an anthology issue that ties directly into Donny Cates and Nic Klein’s run. It’s a story that spins out of the death of Odin, Thor’s still-fresh time as the king of Asgard, and features some of the most important creators to ever write and draw the character. Does this book, which features creators like Jason Aaron and Walter Simonson chipping in, celebrate the god of thunder well enough?
As you can see in the Thor #24 preview, this issue opens with Thor giving a eulogy for his dear old dad. Cates and Klein use Thor’s reading from a great book to kick off each of the stories in this anthology. It’s a smart way to keep a single through-line in the narrative while giving various creators a chance to chip in varying types of stories. Smartly, Cates is well aware a character like Odin has died before and makes mention of that. That detail, and some other self-referential moments, make this a smartly written anthology.
Each story offers something a little different. Walter Simonson gives us an interesting look at Beta Ray Bill that fills in some gaps. His art brings that old-school feel and it’s so fitting he gets to tell a story about his creation. Dan Jurgens and Klaus Janson also provide a classic sort of tale and help remind us Odin works in mysterious ways. This story also features a ton of action.
Other stories set up possible future tales, or at the very least feel logical given the death of Odin. In J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel’s tale, for instance, we get to see Thor do the smart thing and craft a will. Outside of looking gorgeous, the story also seems to suggest a will is a necessary thing for Thor to craft.
Al Ewing and Lee Garbett get to focus on Loki, which ties into the great work Ewing has done with Loki setting up his Defenders tale in the past. It’s also a clever way to focus on Loki and his reaction to his father’s death. He doesn’t have a cold dead heart in that trickster body after all.
Jason Aaron and Das Pastoras get to focus on Odin’s past exploits one million years ago. This plays into Aaron’s work with the ancient Avengers. It also makes a strong point about Mjolnir that’s not to be missed.
If you were to go searching for a gripe, it might be how wordy the captions get in the story by Cates set in the now. He has the floor at the start and has a lot to say to those who are mourning. Natus fill the pages before Thor sends his father off and again it’s a lot.
Everyone will be talking about how this tale ends, though. Cates and Klein continue to mix things up for Thor and there’s a major revelation that should mean at least another great story arc from the team. No spoilers here, but it’s fun to see how they’ve set up a new dynamic for Thor to deal with.
All told, Thor #24 is a good anthology with each tale either paying homage to classics or playing into current and future stories. The main story is smartly written to tie all those together while setting up a new dawn for Thor. In a way, this milestone issue serves as a testament to how Thor may have lasted decades, but he has many more great adventures to take on in the decades to come.
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