Just when you thought Thor couldn’t get more powerful now that he’s powered up by the power of Odin, he goes and gets Herald of Galactus upgrades. Compensating much? Actually, this is all because he’s trying to prevent all things from being destroyed by the “Black Winter” and Galactus is the only way to stop it. Last issue saw Thor help Galactus kill a planet and this week it’s time to fight Beta Ray Bill who has good intentions, but he’s not a stop-and-think kind of guy.
If you like your comics fast, to the point, and filled with action, this will be your cup of mead. The issue opens with a full-page splash of Thor’s hammer covered in purple gore, and interestingly is not a scene taking place in the present. Writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein have shown us a much more vicious Thor than we’re used to, so it’s interesting to see a “lost” past scene where Thor was just as violent. This sets up the fact that Thor doesn’t play around and soon we cut to the “now” where Beta Ray Bill is trying to knock some sense into Thor.
This is a fight comic both on the surface and in its bones. Klein does a great job showing how to nearly indestructible heroes can trade blows and keep going. In a key scene involving Mjolnir, we get to see how far Thor will go to make his point even if it means maiming his friend. The flashback of Thor fighting in the opening pages is an incredible double page layout of grotesque, disturbing, and wildly creative monsters bursting forth on Thor. This is a dark fantasy through and through and should have fans clamoring for more.
There isn’t a lot to say about the book since it’s really just two scenes. Cates is definitely writing a bit more for the trade than the single issue when it comes to the amount of content. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but it’s quite clear this first arc is getting us to a short distance from where we’re at now.
Matt Wilson continues to impress with this darker tone for the book with sparks of bright orange and red due to the exploding planet around our heroes. It’s interesting that the powers cosmic seem to be the brightest thing in the frame unless things are blowing up. Is the positivity of the universe tied to the cosmic powers inside Thor?
This is without a doubt the best popcorn comic on the stands right now. Kick your feet up and enjoy what is becoming one of the most aggressive and loud comics on the stands.