Thor and his fellow Asgardians have been through quite a bit lately. Asgard has been ravaged and remade after the War of the Realms story arc. The Bifrost Bridge was destroyed and is being rebuilt with a new guardian watching over it. Thor has become the all-father and recently lost both an arm and eye while finally becoming worthy once again of Mjolnir. Loki has even become King of the Frost Giants.
While there may be lots of changes and developments happening, the idea of Thor having to “retire” in order to rule over Asgard doesn’t exactly sound like it’d make an action-packed superhero comic. The good news is: Donny Cates is no stranger when it comes to creating big, juicy, sprawling comic book adventures. The first issue of the new Thor ongoing sets up a pretty crazy story.
While Thor is a fascinating character, his chronicles are sometimes hit or miss with me. Seeing different parts of Asgard is always fun, but there needs to be a balance with the right amount of crusades and battles. The idea of Thor trying to adapt to his new leadership role and fighting back the urge to smite every problem that may come up would definitely be fun to read, but would that be enough to keep readers on the edge of their seats?. Cates, thankfully, has more than that up his sleeve.
Cates establishes Thor’s status quo right away and brings new readers up to speed with the recent changes. Just when it appears we are about to witness Thor’s first official proclamation upon his people, everything changes with the dramatic entrance of an uninvited guest. This immediately shunts the book in a bold and intriguing direction. If you’ve checked out the covers to the the next couple issues, you should have an idea where story will be taking Thor and what sort of guest stars we may see.
Nic Klein’s art is top notch for the epic feel of the coming story. His depiction of King Thor allows you feel the royalty oozing off him, while his warrior nature is still bubbling beneath the surface. The return of Matt Wilson doing the color art and Joe Sabino on letters will ensure the series retains the Thor vibe we’ve gotten used to these past years, regardless of the new territory Cates will be taking things.
We actually get to see Thor with a few different looks throughout the issue. The funny thing is, I didn’t really pay attention to Olivier Coipel’s gorgeous new rendering of Thor as I immediately dove right into the issue and started reading. If Thor is headed in a new direction, he might as well have a new look.
After many years of grandiose stories, Thor is now being guided by a new writer. Donny Cates has been bringing the heat with his recent work at Marvel and shows why he is worthy of chronicling the tales of everyone’s favorite Asgardian. Cates’ ability to create exciting situations that sometimes feel a little bananas gives us a lot to look forward to. With art and color by Nic Klein and Matt Wilson along with letters by Joe Sabino, it’s evident this book will deliver the monumental stories Thor and readers deserve.