Thor #4 is available now where all good comics are sold!
THOR’S GREATEST ENEMY – AND THE UNIVERSE’S ONLY SAVIOR – REVEALED! The Black Winter is coming – the end of the entire vast universe – and only one entity can stop it. The only one who has survived it before, Galactus the World-Eater, has come to Midgard…in search of a herald for the end of everything.
Donny Cate’s run on Thor had been a slow burn for me. There had been some good moments, mainly The Black Winter destroying the DC universe, but I hadn’t been wowed. Until now. This is without a doubt the best issue of the series so far.
This issue finally moves the story forward at pace. Thor, now All Father, has agreed to be the Herald of Galactus, aiding Galactus in devouring five planets that will give him the power to combat the ominous Black Winter. Thor is valiantly getting the inhabitants of these planets to safety before Galactus consumes them. Beta Ray Bill took umbrage to this, confronted Thor and was subsequently bested by the Thunder God in the previous issue. While it was a great fight scene, that issue needlessly slowed the pace of the overarching story.
Cates’ has a firm grasp on the Asguardian speech. The narration flows poetically and is not over the top, and Thor’s voice is authentic – both authoritative and humble. There is lovely character development in this issue – we get ‘King Thor’ as barters with Sith, ‘War Thor’ as he briefly battles with Galactus, as well as an all too human Thor as he weeps for the lost citizens of Kryo. The contrasts are stark and work to mature Thor as we follow him in this story. Cates manages to throw a very interesting tendril for a future story while all of this is occurring. I won’t spoil it here but it involves everyone’s favourite mischievous God. That page alone will have me buying this book on a regular basis!
Nic Klein’s art has been consistently great in this book. There is a weight to Thor; his shoulders are hunched, head lowered, his hair covers his eyes so that you can feel his frustration and the burdens he is carrying. I had to stop and truly admire the beautifully epic double page spread, split in three panels in which Galactus is consuming three separate worlds. My favourite visual from the issue is Galactus’ silhouette looming over the soon to be doomed planet of Kryo, a truly harrowing image. I also have to praise Matt Wilson whose colours are excellent. Suitably vibrant and sullen where appropriate the colours wonderfully compliment Klein’s art.
And oh my, what a last page reveal! This is the biggest moment of the issue and a skill that is quickly becoming Donny Cate’s trademark. The entire issue is dedicated to Galactus getting bigger and stronger; physically he grows and grows until he dwarfs the planets he is consuming. He is always framed from a low angle so that we constantly have to look up at his colossal form. Turn to the last page. The Black Winter is finally here, and makes Galactus look like a child standing in the presence of a giant. This is the first distinguishable image of The Black Winter that we have seen and it is one that emphasises its terrifying scale and the immense threat it poses to the Marvel Universe.
Overall this is a very satisfying issue as the arc races to its climax. The character work, story and art all benefit from each other to weave a wonderful story. I was sceptical after the first three issues of this series, but I am now recommending it to anyone who will listen!
Jason who? Donny Cates is firmly cementing his legacy on the Thor mythos. I cannot wait for the next issue!