Thor (2020-) #6
Writer: Donny Cates
Artists: Nic Klein
Donny Cates and Nic Klein’s relaunch of Thor has been a rousing success. It manages to feel like the next chapter of Jason Aaron’s run while still declaring its own independence. It pulls inspiration from all the right places, and the teams’ specific sensibilities end up the perfect fit for the character. Thor #6 concludes the first arc and does so with the right mix of bombast and heart.
This issue’s story is told through the framing device of the Silver Surfer confronting King Thor in the aftermath of his battle with Galactus and the new “Black Winter”. In the present, we see Thor in a state of disarray. He’s drunk, terrified, and despondent. This contrasts his mood in the past, as Galactus’ herald, in which he displays arrogance and his typical strong sense of duty. His present state lends weight to the flashbacks, driving the reader’s curiosity as events unfold and we try to connect these two dots.
So much of this story’s delivery is dependent on Nic Klein selling Thor’s mindset in the present through his acting. When we see drunk Present Thor, Klein does a spectacular job of conveying the horrors he’s seen through his distant stares and body language. One sequence of panels towards the end showcases this perfectly, in which the Surfer asks Thor exactly what it was that he saw that shook him so deeply. Thor gives a single horrified look that would almost suffice even if we didn’t see the vision for ourselves immediately after. It’s a fantastic piece of storytelling and one that exemplifies what makes Nic Klein the right choice for this story.
Donny Cates deserves his fair share of the praise, too, particularly in the flashbacks. He relies on a flowery and mythical narration that sell the stakes of a story so huge. The dialogue is also spot-on, both in it’s scarcity and in the quality of the words themselves. It’s never too sparse, nor too much. The dialogue is the spice that exemplifies the art, rather than attempting to do the heavy lifting itself. Not to mention Cates’ characterization is incredible, with Thor’s actions in this issue feeling just right for who we know him to be. This is not to say that his actions themselves are right, as they’re rash and shortsighted, but that’s who Thor is. He even realizes his own mistakes by the end, furthering the humanization of the god.
Thor #6 is a wonderful conclusion to an arc that defies expectations. With writing and art that are equally skillful, the team manages to deliver an issue that is cohesive and natural. Take out all the bombastic Marvel-isms that tickle my fancy, and I would still love this book for its high level of craftsmanship.
Thor (2020-) #6
Thor #6 is a wonderful conclusion to an arc that defies expectations. With writing and art that are equally skillful, the team manages to deliver an issue that is cohesive and natural. Take out all the bombastic Marvel-isms that tickle my fancy, and I would still love this book for it’s high level of craftsmanship.