Thor #27 featured Columns 

Don’t Miss This: “Thor” by Donny Cates, Al Ewing, and more

By | September 29th, 2022
Posted in Columns | % Comments

There are a lot of comics out there, but some stand out head and shoulders above the pack. With “Don’t Miss This,” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, we pay tribute to the god of thunder with a look at “Thor,” and see what’s the latest with Asgard’s favorite thunder god.

Who’s this by?

“Thor” is normally written by Donny Cates, who Marvel fans will also recognize for his work on “Hulk,” “King in Black,” and “Silver Surfer: Black.” Outside of Marvel, he’s also known for “Redneck” and “Vanish” for Image Comics, “Babyteeth” for Aftershock Comics, and even some “Star Trek” comics for IDW.

Martin Coccolo provided the artwork for the last few issues, bringing Thor to life with all the might and thunder he deserves. Marvel readers will recognize him from several issues of “X-Force” and “X-Men,” while DC fans may be more familiar with his work on the “Green Lantern” and “Sinestro” comics. However, he was also more of a guest artist for the issues where Thor fought Hulk.

Normally, Nic Klein does the art, and he’ll be returning for issue #29 in a few months. In the meantime, you can still find his artwork in several “A.X.E.” tie-in issues, while Image readers may be familiar with his work on “Hardcore: Reloaded,” “Paradiso,” and “Seven to Eternity.”

“Thor” has also featured guest artists like Michele Bandini, Pasqual Ferry, and Bob Quinn, each of whom bring their own distinct styles and special touches to the comic. Throughout most all of the artists, Matt Wilson’s color work has kept the look consistent.

This week, things are also a little different. Al Ewing is teaming up with Donny on writing duty, with Salvador Larroca as the guest artist. Al is currently the writer for the “Venom” comics (not to mention “X-Men: Red,” which is also not to be missed), so this issue kicks off a crossover between the two. Salvador Larroca is a well-known artist at Marvel, having worked on the “Alien” comics, several issues of “Star Wars,” and “Carnage Forever.”

So while the creative team may be shifting around for this week, you still won’t want to miss this.

What’s it all about?

Well, it’s a “Thor” comic, so it goes without saying that it’s about Thor. But Thor is currently the king of Asgard, and with that comes a lot of responsibilities… and even more baggage. But while we’ve seen him face cosmic-level threats and even temporarily become a herald of Galactus, his most dangerous threats come from within, or from his own past.

We’ve seen Thor struggle with the weight of his hammer, fight a crazed version of his one-time alter ego, battle his own hammer, and struggle with family and loss. The battles are just as much internal and emotional as they are external and violent.

Of course, given that he just faced off against the Hulk, there was plenty of violence to go around. But even that became more a matter of facing his own reflection as Thor became gamma-infused and Hulk picked up Mjolnir.

And now we’re getting another team-up, with Venom of all people.

So yeah, Thor has been pretty busy, but it’s all been excellent.

What makes it so great?

As mentioned, this comic isn’t just about Thor fighting things. It’s an exploration of what it means to be Thor—the king of Asgard, a god, an Avenger—as well as facing his own issues and dealing with the messiness of his history. So it’s filled with both good ol’ comic book action, but also introspection and character-driven struggles and development.

Donny Cates has been doing a great job taking Thor on this journey, exploring the character’s history and the Marvel universe at large. How many writers forget about Donald Blake until he’s conveniently needed again? Donny explores that. Who would win in a fight between Thor as a Hulk against the Hulk with Mjolnir? Oh yeah, we get that too. It’s everything you’d want from a “Thor” comic.

And it helps that the artwork is excellent as well. Whether it’s Martin Coccolo’s huge action scenes, Nic Klein’s detailed settings and character designs, or any of the guest artists, there has yet to be an issue that didn’t look excellent. Every image is filled with the grandiosity that Thor should bring to the page, especially when the other gods of Asgard get involved.

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Colorist Matt Wilson is owed a lot of credit there, with clean but nicely shaded color work that brings the full spectrum of comic’s bright shades to bear while still giving them a natural tone, and shading. The colors flood the page, setting the atmosphere and creating impactful lighting effects, especially when the lightning starts to strike.

And now we get to see the excellent designs, shading, and panel framing that Salvador Larroca is known for, while Al Ewing brings in the latest from “Venom” to connect two stories that would normally stay far apart.

Come for Thor swinging a hammer at his enemies, stay for the artwork and character-driven introspective action. Yes, action can be introspective, especially when Thor is involved.

Where can I read it?

You can find volumes 1-4 of Donny Cates’ “Thor” at your local comic shop, or online on Comixology or the Marvel Comics website. Issue 27, featuring Al Ewing and Salvador Larroca, is out in stores this week and can also be found anywhere you buy comics in-store or online.

//TAGS | Don't Miss This

Robbie Pleasant


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