Welcome back to my summer binge of J. Michael Straczynski’s 2007 “Thor” Omnibus. After rereading Jason Aaron’s run and looking back into Walt Simonson’s epic run, I wanted to delve deeper into the stories of Marvel’s God of Thunder, so I found this book at my LCS and decided to give it a go. This week, Straczynski’s “Thor” run comes to end. While Straczynski manages to wrap up some of the loose ends and storylines that began early in his run, the story is far from over.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Penciled by Marko Djurdjevic
Inked by Danny Miki with Allen Martinez and Marko Djurdjevic
Colored by Christina Strain
Lettered by Joe Sabino
So we get an ending of sorts, however the ending we get is so underwhelming and it almost feels like J. Michael Straczynski had a different ending in mind all together. Instead of getting a showdown between Thor, Balder, and Loki Straczynski focuses more on Bill the Warrior, a supporting member of Straczysnki’s run, and perhaps the eyes in which “we mortals” can see through.
Bill has been ever present since the beginning of this run. I hadn’t really mentioned him in my recaps until last week. I thought he was just another resident from Broxton, someone who fell in love with the goddess Kelda, and someone to humanize the great cast of gods. But after reading this issue, there can be an argument made that Bill is in fact the main protagonist of Straczynski’s entire run. He has been in a majority of the issues, and has much character development as well as helped moved plot points forward.
In the last issue, after discovering that Doom and Loki indeed had tricked the Asgardians into residing in Latveria to develop “Super Doom Bots,” Bill was attacked by servants of Loki and almost defeated them. But Bill was fatally stabbed in the closing moments of the issue. Unluckily for the traitorous Asgardians, Balder comes onto the scene and fights off the Asgardian assassins. In one last heroic act, Bill saves Balder from certain death before telling the Asgardian king to tell Kelda that he loves her.
Balder, determined to find Loki and prove his wrongdoing, takes Bill back to his people and informs Kelda of her lovers death.
Elsewhere, back in Broxton, Sif and the Warriors Three fight off the deadly new Super Doom Bots made from Asgardian blood. Loki made a pact with Doom to use his machines to kill Donald Blake. Blake is almost killed but manages to transform into Thor just in the knick of time. Due to extensive injuries Blake is nearly paralyzed and now, once again use that walking stick to get around. As was said in the beginning “Everything old is new again. And everything new is old again.” This is a nice callback to Blake exiting the void and becoming Thor again.
Finally, Kelda visits Doom in search of vengeance but Doom manages to stop her and use her for his own nefarious devices. And while the Djurdjevic turns a pretty issue with great action and some very dramatic moments, I still prefer Coipel’s pencils. Christina Strain manages to set the tone of the issue quite well with her colors, adding to the more somber moments with masterful skill. One thing is certain, the art team on these books definitely lived up to the hype and they stand among some of my favorite artists on a “Thor” comic.
So there it is. The end of the run. Why does it feel so empty? It feels as if Straczynski had an end in mind but never got to execute that ending. And I was able to track down a 2009 CBR interview in which he reveals why he left. Straczynski said “The one concern at the back of my head was that of being pulled into a Big Event that could affect the forward momentum of the book and alter its direction.” Of course he is talking about “Siege,” by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel, which directly followed this “Thor” series. Straczysnki continued, saying “There were no creative differences, no animosity, no rancor… just the question of how to handle being caught in the switches by my own shortcomings and ineptitude.” So while we’ll never get a proper ending imagined by writer who launched the series, it’s nice to know that he was not pushed off the book and that he parted ways amicably.Continued below
If you’ve been reading along, I hope you’ve liked my commentary. And if you’re one who doesn’t care about endings, go ahead a check out the omnibus. It may not leave you satisfied reader by the end, but make no mistake, I would recommend it to any Thor fan.