Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Nic Klein, Matthew Wilson, Laura Martin, VC’s Joe Sabino, Art Adams, and Olivier Coipel
Release Date: January 29th, 2020
Behold; the new herald of Galactus… and his name is Odinson the All-Father of Asgard! However, the Black Winter, which is the universe-ending event that destroyed Galactus’ original universe, is on the horizon as the God of Thunder hurtles through the cosmos searching for the power to save Asgard and all existence. But, will he be able to find the power needed to stop this Black Winter? Furthermore, will Thor be able to destroy five planets and get their inhabitants off in time? And finally, who is behind this galaxy-ending cataclysm? Could it be Knull? Let’s fly into THOR #2 by Donny Cates and see if this installment is truly worthy of our time.
I would have words with Thee, Nic Klein. And those words would be; what a graphical display THOR #2 was this week! By Odin’s beard, this issue was outstanding! First of all, Klein’s illustrations were attention-grabbing, vividly clear, exceedingly dynamic, and brought the comic to life. Klein’s art is so fantastic that this reviewer feels extremely confident that most of what Donny Cates said could have been missing from the pages and readers still would have understood the premise of the story completely. Furthermore, Matt Wilson’s colors enabled this reader’s eyes to dance subconsciously across each page and saturated every panel with brilliant images packed full of richly intense tones that brought forth a great rhythm and weight to the issue. Clearly, for the art alone, this issue is a must buy. I still can’t get over how amazing this issue was by the merit of the art team unaccompanied by anything Cates contributes to the narrative.
Now, as harsh as it seems I’m being towards Cates, that is actually not the case at all. There was nothing that Mr. Cates did wrong in this issue. However, there is nothing that also stood out either. If his focus, as the writer, is centered around the story, there was nothing substantial from the plot or narration that attracted attention. Sure, he worked with Klein, his art team, and helped place what to illustrate and where. However, the greatest impact of the issue was the dynamic artistic chops of Klein and his team. Ultimately, without spoiling the issue, there is a fight, an explosion, and a cliffhanger. That’s the plot! To anyone who has been reading THOR or has read any Cates titles recently, these actions were way too predictable and frankly let this fan down.
Furthermore, I saw online a WHAT IF: THOR #1 (cover above) that was a story involving Thor being the Herald of Galactus that came out almost exactly 14 years ago. So, after issue one, this reviewer was stoked! I thought this idea was new, fresh, and original only to find that it’s been done before (or at least the premise anyway). Now, maybe Cates didn’t borrow his idea from this WHAT IF story? Maybe it’s simply a coincidence? Maybe Cates has openly admitted to borrowing this idea? Either way, something this critic thought was unique and extraordinary now seems borrowed and jaded.
Even with the knowledge that this story “may” have been leased, Cates is still a tremendous writer with many accomplishments. The story is still brilliant, easy to follow, and ultimately captured this comic fan’s interest. Cates makes the stakes feel high, creates an entertaining display, doesn’t bombard readers with words or heavy dialogue, and creates accurate character voices showing the homework and time put forth into this story. The indication of a good story is for the hero to go on a journey, grow, and come out stronger on the other side. Jason Aaron took Thor from teen to King, and beyond. Now, Cates is taking Thor on a different type of journey. However, the possibilities for growth and maturation are endless as well as the possibilities. Sure, elements of this story ”may” have been borrowed, to begin with, but the final result will be all Cates when this is all said and done.
If you’re looking for a story with mind-blowing art, look no further than THOR #2 by the phenomenal Nic Klein. If you’re in need of a story that just kicked off that you’re interested in sinking your teeth into, this is another great option to explore. And finally, if you’re looking for an exciting and intriguing story, there may be no one better than Donny Cates to offer the spice you need to give you that spark of interest to draw you deeper into a narrative. Past practice dictates that his THOR is going to be a wild ride! Give this issue, and series, a shot and let me know what you think.