Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Aaron Kuder, Matt Wilson, VC’s Joe Sabino, Laura Martin, and Olivier Coipel
Release Date: October 7th, 2020
After the crazy ending to THOR #7, one would wonder… who’s up next to wield Mjolnir? It’s as if everyone gets a crack at the hammer! But, the real question should be… are they truly worthy? Let’s dive into THOR #8 by Donny Cates to see what’s going on with the hammer of the Thunder God. There must be more than meets the eye with Mjolnir, right? Well, let’s find out.
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Donny Cates takes THOR fans where they haven’t been before. Well, I guess they’ve been to Broxton Oklahoma… but I mean with the issues involving Mjolnir. You see, something’s wrong with the hammer and no one really knows why, including the King himself. The angle Cates pursues is interesting, to say the least, but it feels like it’s been done before. The list of people or beings that have wielded Mjolnir is actually quite long. From Vision and Black Panther to Jane Foster, Loki, Steve Rogers, Beta Ray Bill, and Eric Masterson, many have had the great hammer and its power coursing through their veins. So, what’s the big deal if Adam Aziz can wield it? What’s the big deal if anyone can wield it? Well, I think this is merely the opening act of what’s to come.
Simply look back at Thor’s vision he received from the Black Winter and notice that Thanos was wielding Mjolnir with the Infinity Stones decorating the outside. Wouldn’t this set up by Cates make more sense than the Mad Titan being worthy to wield the hammer? So, Cates has used two issues to set up a broke hammer. Gotcha. Where does that leave readers? Well, it leaves us with at least one wasted issue, a throwaway character (for now), and another issue of fluff to get us on what appears to be Thor taking a trip down Memory Lane.
My biggest complaint would be that Cates went from a purely, epic onslaught involving Galactus and his death to now two pointlessly fun stories that easily could have been placed into half an issue. Wouldn’t the narrative have been better suited for someone readers knew (hero or villain) to be able to wield Mjolnir? Maybe a conflict with a B or C-list villain having the ability to wield Mjolnir? Furthermore, I’m a big proponent of the covers complementing the story. Olivier Coipel and Laura Martin do a phenomenal job with the cover. It’s humorous, intricate, clever, and detailed. However, it’s not even close to anything that happens in the issue and is incredibly misleading to the intent of the issue.
Overall, Aaron Kuder does a great job making each page pop, especially the splash pages incorporating such bright coloring from Matt Wilson. This art team really put the Thunder God on display in some spectacular panels, which is truly fantastic considering there was very little conflict in the issue to elevate their talent. But even though the artistic endeavors of this team complimented Cates masterfully, the plot and direction of the issue are what drove the score down for me this week. Iron Man’s reactions didn’t seem very accurate. In fact, he came across as almost scared of Thor. Additionally, the opening pages involving The Book of Kings didn’t seem to jive with the rest of the issue ultimately making THOR #8 seem disjointed and unproductive.
This week’s issue of THOR opened with what seemed dramatic and then turned into an almost 10-page conversation with Tony Stark. And in that conversation, nothing was really accomplished other than the character’s voice and attitude not feeling like the pompously arrogant, stalwart hero I’ve grown to love. Furthermore, almost half the issue was filled with splash pages, two page spreads, or half-page panels showcasing the art team. But here’s the catch… there wasn’t any real action. So, what were they for? Well, the pages were there to show anger and a face smack. That’s basically it. Ultimately, this week’s THOR (and last issue) were a bit of a letdown. Maybe it’s because the first arc was so fast-paced, large, and explosive? Or maybe Cates was focusing more on Knull and the KING IN BLACK during these issues and gave us some filler for the time being? Who knows? I just know I’ve read better from Cates and I left this week’s THOR a bit disappointed.
If you really want to get your hands on THOR #8, click the Amazon link HERE to preorder a copy. Additionally, if THOR by Donny Cates is your jam, click HERE to grab the latest trades, volumes, and titles. Plus, if you’re interested in Jason Aaron’s THOR run, click HERE to get your hands on some outstanding trades. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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