- Written by: Donny Cates
- Art by: Martin Coccolo
- Colors by: Matt Wilson
- Letters by: VC’s Joe Sabino
- Cover art by: Gary Frank, Brad Anderson, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Jason Keith
- Cover price: $5.99
- Release date: May 18, 2022
Thor #25 continues the Banner of War saga with a part 2 that finds the Avengers on the hunt for Hulk’s whereabouts, a soul-to-soul confrontation between Banner and Odin, more details about the El Paso incident, and a Hulkbuster to end all Hulkbusters.
Was It Good?
Thor #25 continues the Banner of War story (saga? event?) with a part 2, which gives readers a lot more to chew on when compared to Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War #1. On that count, it’s a marked improvement over the first part of this story.
When last we left our combatants, Thor and Hulk were locked in single combat in a blood-sport arena carved out of a long-dead Celestial’s hand. After a nasty blow from Mjolnir, Odin’s soul took the opportunity to enter Banner’s mind for a personal chat. Now, we see what the Avengers have been doing this whole time, what Odin sees (and doesn’t see), and a heavy hint that a greater threat is at work.
The Avengers have been holding tight until they could locate Hulk. They do, and tony Stark gives an impressively comedic explanation as to how he found the Angry Green Giant. The dialog in the Avengers scene is amusing, and it clarifies what they’ve been doing the whole time. That said, the art in this section of the book is a bit wonky. Body shapes are out of proportion, and faces have odd expressions. For example, there’s one panel where readers are presented with an oddly pear-shaped Captain America.
Back to the fight. Odin and Banner’s personal chart quickly devolves into a brawl before a strong head butt from Thor in the real world shakes the two souls into a flashback scene centering on the El Paso incident. There, we see the patrons of a seedy bar get killed, but it has nothing to do with a robbery gone wrong (as Hulk #1 incorrectly suggested). Something is manipulating Hulk’s power in a new and uncontrollable way, and this makes the whole crux of Cates’s story suddenly more interesting. The flashback to El Paso should have come much sooner in the series, and I fear taking so long to get to it was a critical error in judgment for retaining readers because it creates a completely new layer of mystery for the story.
The art is generally good in this issue, barring the anatomical wonkiness of the opening scene with the Avengers. The action is intense and sometimes very gory, and the coloring in this issue is outstanding.
Bits and Pieces
Thor #25 fills in critical and long-overdue blanks from the main Hulk run with clarity on everything from the Avengers’ whereabouts to the oft-referenced El Paso incident. The art is generally good, except for an occasional odd panel with weird facial expressions and body proportions, and there are plenty of wow moments to keep you engaged.