Thor #15 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 14, 2021

Writer: Donny Cates
Guest Artist: Michele Bandini
Guest Inkers: Michele Bandini & Elisabetta D’Amico
Colours: Matt Wilson
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

It’s been clear since the first issue of this run that Donny Cates has big plans for this character, similar to his recent work on Venom, which will be years in unfurling. One of the ongoing story arcs which hasn’t progressed too far has been Mjolnir growing heavier for the new king of Asgard. While this storyline might feel familiar to readers of Jason Aarons time on the series, during his Unworthy Thor storyline, Cates’ has made it clear during his tenure that he’s taking this story in a different direction. Well, fifteen issues in, and that storyline is getting tackled head on. Following on from the recent defeat of Donald Blake, as Mjolnir grows ever more unwieldy, Thor now has the time to tackle this problem.

As always there will be no spoilers here, but it’s fair to say that the explanation for what has been happening to Thor’s hammer is both clever and inspired, and fans will love it. It takes a good, hard look at the mythology of Asgard, and the reason that Thor wields Mjolnir. It also offers up some exciting possibilities for the future which will give fans guessing and coming back for more. It’s also clear that just as the world of symbiotes has been forever changed under Cates rule, that Thor, Asgard, and all of the ten realms will also be left different and unrecognisable after Cates masterful storytelling is over. It’s one of the many reasons he is such an exciting writer to follow. He is unafraid to make substantial, lasting changes to both the characters and their worlds. He understands what works so well about Thor, uses his masterful storytelling to tell powerful stories which resonate with readers and isn’t afraid to shake up the status quo.

One of the highlights of the issue involves Thor having a heart to heart with Captain America. He discusses what it means to be a God and to live thousands of years. It also gives Cates an excellent opportunity to explore Thor’s love of Midgard and the Avengers, why out of all of the realms he’s chosen to spend so much time there. It’s clever and surprisingly touching. It’s the small moments like this which really stand out. Quiet time, two friends talking, rather than the over the top action scenes.

Guest artist Michele Bandini does a great job with the art, her style is similar to series regular Nic Klein, and as such her work fits in seamlessly. That possibly comes across a little derogatory however, as her art is good enough it stands on its own two feet and looks great. She gets a chance to draw a number of important characters from both Asgard and Earth here, and they all look fantastic. And then there are Matt Wilson’s colours, a true highlight of the entire series, and as always they continue to impress with the variety in his palette, the way he manages to include a multitude of different colours, and the brightness of Thor’s lightning.

Another excellent issue in one of Thor’s best ongoing series, this chapter promises to be the start of a big and exciting new entry in Thor’s life, one which will reinvigorate fans for the character and keep them coming back month after month. But even amongst all of the big, character changing moments, Cates manages to find some quieter moments for the character to reflect, and this is a real highlight of the issue. He understands Thor in a way that a lot of writers don’t, which makes his work on the character extraordinary.

Our Score:


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