Thor #18 Review

by Charles Martin on October 20, 2021

Thor #18 Review
Writer: Donny Cates
Guest Artists: Pasqual Ferry and Bob Quinn
Colourist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

NOTE: This review was edited after publication to fix mistaken artist attributions.

Between the cover, the solicits, and the title page, the fact that this issue revolves around Throg is the opposite of a surprise.

And that does lead to one little shortcoming: Awareness of the imminent arrival of the Thunder Frog damages the tension of the first scene. 

Mjolnir has been stolen and Thor is taking the wise but uncharacteristic step of asking for help. In that first scene, he taps Loki, who turns him down flat. But his brother has a good idea for an alternate hunter … whoever could that be?

Yep, Throg is choice number two, and he's all too happy to help the Allfather. But he wisely decides the job is big enough that he needs a team supporting him. So the balance of the book becomes a classic "getting the gang together" sequence.

And here's where I reverse direction and start clamming up about spoilers. Throg's team picks are a nice mix of the obvious and the surprising, and the results are terrific. The new team takes on a familiar name, one that I think 90% of readers will be surprised and thrilled to see in a top-shelf Marvel book.

So Thor #18 is effectively a prologue that persuasively promises a grand and hilarious adventure to come. Hopefully, that explains my 8/10 rating: I had a blast reading it, but I recognize that it's only setting the stage for even greater fun in the future. (I hope.) 

Also, it really zips past in the blink of an eye. Of course, when it comes to pacing a comic, "over too quick" is way better than "wears out its welcome" -- but neither extreme quite nails the bullseye of satisfaction.

Solicits show that the next couple issues of this title will be Thor-focused, so I'm not sure when we'll get the next chapter in the saga of Throg. After this start, you can bet that I'm keeping my eyes peeled!

Donny Cates hits all the right notes in both narration and dialogue, capturing a nice range in his characters' voices. And he strikes a good balance between the mythic epic-ness appropriate to Thor and the more absurd tone that Throg brings with him. He makes everything sound serious and silly, simultaneously, which is exactly what this story needs.

On the art front, Bob Quinn handles Throg and the team-collection scenes while Pasqual Ferry provides the initial Loki scene. The two artists make a great match, reaching equal levels of quality and providing two distinct looks that still complement each other nicely.

Expert colourist Matt Wilson contributes significantly to the visual harmony, providing a consistent palette throughout the book. The colours are diverse to reflect a range of settings both warm and cold, but they're always handled in the same skillful way, relying on subtle modulations and contrasts (rather than extreme intensity) to bring the scenes to life.

As is appropriate for the subject matter, the Throg scenes are the most visually memorable in the book. Mr. Quinn brings a delightful, cartoonish take to the Thunder Frog. Throg is shockingly expressive, drawn as though he's fully aware of his spotlight role as a guest star. The panels that put Throg and Thor together show real artistic ingenuity, though, giving the Allfather a little more realism than the frog without introducing any dissonance.

Thor #18 is a fast and fiercely funny introduction that sells the reader on the idea an irreverent Throg-led whodunnit. The words balance perfectly between the serious and the silly, and the art works similar magic, particularly on Throg himself. He's a talking frog, but he earnestly believes in his own heroism. The creators honour the character's sincerity without ignoring his inherent absurdity. The results are both hilarious and heartwarming, and they promise lots more fun when the title gets back to the Thunder Frog (though it may take a while).

Our Score:


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I knew I was getting Throg, but I had no idea this issue would bring back the XXX XXXXXXXX!