Thor #16 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 25, 2021

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

Thor is going through a bit of an identity crisis. At the conclusion to the previous issue he was struck by an epithany: that his new position as King of Asgard means he can no longer be Asgards hammer. By giving up the hammer it represents the latest in a series of big changes for our hero. What is Thor without his hammer? And all the while he’s still settling into his new role as ruler. This would be enough for anyone but he’s also dealing with the horrifying vision of the future he got from the The Black Winter. Luckily in this issue he takes some time to talk it through with Jane Foster, A.K.A. Valkyrie, and if anyone can talk sense into him it would be her.

While most of the issue serves as a good excuse to review exactly what is going on in Thor’s world and take a moment to slow the revelations down, which have been coming thick and fast recently, the ending of the issue features the appearance of a number of characters of great importance to Thor, and it’s clear the concluding issue of Revelations is going to lay the groundwork not just for the next chapter of Thor’s story but for years to come. Just like his time on Venom it’s abundantly clear that by the time Cates’ is done on Thor we’ll have a character who is almost unrecognisable as the Thor of old. And it truly feels like when Cates’ makes these changes to a character that they’re here to stay and won’t just be retconned once a new writer takes over.

It feels like this vision of Thanos that Thor keeps seeing will tie directly into Cates’ exemplary run on Thanos. It really begs the question of how far ahead Cates’ plans these storylines, and how many seeds has he planted in his numerous Marvel series over the past few years. Readers familiar with Venom, or indeed any of Cates’ work, will be aware he likes to plant the seeds years in advance of their eventual blossoming. It’s why it’s so rewarding to read along with all of his work, and one of many, many reasons that he’s a writer to keep a close eye on.

Michele Bandini does a great job as guest artist. She gets the opportunity to draw Thor in street clothes, which leads to a few great moments. It’s not often he isn’t wearing his Asgardian clothes so it’s a nice change to see him as a civilian. Then there’s Matt Wilson’s colours, always a highlight of the art. He gets the opportunity to use some more muted colours than normal during Thor’s time on Earth, which is a nice contrast to the other parts of the issue when he gets to use all the vibrant colours we’re normally used to.

Another good issue in an excellent run on Thor, it’s nice that the pace is slowed down a little and readers get the opportunity to really understand what Thor is going through, before the next challenge is thrown at him. It feels like seeds that were sown early on in this run, and in other Cates’ series, are finally beginning to sprout. It’s an exciting time to be a Thor, and Marvel, fan under Cates excellent creative skills. The guest artist does a great job of capturing a side of Thor that readers rarely get to see and the combat looks great.

Our Score:


A Look Inside