Review: ‘Thor’ #5 Brings The Battle To The God Of Thunder

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Olivier Coipel and Matthew Wilson

Thor has had his entire life turned upside-down in the past year. However, the Black Winter appears to be the greatest threat he’s ever faced. What he actually learns in this issue may shock him more than he could have ever believed!

Donny Cates, Nic Klein, Matt Wilson, and Joe Sabino continue the tale of what the Thunder God assumes is his last days. But the team delivers an unexpected twist that turns everything on its head.

In the wake of last issue, Thor and a hyper-charged Galactus face the Black Winter. The massive entity puts up a fight that the God of Thunder had never dreamed of. Thor is in for the battle of his life, but the Black Winter is there for something much bigger and much worse than he ever dreamed.

I really enjoyed this issue, but it exposed one of the weaknesses of the run so far. This was a thrilling, action packed issue. It had some great drama on the front end with the events of Asgard, which are clearly going to come back to haunt Thor, Sif, Bill and the entire kingdom. It also is chock full of meta-narrative that plays with the idea of an ongoing superhero story as much as it is one.

However, the pacing is just off. It feels like we get a massive information dump in this issue. It’s not exposition heavy, thankfully, but it does so much that it’s almost overwhelming. It’s been such unusual pacing.The series has gone from eventful debut issue, to slow mediation on the ethical choices Thor’s making, to an issue-long slugfest, to covering what happened in the previous two issues repeating itself four times, to a massive info reveal… It’s been whiplash inducing, and hopefully it’s something Cates figures out soon.

Klein and Wilson’s art continues to be worth the price of admission here though. Their depiction of Asgard continues to be stunning, and I love their take on Beta Ray Bill, who just jumps off the page in his short appearance. The battle that Thor endures, facing every one of the monsters, evil gods, and villains that can and have killed him, is fantastic, both in pacing and the impact that it has on the page. You can feel every blow, each dagger… It’s masterfully done, and I really can’t wait for more of it.

Thor’s greatest challenges seem to be ahead of him. If the writing can find a firmer footing, I think this may be a run for the ages.

Thor #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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