Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Nic Klein
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Olivier Coipel, Laura Martin
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
New year, new decade, new Thor! Following Jason Aaron’s epic run, incoming writer Donny Cates adds yet another hot Marvel property to his resume with this week’s Thor #1.
Set after the events of War of the Realms, from which Thor emerged as the new Allfather of Asgard, Thor #1 catches us up with the God of Thunder and shows us how kinghood has treated him. Turns out, being king may as well be synonymous with retirement. When we find him, Thor is bored and forced to keep his distance from the superheroics of his Midgardian friends. That all changes when a certain devourer of worlds literally falls onto his doorstep, thrusting Thor into a new adventure that promises to be unlike any he’s been on before (also, he gets a fancy new look to go with it).
Even by Thor standards, this first issue of Cates’s run is very dense, calling back to both his predecessor’s tenure as well as non-Thor things Cates has done within the Marvel Universe. Silver Surfer shows up and makes reference to his recent experiences in Silver Surfer: Black, while the Cosmic Ghost Rider is also accounted for here. While Thor #1 is obviously Thor-centric, it already has a different feel from Aaron’s version of Asgard in a manner that should prove interesting, and possibly a little contentious among fans. Thor’s new look, too, is emblematic of Cates’s approach to this story, which is almost more Witcher than classic Thor in design. Overall, this issue is just a lot, and I wonder if it borders on feeling impenetrable to more casual readers.
Befitting a Thor book, Nic Klein’s art here is absolutely gorgeous and easily some of the best I’ve seen from a Marvel title in recent memory. Aaron is a tough writer to follow, but so are the myriad great artists (most notably Russell Dauterman, Mike del Mundo, and Esad Ribić) who collaborated with him across his run. Colorist Matthew Wilson — himself a veteran of Aaron’s run — really clinches the visuals of the book with his trademark palette, full of vibrant colors that come together (at one point, literally) into a brilliant rainbow.