Comic Book Review: Thor #7

Thor continues to be a hit with The Revolution. JMS has found the perfect title for his writing talents and is giving us an enjoyable read each month. I’m looking forward to Marko Djurdevic’s art in this issue as well as what JMS has in store for us now that Thor has restored all of the Asgardians. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Thor #7.

Creative Team
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Marko Djurdevic
Inks: Danny Miki

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Thor being carried through Asgard by Balder and Hogun. Loki views the scene with a smug look on his face. Thor is carried to Falki the metal smith’s workshop. Thor mentions that Odin bestowed upon him the Odinpower and that Thor has spent too much of it too quickly. That he must now enter the Odinsleep to restore his powers.

Falki unveils the stone coffin shaped chamber for Thor lie in while in Odinsleep. The coffin is impervious to any and all magical and physical attacks. It can only be opened from the inside. Thor instructs Balder to rule Asgard for as long as Thor is in Odinsleep. Balder closes the lid to the coffin and suddenly Donald Blake appears out of nowhere next to the coffin.

Blake says that Thor is now in a state between life and death. Blake mentions how quantum physicist Erwin Schroedinger talked about how if you placed a cat in a box and closed it and there is a 50/50 chance of a canister of poison gas going off inside of the box that the cat is not alive or dead. That until the box is open the cat is both alive and dead. That once the box is open the two realities collapse into one producing a cat that is either alive or dead.

Blake says that they must have a thunder god that is both alive and dead inside of the coffin. That Blake’s sudden appearance means that when Thor dies that Blake will separate and be on his own again. Blake says that he is the cat. Blake then tells Balder that he must leave because he has people to go see.

We cut to Thor standing in limbo. Odin’s ravens appear and mock Thor about how he feels now that he has Odin’s power and Odin’s crown. The ravens call Thor a vain prince and a thoughtless and selfish son since he has brought back all the Asgardians except for Odin.

Thor counters with the fact that he can only bring back the Asgardians who fell during Ragnarok. That Odin fell just before Ragnarok while fighting Surtur. The ravens continue to mock Thor by stating that Thor’s logic must be comforting to him and allow him to rule unchallenged. The ravens then tell Thor to go investigate the sounds of battle that are ringing across limbo.

We then cut to Donald Blake catching an airplane to New York City. Donald talks to a person who Donald was told might have information about someone Donald is looking for: Jane Foster.

We slide back to limbo where Thor comes across his father, Odin, battling with Surtur. Odin sustains some serious wounds, but powers back to kill Surtur with a mighty blow. Thor rushes to his father’s side and holds Odin’s head. Thor mumbles that he doesn’t understand. Odin’s ravens look on and ask which is worse and which is better? For Thor to understand or for him not to understand. The ravens agree that it is worse for Thor to understand. That understanding is pain and anything less is unacceptable.

Odin asks Thor how he came to be in limbo. Thor answers that he entered Odinsleep. Thor says that if he can talk and touch his father here and now then there must be someway Thor can bring Odin back. Odin spits that if Thor wanted to bring Odin back then Thor would have done it by now. Odin says that Thor made no effort to bring Odin back and that Odin would have done the same in Thor’s place.

Odin talks about how mortal men talk about how to be who they must be that they must kill their fathers. To mortals this is metaphorical and represents standing on your own two feet and outside of your father’s shadow and making your own decisions without your father’s approval first. However, for the gods it is a much more literal meaning.

Odin tells of how he was born to Bor and Bestia. That Odin’s father, Bor, taught him everything. But, Bor did not tell Odin how to create his own dreams. Odin walked on Midgard and decided to create his own dream and legacy. So, Odin created man. Bor was displeased and sent every type of pain and curse upon the mortal race.

Then during a war between Asgard and the frost giants, Bor was transformed into snow by a very powerful sorcerer. Bor pleaded with Odin to find a sorcerer and a way to restore him back to his body. Bor then blew away into the snowy air.

On that day, Odin became King of Asgard. Odin never searched for a way to bring back his father. And soon Odin learned to ignore the voice of his father that cried out for him in the wind. And Odin had other concerns at hand like his new son, Thor. Thor’s nanny comments how Thor has Bor’s eyes. Odin cradles his new son and agrees that Thor does have Bor’s eyes. Odin says that on that day he knew that the wheel would turn again and Thor would do unto Odin what Odin did to Bor. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Thor #7 was a solid read. JMS delivers a nice steady paced issue. I actually like the controlled pace of this story since it creates a feeling of importance and reflects the grand nature of having re-creating all of Asgard as well as bringing back all the Asgardians. The measured pace reflects the herculean effort undertaken by Thor as well as the massively weighty decisions that he must make now that he is the King of Asgard. Thor #7 was also well plotted as JMS has managed to stay on track and not wander off on any bizarre and nonsensical tangents. And for JMS that is impressive and much appreciated.

JMS delivers some enjoyable and fitting dialogue for this title. JMS’ penchant for overly dramatic and heavy handed dialogue is a perfect match for the dialogue of gods. The dialogue employed by the gods reflects their status as immortal beings and gives them the necessary weight and power to their conversations.

Thor #7 is a wonderful character study on both Thor and Odin and an interesting look into the complex father/son relationship that exists between the two men. I liked that JMS had Odin be completely blunt with Thor over the fact that Thor likes being King and purposely has avoided brining his father back. This was a cool twist that also exposes Thor as not the truly noble and honorable hero that the reader would like to view him as. Thor is susceptible to the same failings as mortal men and it is nice to see that even a god has his flaws.

Odin’s story about his relationship with his father, Bor, was powerful and interesting tale. It also made it clear that Thor is simply following in his father’s footsteps. That like it or not Thor is no better and no worse than his father, Odin. And what made the story so enjoyable was that the Odin’s lack of hatred and anger toward Thor. Odin fully realized that his son would to do him what Odin had done to his father. It was simply a matter of waiting for the inevitable to occur.

I enjoyed the ending with everything coming back full circle for Odin as he cradles his newborn son, Thor. This issue gave Odin more personality and depth to his character. I never really thought much about his character before now. However, JMS has now got me interested in Odin and I’m curious to see what JMS has in store for Odin and if Thor allows himself to become power hungry just like his father.

JMS also springs a neat little plotline on the reader with Donald Blake separating from Thor and taking on his own little quest to find Jane Foster. This is a pretty nice job by JMS to mix into the story an old supporting cast member. Foster was a nurse who worked for Dr. Blake and she briefly gained godly powers before Odin stripped them for her. Jane and Thor eventually broke up and Jane married Dr. Keith Kincaid. I’m certainly curious to see what role JMS has in store for Jane Foster.

Marko Djurdevic’s artwork was fucking incredible. Absolutely amazing. Djurdevic draws Norse gods like nobody else. Djurdevic is the perfect artist for this title. I hope that Marvel gets Djurdevic a monthly title immediately. This guy has phenomenal skills. Too bad Marvel no longer does the Conan comic books, because Djurdevic would rock on a title like that.

The Bad: Even though I am enjoying the controlled and measured pace of the story on Thor, I will admit that this is one slow moving title. Hopefully, JMS will begin to pick up the pacing and intensity on this title.

Overall: Thor #7 was another enjoyable read. JMS continues to impress me with his work on this title. I’m glad that Marvel finally found a title that played to JMS’ strengths. Despite the fact that I am enjoying this title, I would definitely hesitate to recommend Thor to readers who prefer a more condensed read as well as quality action in their comic books.

3 Comments

  1. This is a pretty good way to address the issue of Odin; his death in Jurgens’ run was a defining hinge in that expansive story, followed by Oeming’s brief “Ragnarok” arc, but that’s really it; JMS is only the second Thor writing after Jurgens to handle the property, and, given the circumstances (the resurrection of Asgard), it’s interesting to explore the issue of his possible return, which is narratively undesirable since people seem to have largely accepted the idea of Thor as Lord of Asgard, so bringing Odin back would unsettle that.

    I thought this was really the first issue of the run that gave Thor some real character moments; previously, he’s mostly been making stoic pronouncements, but here we get some more emotion/doubt/etc.

    The solicit for Thor #9 says that Thor will turn his attentions “beyond the shining city”, so that’s hopefully the cue to him going out and doing the big laundry list of things that fans have been wanting to see him do (I’ve been really waiting for him to meet Hercules again, but rumour has it that will be an arc of The Incredible Herc).

    While she’s quite sexy (especially in the first of the two panels she appears in in this issue) I still find She-Loki to be an exceedingly random status quo change; unlike the Asgard-in-Oklahoma setting, it hasn’t yielded any particular story yet (but then, she’s only been in a couple of panels since #5); unless this is all setup to them having sex and conceiving a prophecy baby, Arthur-and-Morgana style.

  2. Another solid title! This does move rather slow, but at least we get some nice solid characterization. Also, the moments with Odin were awesome and it’s good to see him back

  3. Solid issue and I agree with a lot of what you said.

    On the nobility note I do wonder though how ignoble Thor could be considered to be? On one hand Odin died before Raganork a natural death and Thor was focusing on only restoring those who died in Ragnarok. On the other modern notions of nobility have a person being totally unselfish which may not be the same with Asgardian notions. Still, it places a bit of selfishness in Thor making him a bit flawed, but not glaringly so.

    Plus, as Odin pointed it Odin himself would have done the same. Odin died so does Thor really have an obligation to reverse that since Odin himself did not reverse the death of every Asgardian and Odin himself had died in battle? Should Thor really for another couple of thousands years sit around and hope Odin decides to retire like Buri did? The immortality of the the gods almost forces rebellions against the rulers in order for the son to find a path of his own. I think JMS touched on all this well.

    As to the pacing, I do agree that it is kind of slow. The pace so far has been fitting for the monumentous even JMS was undertaking, but I hope by issue #9 things speed up.

    (Note: Thor one time met his great grand-father Buri in a single issue, but did not recognize him. Buri comments indicated he had retired from the throne a long, long time ago.)

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