Thor enters 2021 in the middle of its ‘Prey’ arc with the God of Thunder and All-Father of Asgard is trapped in a limbo-like dimension as Donald Blake has made his return. Rather than be something to celebrate, Donald Blake’s return to the Marvel Universe has brought a sense of dreed as we learn that the time he was away has turned him into a twisted individual. Because of what he has become Donald Blake is no longer looking to let Thor turn back to normal to continue their previous dynamic. How will things end up going for the God of Thunder in 2021? Let’s find out with Thor #11.
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Nic Klein
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a restaurant Donald Blake and Jane Foster sit down to have dinner together to catch up. While they talk Jane mentions how Donald seems to be different from the last time they met. Donald admits that there are holes in his memories because of how his connection with Thor has changed over the years.
In Donald Blake’s dimension, Thor desperately tries to return to his world but is unsuccessful. Ratatoskr, a Chaos God, to laugh at how much he is enjoying everything Thor has been going through in his current position. When Thor asks him to warn Asgard about Donald Blake, Ratatoskr reveals there are no Gods left on Asgard to speak to.
In the Dimension Blood, Lady Sif checks up on the heavily injured Beta Ray Bill. Beta Ray Bill is embarrassed by his defeat but Sif says that Donald Blake took them all by surprise. Beta Ray Bill says that they need to get to Lockjaw. Thori says that Lockjaw left because he smelled death coming and went to help a friend.
Back at a restaurant Donald wonders why Jane is working in a morgue now. Jane says that the job just feels the right place for her to be doing. Donald then admits why he visited her was to see a friendly face. Donald then asks if Jane knows what Odin is up to. Jane admits she never got along with Odin even when she was Thor.
Hearing that Jane was Thor at a time freaks Donald out. Donald suddenly stabs Jane’s hand with a knife and then rips out her soul.
This turns out to all be in Donald’s head. Instead, after hearing what Jane said, Donald says he has to go as there is another friend he has to visit. Jane says that Donald can always turn to him for help. Donald turns down. Donald then mentions how Jane love him once and that she does not belong in the morgue.
Later, at the morgue of McCarthy Medical Institute, Jane returns to work where Dr. Rudy Gillespie reveals that they found someone that Jane may know. Dr. Gillespie then brings out the burnt corpse of Roger “Red” Norvell, who he reminds Jane was a Thor like her. Jane immediately runs to the restroom to throw up over how sick this makes her.
In the restroom Jane doesn’t want to believe that Donald could be responsible for killing Roger Norvell.
In a swamp area Donald is shown hunting someone down. He is suddenly struck by a large lightning attack. When Donald gets back up he is told to get up and run by Throg, who is being backed up by Lockjaw. End of issue.
The Good: Thor #11 is the middle of chapter of a big story that is more set-up. Given how impactful Donald Blake’s return has been thus far with what he has done this slower issue was very much needed. We got to spend more time with all the players involved in ‘Prey’ to understand where they are at after all that happened in Thor #9 and Thor #10.
Getting a chance to slow down and catch our breath after how crazy things got with Donald Blake’s return was a good choice. Donny Cates allows us to settle into what Donald Blake’s return means to the Marvel Universe. Especially during the entire dinner scene between Donald Blake and Jane Foster there is a constant sense of worry because of what we just saw go down in the last two issues of Thor. Even when nothing actually ended up happening having those events in the back of my mind made Thor #11 work as well as it did.
The fake out of Donald freaking out when Jane revealed that she spent some time being Thor was a good tease of what is to come between the two. Given how Donald ruthlessly killed a previous Thor in Roger Norvell it’s clear that he is taking no prisoners. Donald’s reaction and him not outright attacking her like in the fake out does show that it is not something he wants to do. The connection they had in the past is still something that Donald holds on to being special. Because of that the eventual showdown between Donald and Jane will have greater meaning because we have this foundation around their past together reestablished by Cates.
Seeing the Warriors Three, Lady Sif, and Beta Ray Bill in the Dimension Blood after Donald Blake’s attack added to how much danger is around with his return. Beta Ray Bill’s injuries, both physically and mentally, furthers how Donald is not taking any prisoners right now. He is here to stay and will cause as much chaos and destruction as he sees fit. Which makes how Sif and Beta Ray Bill answer to the threat Donald posses even more interesting to see play out without Thor around.
Speaking of Thor, seeing the God of Thunder desperately trying to return to Midgar was not a sight you are used to seeing. There was a sense of hopelessness to how Thor was acting throughout this scene. This whole experience has clearly taught him a valuable lesson of his responsibilities. Now its just a matter of him getting out of his current situation.
Bringing one of the Chaos God’s in the form of Ratatoskr added to Thor’s current plight. Ratatoskr in his own way put over how bad things are for Asgard after Donald Blake’s return. Ratatoskr mentioning there are no Gods to talk to left in Asgard was a chilling thing to read. It does make you wonder how exactly Thor will make it out the limbo-like dimension he is stuck in since all his allies are not in the spot to help him.
Ending Thor #11 with Donald hunting down Throg was a nice surprise. Throg is a character that is often a forgotten part of the Marvel Universe. It is good to see Cates bring in the Pet Avengers as still being a thing and having Lockjaw immediately going to Throg to make sure he is backing up his friend against Donald Blake. Its little things like this that help show how much Cates respects everything past writers have done with Thor’s franchise.
Nic Klein once again delivers top tier artwork from beginning to end in Thor #11. He gets over how there is a worrisome air around the dinner between Donald Blake and Jane Foster. The way Klein drew these scenes, and Matt Wilson colored it, made it feel that Donald could snap at any moment. Which made how the whole fake out with us seeing what it would be like if Donald did actually snap feel like something out of a horror movie. Klein also did a very good job in quickly establishing how powerful Throg is with the one big attack we see him launch on Donald Blake to end Thor #11.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Donny Cates and Nic Klein kick 2021 for Thor on a strong note that sets the stage for major events to take place throughout this year. Thor #11 issue does a good job building up Donald Blake as a major threat that everyone from Asgard, including Jane Foster, have to treat seriously. How exactly Donald Blake is dealt with given what he has done so far will be very interesting to see play out.
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