Thor has been on another level from all other Marvel comic books. Donny Cates has certainly picked up on the grand epic tone that Jason Aaron gave this series and carried it forward with the current Thor series. Now it is looking like Cates is building his most epic storyline to date as Thor and Avengers have lost Mjolnir after someone mysteriously stole it. Who could’ve lifted and stolen the hammer of the God of Thunder? Let’s find out with the beginning of the “God Of Hammers” story arc in Thor #19.
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Nic Klein
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The history of Mjolnir is recounted from the beginning of time before it was first forged to the present. Throughout its history the one thing that has defined Mjolnir how it was born from the power of rage.
In the present, Thor returns to Asgard to tell Sif that Mjolnir has been stolen. Sif admits that she cannot see who stole the hammer much to Thor’s displeasure. Sif brings up how Thor should allow Beta Ray Bill as the Master of War to find Mjolnir as Thor must continue his reign as All Father.
Thor reveals he has read a book whose hidden pages can only be read by the rightful king of Asgard that contains information on his father, grandfather, and entire history of the universe. He goes on to say that the book also contained a prophecy of a great storm that is going to be created by the wielder Mjolnir who is known as the God of Hammers. Thor then says that this God of Hammer is to kill the Golden King of Asgard and trap his soul in fire forever.
Thor states he will not let some book tell him how he will die. Thor then states that since Sif can’t see who stole Mjolnir he will leave her to oversee Asgard.
Sif comments how Thor is not acting like himself. Thor fires back by asking if he should relieve her of her sword. Sif bows her head and says “No…My King.” Thor then teleports away.
In a colosseum on the Black Hand of God, Odin struggles in a fight against an unnamed gladiator that towers over him. Thor shows up and immediately puts an end to the fight by defeating the gladiator. Thor then takes Odin with him to help search for Mjolnir.
Thor and Odin teleport to Nidavellir to speak with the dwarves since each of their creations are imbued with part of their souls. When they reach the dwarven forge they are shocked to find the dwarves all dead with the gate to the forge busted open.
After investigating the forge Thor knows that all the dwarves were killed by the one who is wielding Mjolnir. End of issue.
The Good: With how big of moment in time it is that someone was able to steal Mjolnir from Avengers Mountain Thor #19 is all about putting over the gravity of this situation. Every page of this issue carries the weight of how big of deal this is. And it is all done without actually revealing who the person only known as the God of Hammers actually is or even looks like.
The opening of Thor #19 with the retelling of the origins for Mjolnir sets the table for the entire “God of Hammers” story arc. Donny Cates does a fantastic job making this prelude tell you all you need to know about the power that Mjolnir has and how it is connected to the very beginning of the Marvel Universe. It drives home how whoever this “God of Hammers” is they will be someone that is on the level of a celestial God.
Which works well into the very ending of Thor #19 where we get the full weight of how dangerous this “God of Hammers” truly is. Nic Klein’s artwork really shines there as you are as shocked at the brutally left by the one who is wielding Mjolnir. Even without stating who this person is you know they used Mjolnir just by how all the corpses of the dwarves were laid out with blood splattered everywhere. This all sets up the new character in “God of Hammers” to be a terrifying villain even before they physically appear on screen.
Adding to how big of deal this story is going to be is the way Thor acts throughout this issue. The splash shot Klein draws of Thor arriving in Asgard tells the entire story of how we are seeing someone who has not sleep over a clear obsession. Cates and Klein work well together to get across how unwell Thor currently is as he has completely allowed his drive to fight against the prophecy of his death at the hands of the “God of Hammers” that he has time for nothing else.
Having Lady Sif as the one to call out the fact that Thor is letting his obsession cloud his views on all the responsibilities he has and how he should allow others to help work so well. We know that Sif and Thor share a long history with one another that they’ve had a relationship on trust before. But now with everything Thor has experienced and learned since All-Father their relationship is not the same. Sif recognizing that she needed to apologize just so Thor doesn’t do something even more rash spoke to how well she knows him. The way this entire scene went definitely got me even more interested in the role Sif will have moving forward as she understands how unwell Thor is and that Asgard needs a king to protect it.
Thor bringing on his father to help him find whoever stole Mjolnir was another interesting choice. We know Thor and Odin are on rocky grounds with one another. At the same time, Thor knows that his father knows more about Mjolnir than anyone else. And it already looks as though their rocky relationship will add further drama to this story arc. It’ll be interesting to see how Cates decides to play into Thor and Odin’s relationship as this story progresses.
The Bad: The one thing that was off about Thor #19 was how limited it was to just focusing on Thor. We saw that in the previous two issues that Angela was with Odin at the Black Hand of God and Thor brought in Throg and the Pet Avengers help find Mjolnir. Not at least showing Angela or the Pet Avengers was an odd choice given all the set up that went in with their involvement for this new story arc. Hopefully we do see Angela and the Pet Avengers appear in the future chapters of “God Of Hammers” story arc.
Overall: Donny Cates and Nic Klein kick off the “God Of Hammers” story with a strong first chapter in Thor #19. The way Thor acts throughout this chapter drove home the gravity of Mjolnir being stolen. And if the final few pages of Thor #19 are any indication of how things will go we are sure to be in store for an epic ride with the latest story arc of this series.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.