Donny Cates has been knocking out of the park with his run on Thor thus far. “The Devourer King” arc that kicked things off positioned Thor to prepare for a possible big event as the Black Winter showed him a vision of a dark future. We already saw that Thor did not open up to Silver Surfer about what he saw. That could be the trend for the character as he continues to reign as All-Father of Asgard. With that vision ingrained in his mind what will Thor’s next move be? Will he actually open up to those around him about what he saw in that dark future vision? Let’s find out with Thor #7
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Mjölnir lands in Broxton, Oklahoma. A local farmer sees it land. When the farmer, named Adam Aziz, sees what is written on the hammer he calls someone.
Over on Asgard Sif asks Thor why he threw Mjölnir to Broxton again. Thor says he is testing a theory and wants Sif to keep him updated about Mjölnir. Sif says she’ll give Huginn, Thor’s raven, her eyes so he can see through them as well.
Thor then goes the dining hall to have a meeting with Beta Ray Bill. Thor tells Beta Ray Bill that he wants to have drinks together as friends.
Beta Ray Bill agrees and grabs a drink. As he does so Beta Ray Bill asks Thor if anything new has happened. Thor stays silent as he remembers what Black Winter showed him (see our Thor #6 review for details on the vision). Beta Ray Bill notices this and asks Thor what is worrying him.
Thor tries to change the subject to get Beta Ray Bill talk about his experiences with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans. Beta Ray Bill does not allow that, reminding Thor of the beating he was given at the God of Thunder’s hands, as he knows that there is a reason other than drinking as friends he was called to Asgard for. Thor asks Beta Ray Bill to tell him what he knows about Thanos.
Back in Broxton the media reports on Mjölnir landing in town. Iron Man shows up and asks for Adam Aziz. Adam speaks up and shows Iron Man where Mjölnir is. Iron Man sees Mjölnir and notices “Call Tony Stark 212-970-4133” carved on it. Frustrated that his phone number is written on Mjölnir, Tony curses Thor.
Back on Asgard, Thor sees an angry Tony yelling through Huginn. Thor then asks Beta Ray Bill to walk with him.
While walking through Asgard, Beta Ray Bill talks about how Hela put Thanos back together while Thanos uploaded his consciousness into his brother, Eros, before he died and together they wanted to combine their soul and body to bring back the Mad Titan to life. Thor wonders if that is even possible. Beta Ray Bill says it is not because he hammered a black hole in Thanos’ undead chest.
Beta Ray Bill once again asks Thor what is worrying him. Thor admits he had a vision of something coming that is concerning him that something is wrong with him, Asgard, and fate. Thor goes on to say that there may be a time that he has to step away from the throne. Because of all that he wants Beta Ray Bill to serve as his second-in-command and be there in case he becomes corrupted.
Beta Ray Bill agrees but says he’ll need a new hammer. Thor agrees and tells Beta Ray Bill he can choose any weapon in the armory or request the dwarves to make him something.
Beta Ray Bill notices that Mjölnir is missing. Thor says that he sensed something broken inside Mjölnir and he ignored it for far too long. Thor goes on to admit that Mjölnir has felt heavier recently and fears that there will be a day he won’t be able to life it. Because of that he came to realize that while he is struggling to lift Mjölnir that others are not.
Back in Broxton the words “Pick It Up” appear on the hammer. Adam sees this and is able to life Mjölnir, transforming himself into an Asgardian. End of issue.
The Good: There was a lot to take in when “The Devouring King” concluded. Donny Cates wasted no time in making a statement with his story arc. Given that it was nice to see that Cates decided to slow things down bit and treat us to a story that leans more on the fun side. But while there are fun elements to Thor #7 Cates makes sure that the reader’s attention is always on what is going to happen next in the long-run.
Starting out with Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, in the God of Thunder’s old stomping grounds of Broxton, Oklahoma was a nice change of pace. It immediately got the message across that “Hammerfall” is a going to be a story arc that has a different tone from “The Devourer King” arc. Which fits in well with the art style that Aaron Kuder brings to the table. Both Cates and Kuder work together to make the moments when your supposed to smile as a fan hit.
That is exemplified by the great moment that showed Iron Man finding out that Thor carved his phone number on Mjölnir. Tony Stark’s reaction, and Thor’s joy over seeing his friend freak out, was priceless. Cates and Kuder really nailed fun of this reveal and the anger it caused Tony.
At the same time, Cates does a fantastic job using this story beat to dive in deeper into what is really going on with Thor after “The Devourer King” arc. We learn from his conversation with Beta Ray Bill that he is starting to feel the weight of wielding Mjölnir being to heavy for him. There is a lot to take in with this revelation. Immediately your mind goes to if Thor’s actions with Galactus and Black Winter has caused him to go down a path where he is unworthy.
That alone is an intriguing story but Cates dives in deeper by having Thor use placing Mjölnir in Broxton to test a new theory. And that theory as we see later is if he can rewrite the circumstances of who can lift Mjölnir. This was a fantastic way to turn a comedic story beat into one that has serious consequences. Because as All-Father Thor now has the same powers that his father, Odin had. That includes being able place an enchantment on Mjölnir in order to set rules for who can wield it.
Thor being able to do the same thing Odin once did places a greater spotlight on the fact that he is no longer just the God of Thunder but now All-Father of Asgard. Having such responsibilities we’ve seen how Thor has changed. He is no longer a superhero and champion of the Realms. Thor is a king and that alters how he works and has to think of things. That change could be what is leading to Thor being “unworthy” of Mjölnir. Which makes him possibly seeing if he can make it so he can alter the qualifications for wielding Mjölnir so interesting. This opens the door for either him choosing a successor as God of Thunder or something completely different.
Beta Ray Bill being the one to get all of this out of Thor was a great step forward to emphasizing the importance of this relationship. Thor knows he did wrong by Beta Ray Bill during “The Devourer King” arc. Beta Ray Bill not letting Thor get away with that and talking to him as equals set-up why Thor would then go on to ask him to be his second-in-command. Cates has flows one thing into the so well that these types of story beats just feel like a natural part of the story. Now readers know, if they didn’t before, why Beta Ray Bill would be chosen by Thor to be the one to keep him in check when needed.
This is complimented well with how Cates has already set up Lady Sif as the other person in his life that will be able to keep Thor in check. Thor #7 further emphasizes this point as Sif knows Thor better than just about anyone. She knows when Thor is not being honest with her and will not hesitate to call him out on it. Having both Beta Ray Bill and Sif by Thor’s side gives greater opportunity for Cates to explore the current status quo on Asgard in greater detail.
All of this worked to provide even greater question of the vision Thor had of Thanos returning and wielding a Infinity Gems’ powered Mjölnir while an army of what appeared to be undead Marvel heroes behind him. This vision clearly shook Thor to his core as it was more than just a possible look into the future. Cates treated it as an inevitable future that Thor must now prepare for. Cates developing the groundwork for that storyline with Thor learning more about Thanos helped in elevating the anticipation of the Marvel villain’s return.
As mentioned before, Kuder did a very good job injecting Thor #7 with a fun energy that was very different from the darker “The Devourer King” arc. It helped make the scenes in Broxton stand out. At the same time, Kuder nailed the larger than life scope of Asgard with the double page spread in Thor #7. All around the art really helped make the story as fun and engaging as it wanted to be.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Donny Cates does it again as he hits another home run with Thor #7 alongside some fun artwork by Aaron Kuder. Cates takes what he did with his first arc and furthers the major plot points with Thor having an important conversation with Beta Ray Bill. The direction the conversation between the long-time friends took created greater anticipation for what is coming in future for this series.
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