Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Nic Klein and Olivier Coipel
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: February 17th, 2021
A long time ago, one Jane Foster and Donald Blake were… “more than friends”. However, that’s not the case anymore. After an awkward encounter at dinner, Jane knows something is off with the good doctor. So, all that’s left is the eventual showdown between VALKYRIE and Donald Blake. And if Jane subsides, she’ll have relinquished more than a measly crown. Let’s dive into THOR #12 by Donny Cates to see if Jane can piece this puzzle together before it’s too late!
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This comic was crazy! From page one to the end, this issue is cluttered with surprises, guest appearances, and insane action that will keep readers on their toes. THROG and LOCKJAW hold their own well and represent the PET AVENGERS masterfully. Frankly, Cates had them do a much better job than BETA RAY BILL or even THOR himself, to be honest. Plus, the entire fight sequence was wonderfully organized by Nic Klein, who was certainly on point this week. All the ironic humor involved throughout the fight between THROG and Donald Blake can be solely credited to Klein’s clever depictions. From frog dissections to fancy dog teleportations and Rainbow bridges, it’s Klein’s atmosphere that makes this comic so fun.
My biggest worry with this series is that I wonder if the actual story is becoming masked by pomp and circumstance. Am I liking the issue because Cates is throwing in PET AVENGERS and past allies to “wow” me? Or, is the plot really that creative and meaningful? At first, the idea of Blake “Breaking Bad” was intriguing. It was a character misplaced and almost forgotten that Cates brought back to the limelight. However, ever since his return, Blake’s motivation has become mindless and absent. Sprinkled around Blake’s confusing vendetta, is guest appearance after guest appearance with another one at the conclusion of this very issue of THOR. Needless to say, we continue to get very little on THOR at all in this issue or frankly any in quite some time. My point: where and what is the actual story now?
When I take a step back and really fixate on the premise behind this story arc, all I can muster is that Blake’s been trapped for years in a fake world. He mentally cracked and now wants to take out his revenge on Odin by collecting any power related to him. However, what character development have we really seen? Plus, the structure of each issue has been the same for months now. Blake fights new character. Blake defeats new character. And finally, we get a cliffhanger with a brand new character for him to fight next time.
The suspense and darkness that was once the backbone of this arc are no more hidden by flimsy hooks and heroes. I think I’m merely noticing a trend in Cates writing that echoed throughout this issue of THOR #12. He explodes out of the gate with promise, tension, and creativity. However, his stories lose direction and purpose as they continue. Masked in that meandering, which is where we are now, is a bombardment of quick “wow” factors that eventually lead to a quiet, unexplained ending. I guess I just feel like I’m in GROUNDHOGS day right now going through all this again. Maybe it’s just me? But isn’t that how DEATH OF THE INHUMANS, ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, COSMIC GHOST RIDER, and SILVER SURFER BLACK have all played out?
Again, I really did like the issue but I wonder if my appreciation is sustainable. The dazzle and spectacle that was THOR #12 were centered around one of my favorite characters in the entire Marvel Universe, LOCKJAW! However, isn’t that the premise of this entire series? Showcase fan-favorite characters like Galactus, Jane Foster, Donald Blake, Beta Ray Bill, Throg, Silver Surfer, and even more this issue! And then, have something insanely drastic happen to them like their death, visions of a future with THANOS and an Infinite Gauntlet, or Donald Blake becoming absurdly powerful. However, never once thoroughly iron out the story, direction, or character growth. This is a pattern that I’m just getting tired of and I find myself craving more substance. THOR #12 will make you scream “Dang” but it will also leave you yearning for the comics’ identity and character progression.
If you want to get your hands on THOR #12, click the Amazon link HEREto preorder a copy. Additionally, if THOR by Donny Cates is your jam, click HERE to grab the latest trades, volumes, and titles. Plus, if you’re interested in Jason Aaron’s THOR run, click HERE to get your hands on some outstanding trades. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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