Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Nic Klein, Matt Wilson, and VC’s Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 24th, 2021
Once THOR became King, all Hel started breaking loose. From the Black Winter to Donald Blake, things have literally fallen off their rocker. And now, Mjolnir is missing! More likely stolen! How could this be? Well, ever since THOR became King, the hammer has become heavier and heavier with other random people being able to lift it. After tasking Throg to create a task force to track down the mighty hammer, what does that leave THOR to do? Sit and wait? Nay! Let’s dive into THOR #19 by Donny Cates and Nic Klein as THOR sets out on his own adventure to find answers the only way he knows how. And maybe, he’ll make this a family affair.
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After the last issue of THOR where we saw the re-formation of the PET AVENGERS, Donny Cates jumps fans right back to a more serious ton with vigor and vengeance. Readers learn a quick, mild history of Mjolnir and get a taste/ name of the future wielder. Ultimately, THOR fans learn that last month’s installment was merely to provoke some lighthearted feels while THOR #19 comes carrying the weight and devastation this so-called “God of Hammers” warrants.
Cates spends most of the issue bringing the father and son together to find a means of tracking down Mjolnir. However, fans will discover their last-ditch effort of tracking down the hammer results in utter sadness. Furthermore, Cates makes an effort to show through conversation how rocked THOR is to his core. Since the series began, it’s almost as if this King THOR has been trying to halt his own death and it’s really weighing on him as well as his relationships. It’s almost as if being King is just too much for him to handle.
Readers, the story was great. The read was super quick and loads of fun. Plus, the change in temperament of the character, as well as the stress for even one of the strongest heroes in the MARVEL COMIC universe can handle, is the perfect angle to walk this narrative beat back. However, the overall premise seems silly. Here’s why. Cates is talking about the “God of Hammers”, this wielder of Hammers who will basically bring down THOR. But, he’s seen it already. Well, so have we at the end of THOR #6. And that someone was THANOS.
So, I’m confused as to why we’re searching for this mysterious person? Readers know it’s THANOS and technically THOR has seen it as well directly from a vision by the Black Winter. So, why aren’t we searching for THANOS? Why isn’t THOR sharing this information with the people he’s asking for help? Plus, the events of this issue are literally the Mad Titans M.O. Therefore, why search for some unknown character when we all know who it is? And, if we get some sort of curveball implying that it’s someone else, then what was that vision for? What was the point?
Can I just say, Nic Klein knows exactly how and when to drop a full-page spread? And my goodness, the detail and vibrant colors by Matt Wilson this week really make the issue pop. Sure, the larger panels and full-page spreads helped make THOR #19 a much faster read. Nevertheless, they added to the immense spectacle and awe of the story masterfully. Klein’s menacing Mangog hovering over Jane Foster or the epic awe of THOR’S current hammer as he sunders across each page provides that extra layer of power and emphasis to the story.
Or, how about the intricate detail on the full page spread of the Gauntlet? Klein shines with such power and emotion when he has the space to work. Readers will notice that the smaller his panels get, the rougher and less detailed his linework becomes. I think that’s why readers will notice him use even the smaller panels to his advantage by doing close-ups on the characters’ faces. Moreover, those smaller panels help provide more space for detail as well as hit on the emotional chords of the characters involved. But readers, this was one heck of a well-drawn issue!
So, THOR #19 is certainly interesting. I want to know who has the hammer even though I feel like we already know… or at least are supposed to know since THOR #6. However, I wouldn’t put it past Cates to throw in a wrinkle on the fly to keep fans on their toes. Plus, I’ve been really digging the family dynamic between Odin and THOR that’s been sprinkled throughout Cates’ run so far. And it looks like we’re in for a ton more! Overall, readers get an entertaining story with fantastic art that fans will most certainly enjoy. Anyone interested in hopping on board will find this issue of THOR a pretty good starting point. I recommend fans interested in the character take a chance on this issue mainly because it provides just enough background information to join in while also showcasing exactly what Klein brings to this series. Let me know what you think, have a great Thanksgiving, and God Bless!