Writer: Torunn Grønbekk
Artist: Nic Klein
Color Artist: Matt Wilson
Cover Artist: Nic Klein
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Thor has been haunted by the nightmare of Thanos returning more powerful than ever before with a force of the undead at his command. To uncover the mysteries behind his terrible visions, Thor sought answers that led him to more questions only for Corvus Glaive, the former right-hand of Thanos, to kidnap his oft-forgotten little sister, Laussa. Thor has enlisted the aid of the valkyrie Runa to track Corvus down, and now in Thor #30, see where the pair’s journey takes them next.
Okay, let’s get it out of the way. Since Donny Cates left the title, there’s been a lack of momentum in the series and it’s showing clearly in these last two issues. Torunn Grønbekk and Nic Klein are doing their best to continue the storyline with Thor and Thanos that Cates setup in the first story arc. But the journey to doing so isn’t as thrilling or interesting at the moment. Fair warning: there will be spoilers here and there about the issue throughout the review.
One criticism is that the comic keeps giving quick glimpses of far more exciting and fun things than the actual story. The biggest example of this is right in the beginning when Thor and Runa come across a Time Echo, essentially a window to see into the past and we see Bor (father of Odin and Thor’s grandfather) commanding his sorcerers and Valkyries to burn something, while his forces fail to fend off Thanos of all people. There’s no real explanation, though Bor hints that this is very much our Thanos who has been displaced in time (thanks to the events of Kieron Gillen’s Eternals series) and is after something that Bor is trying to burn.
The interaction between them doesn’t last but it’s epic, it’s fun, it looks like it would be cool to read a comic about Thanos battling through time and fighting legendary figures like Bor. But it doesn’t last and is merely teasing their epic battle between before shifting back to the present. The present story takes its sweet time to try and set up the mystery of what’s going on while actively avoiding giving any straight answers. Now Nic Klein does get to show off his artwork in the middle of the comic with some brief, cool action between Thor, Runa, and some undead Draugr. But the fun action stops there.
The story with Corvus Glaive isn’t that compelling, the method that he employs to advance further in the location is decidedly grim and in-character for him. But it’s not like we see him going through anything challenging to get closer to his goal. In fact, the last issue practically skipped through the battles Corvus was implied to have faced and we’re given more of the same here. Like the comic keeps zipping past all the good stuff readers would be interested in to focus on the unfortunately dull present story.
It also doesn’t help that Thor and Runa are not a fun pair to read in this comic. Granted, they’re not a terrible pair to read about, they’re just boring. There’s just no spark or energy to them, no banter, no interesting conversations, just exposition from Runa who avoids giving straight answers to Thor’s questions. If anything, these last two issues felt more like Runa’s story than Thor’s. Thankfully, it seems the next issue will be centering its focus fully back on Thor, with a surprise appearance from a very familiar Marvel supervillain.
Thor #30 continues where the last issue left off with Thor and Runa seeing a glimpse into the past of Bor and Thanos having their own epic showdown. The comic keeps providing quick glimpses of cool moments like this that have more engaging things going on than the present story. However, there are still some fun things in the comic where Nic Klein’s art gets to take over. There’s also a surprise reveal at the end of the comic hinting at another popular Marvel supervillain showing up in this series.