Fraction and Ferry kick off their run on Thor with this much anticipated issue.

Thor 615

Story: Matt Fraction
Pencils: Pasqual Ferry
Inks: Pasqual Ferry
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth

Wins:

  • First and foremost, I’ll make no attempt to hide my love for Fraction’s work. When he was announced as the new writer of Thor, I was thrilled. Paired with Ferry, they become a veritable force.
  • Though Coipel’s Thor will always be my Thor, Pasqual Ferry turned in some beautiful pencils and inks for this issue. Amazing job on the character designs of the invading alien villains.
  • Matt Hollingsworth shows his versatility with his fantastically vibrant colors, as opposed to his work on Daredevil, where his colors are muted and used more as emphasis. It’s nice to see him on this title. He makes Ferry’s work jump off of the page.
  • As for the story, even if you’re not familiar with Thor, there isn’t much you need to know about the Thor pantheon to understand what’s happening. As advertised, this is a great place to jump on. This could be as brilliant and coveted as JMS and Coipel’s run.
  • The fact that Fraction is going for the jugular has me very excited.
  • The scene where Thor explains how he misses Loki makes the reader empathize with Thor as he’s closer to being human by expressing his grief, helping the reader relate to him, even though he’s a God.
  • I loved that Thor tells Balder to man up and be the King. What’s done is done. I think he got the point.
  • If Heimdall is as astonished as we see him in this issue…prepare for one Hel of a bloody battle.
  • The way Volstagg’s chair buckles in the last panel made me laugh. Great characterization and comedy between the scientist and Asgard’s most brilliant scientific mind.
  • With the scope of this story being immense, is Fraction laying the groundwork to bring Odin back? With such a seemingly unstoppable alien force carving a path through the nine worlds, Odin could be the ace in the hole.
  • Could the invaders be Asgardians from a parallel universe? It would certainly make sense, especially since their leader looks a lot like Odin. Dark Asgardians?

Fails:

  • The most notable fail is the fact that I haven’t blogged for 10 months.
  • What happened to the Asgardian-style font?! To me, it’s integral to a Thor book. Without it, it feels like there’s something missing.
  • The fact that Chris Eliopoulos isn’t lettering this book is a travesty. He did a fantastic job lettering Thor during the JMS/Coipel/Morales/Martin run.
  • The dialogue between Thor and Donald Blake was somewhat jarring, compared to their interactions in JMS’ run. I’m sure this will be expanded upon. Clearly Thor is furious and driven after the fall of Asgard. Blake chose the wrong time to bother Thor.
  • The restaurant scene at the beginning seemed to go on and on. I’ve read this issue at least three times, and it is easier to get through after you’ve read it once.
  • Some of Ferry’s art was abruptly chopped off on a couple of panels. It’s a pet peeve of mine. It doesn’t detract from the issue, but it is a small eyesore.

Verdict: A-

Doom is about to unleash a fury of Asgardian Doombots on the world. Would the real Asgardians please stand up? This is the debut issue of Kieron Gillen and Billy Tan’s run on Thor.

Thor: Defining Moments Giant-Size

It's your time to shine, Bill. Be brave, my son!

Story: J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils: Marko Djurdjevic
Inks: Danny Miki

Wins:

  • A lot of events are set into motion in this the finale of JMS’ run on Thor.
  • The issue starts off with a bang as Bill and Balder battle Loki’s loyalists in the frozen tundra of Latveria.
  • The Warriors Three and Sif are attacked by Doombots that are out to kill Donald Blake.
  • There is a hilarious moment between Sif and Volstagg that I won’t ruin, but I will say that the rotund one is quite a fan of his fizeek.
  • Djurdjevic’s art is absolutely perfect for this title, and he delivers in this issue. Lovely stuff. I’ll gladly shell out $3.99 when I’m paying for this kind of art.
  • The final scene of Blake layed-up and staring at his trusty cane was a nice way to finish off JMS’ run.
  • JMS sets the dominos up in proper fashion for Kieron Gillen to knock down in his upcoming run on Thor. The build-up to the showdown between Thor’s men and Loki is reaching its apex. Also, Doom has blood on his hands and will have to deal with Thor and Co. in the coming months as Siege draws near.
  • Finally, a re-printed story that is relevant, interesting, and well worth reading! Oh, and we didn’t have to pay an extra dollar for it.

Fails:

  • This is the last issue of JMS’ epic run on Thor. Kieron Gillen has some rather large, Asgardian boots to fill as he takes over on next week’s issue of Thor.
  • Not only do we lose JMS, but we lose one of the best artists in the business in Marko Djurdjevic. Billy Tan, it’s your turn to take the Pepsi Challenge. Good luck!
  • I’m sure JMS had a lot more to write about, but his run came to an abrupt end, and it’s evident that he didn’t get to finish his tenure how he wanted to. This issue feels a little bit rushed and leaves something to be desired.
  • Marvel has to take the brunt of the blame for JMS’ exit, as they basically said “we’re using Thor in Siege, and it’s just tough luck for you if you don’t agree”.
  • I’m sure there will be a big dip in sales of Thor, especially after Siege. Some will drop it because JMS is no longer writing it, and some will drop it in protest of Marvel’s decision.

Verdict: B-