The Mighty Thor #15
Art: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: Joe Sabino
Variants: Ryan Sook, Christian Ward, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, Andrea Sorrentino
Thor created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby.
The Mighty Thor continues to be one of the best monthly titles coming out of Marvel. Artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson paint gorgeous set pieces full of the requisite magical elements and epic battles. This is compounded by the high stakes dramatic conflict provided by writer Jason Aaron. Entire worlds are threatened with annihilation while Thor/Jane Foster continues to fight a losing battle with cancer. But even more pertinent to current events, the series is about the main hero facing down a succession of powerful males who won’t hesitate to mansplain to her at every opportunity. Whether it’s the all-father Odin, who still can’t believe his son isn’t worthy of the hammer Mjölnir, the venal Roxxon CEO Dario Dagger, or the genocidal Dark Elf King Malekith. It helps that they strut around like the villains they’re mostly meant to be. In fact, Malekith is still on the loose and plotting the death of millions of innocents when with this installment, the series pivots to commence another arc called the Asgard/Shi’ar War.
The action is what readers would come to expect from such a title. Heimdall, guardian of the rainbow bridge Bifröst is suddenly attacked by Kallark, better known to fans as Gladiator. Unfortunately we don’t get to see the ensuing fight because the scene cuts to Jane being confronted by all-around nice guy Cul Borson, who wants to evict her from Asgardia. Is it amusingly defiant that Jane is wearing a Big Gay Ice Cream shirt, or is that too much New York-based humor? Their verbal sparring match is interrupted by the commotion outside. By the time Cul can witness it for himself, the rest of the Imperial Guard has entered the fray, commencing a battle royale with the entire population of Asgardia.
The rest of the issue is taken up with Thor joining the Asgardian defense. But if fans are dying to see how she fares against Super-douche bag Kallark in an emotionally satisfying extended beat down (The old Thor had already fought him twice), the action is cut short by a cliffhanger ending. I strongly suspect that question will be answered in future installments. But for now, the mystery of the Shi’ar Empire’s unexpected quarrel with Asgard is this story’s more immediately pressing quandary.