REVIEW: ‘Thor,’ Issue #14

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Thor #14 - But Why Tho?

Thor #14 concludes the “Prey” mini-story and depicts the final showdown between the full population of Asgard against the power of Donald Blake. Thor is published by Marvel Comics, written by Donny Cates, art by Nic Klein, colors by Matt Wilson, and letters by VC’s Joe Sabino.

Previously, Jane Foster, now as the new Valkyrie, has found Odin in order to leverage his power to help free Thor. Meanwhile, Doctor Strange rescued the forces of Asgard from the Blood dimension. Now the combined might have amassed to confront Donald Blake, who harnesses the power of the world serpent. Not to be outdone, Thor transfers his being into the Destroyer to have “words” with Blake.

Picking up immediately after issue #13, Thor #14 now sees the conclusion of this clash. This issue is all action, and the ending is far darker than I ever anticipated.

Cates has essentially set up this finale, so it culminates into a satisfying all-out skirmish. Due to this, the dialogue is minimal but effective, and the pace of the story is well-matched, given what preceded it. One area I’d be remiss from discussing, in a spoiler-free sense, would be the ending. Cates took this in a very dark direction that caused me to utter some unique expletives as my mouth laid agape.

The plot points and the fighting sequence paired with Klein’s visuals, however, is where the issue really sets itself apart. The artist goes above and beyond in delivering some mouth-watering depictions, and Destroyer Thor lays a beat down on Donald Blake that is long overdue.

The image of the Destroy possessed by Thor, with his eyes burning with the Thorforce, and the rune symbol painted on his chest with the blood of world tree looks bloody phenomenal. What I love about Klein’s work in this series is his attention to detail in his characters’ facial features and the individual elements that make up the anatomy of a person. 

The decision to host the fight on the rainbow bridge was also a top-tier choice. It’s here where Wilson really goes into overdrive as the background jumps off the page, mixed with the multiple colors of various characters. At certain points, characters are wielding magical weapons and calling upon weather elements, and the colors really sing during these moments. Again, Wilson, along with his counterpart Klein left it all on the page during the issue.

Sabino gets a well-deserved standing ovation here, as his letters were brilliantly dynamic. The letterer reinforces the dialogue when a character shouts with command, clearly standing out. Additionally, the design of the onomatopoeia was really engaging and served to elevate the action sequences. While Cates sets the choice of onomatopoeia, Sabino really lets it land.

Overall, the Prey mini-series has really given the Cates Thor run some real weight in story. The stylistic choice to bring back an obscure character like Donald Blake and empower and twist his being to become a dark version of Thor was an absurdly great move. Maybe I’m a sucker for a good old-fashioned evil doppelgänger. Where Cates takes this series from here, who knows? But if he continues to take exciting chances such as this one, then count me on board for more.

Thor #14 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

 

Thor #14
5

TL;DR

Overall, the Prey mini-series has really given the Cates Thor run some real weight in story. The stylistic choice to bring back an obscure character like Donald Blake and empower and twist his being to become a dark version of Thor was an absurdly great move. Maybe I’m a sucker for a good old-fashioned evil doppelgänger. Where Cates takes this series from here, who knows? But if he continues to take exciting chances such as this one, then count me on board for more.