REVIEW: ‘Thor,’ Issue #26

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thor #26

Thor #26 is written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Martin Coccolo, colored by Matt Wilson, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Part 4 of “Banner of War” picks up immediately in the aftermath of Hulk #7, as Thor was caught in the blast zone of a massive wave of gamma radiation from Hulk. The energy had an odd effect on the God of Thunder, transforming him into a raging Hulk-like creature. Faced with what may be the deadliest version of the Hulk to ever walk the Earth, Bruce Banner strikes a bargain with the spirit of Odin — which leads to the Green Goliath undergoing his own unexpected transformation.

This issue is a key example of how intent and execution go hand in hand when crafting a story. It’s not enough to have a good idea. You have to present that idea in a way that engages the reader and makes sense. Cates’ entire comic book career is full of this. From his Marvel work, see: Venom becoming a god and the entire concept behind his Hulk run and his creator-owned work, especially Crossover. So I’m not surprised that his script managed to wring some genuine emotion out of Thor Hulking out, particularly where Odin is concerned. Despite the friction the former Allfather had with Thor, he still cares for his son and is willing to do anything to help him, even turning to Banner for help.

That same sense of emotion is laced throughout Coccolo’s work. True to the Hulk’s nature, fury is the most prominent one — whole panels feature the Hulked-out Thor’s face contorted in fury as he pummels the main Hulk to within an inch of his life. But there’s also the horror etched on Banner and Odin’s faces and the sorrow on Sif’s when a game-changing event takes place. That the emotional beats hit as hard as the fight scenes are a highlight of how well Coccolo’s art compliments Cates’ script. Comics are a collaborative medium, meaning that the writer has to be on the same page as the artist and thankfully that’s the case here.

Another element of what makes good comics? Great coloring. And Wilson is knocking it out of the park with his color work. As you’d expect, green is the major color — from the emerald hues of both Thor and Hulk’s skin to the gamma energy radiating off their bodies. Even Sabino’s lettering has that greenish hue, as massive green KRAKOOMS penetrate the most destructive of imagery. It provides a nice contrast to other colors like the inky black feathers of Thor’s ravens Huginn and Muninn and the shimmering rainbow that is the Bifrost Bridge.

Thor #26 serves as the penultimate chapter in the “Banner of War” storyline, as the God of Thunder and the Hulk undergo surprising transformations. The conclusion will find out just who the stronger of the two is, and no doubt will spark fanboy debates for years to come. And Thor has another team-up on the horizon, as the next issue will find him teaming up with Venom, which marks Cates’ return to scripting the Lethal Protector.

Thor #26 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Thor #26
4.5

TL;DR

Thor #26 serves as the penultimate chapter in the “Banner of War” storyline, as the God of Thunder and the Hulk undergo surprising transformations. The conclusion will find out just who the stronger of the two is, and no doubt will spark fanboy debates for years to come. And Thor has another team-up on the horizon, as the next issue will find him teaming up with Venom, which marks Cates’ return to scripting the Lethal Protector.