What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Thor #4! I’m not the type to give in to hype, but right now this book is the hype! This run so far has been a winner for taking the God of Thunder to new heights as Galactus’ herald. Made a statement to Galactus himself that he was no one’s pawn in the saving of the multiverse, and made a statement to Beta Ray Bill that no one would get in his way of saving the multiverse. My jaw dropped when Lady Sif took the stage, but is the guardian of the Bifrost enough to challenge this new force of nature?
Well let me correct that question. Is Lady Sif enough to knock some sense into this God of Thunder who has seemingly lost himself to this higher purpose? Getting the answer to that was a thrill because of what the expectation versus reality turned out to be. I’m pretty sure that we all looked forward to a good scrap, but Cates had other plans for what would happen when Lady Sif confronted Thor. I was impressed with her intentions for the fact that there is only so much which can be accomplished from another big battle. She sees all, and proved it through the words she directed at Thor which pierced through that armor of his that he was so desperate to protect. There was plenty of ways that this disaster could have ended, and you have to commend this creative team for the decision to choose substance over style.
From there, I enjoyed the pacing which quickly picked up from there. This added a sense of urgency to what they still had to do to power-up. It also added to the build-up in suspense that we should be feeling knowing that the Black Winter is right around the corner. They moved from one planet into the next, and all to get Thor and Galactus to that point where there was nothing before them but the main event. Still, that would all be too simple. So before the Black Winter actually arrived, it didn’t hurt that this creative team decided on one more emotional moment which would emphasize how dire this situation is. The execution was perfect.
By the end of the issue I also found appreciation for the way that this story has been set-up because it was clear that Cates had some admiration for the way that the last run unfolded. The story of Thor is a story. That means you can expect there will be developments which seem so small now, but actually turn into something much more down the road. He got clever with a twist he threw in which set a wheel in motion for the most unlikely of characters involved in this book.
Now just when you thought the interior work could get no better, this art team proved again that the sky is the limit for what they could create within these pages. Where the previous issue was more action-packed, this one came with more character focus. I was impressed with Nic Klein’s pencils because its kind of new for me seeing him bring out this much emotion and engagement from the characters he drew. This is not to say he hasn’t done this kind of work before, but this was a powerful moment for the walls he was able to break down for Thor visually. After that, I was simply blown away because this issue was a work-load for the different planets he breathed life into, the inhabitants, and even the transformations Galactus took on with the passing of each planet. Matt Wilson stunned as well for beauty that he was able to capture in all of this. This issue was full of sadness, chaos, and destruction, but still you couldn’t help but feel amazed for how colorful that could still look. Even the appearance of the Black Winter itself would not have had the effect it did at the end if it were not for the color choice. Especially for something that for the most part has a composition of black.
With each issue, this book continues to keep you at the edge of your seat. I don’t know if this would be categorized as Thor’s greatest enemy yet, but it is certainly one which has left him more vulnerable than he has been since the time he was unworthy. Overall, Thor #4 served as a perfect set-up for what is to come when the sacrifices to get to this point can’t be in vain for the God of Thunder.