Once upon a time, Jane Foster and Donald Blake were more than friends. With Blake at her side, Jane could've shared the very throne of Asgard. Now...they are about to become the bitterest of enemies. And if Valkyrie falls, she'll have lost more than a crown. All of the Ten Realms are at stake - not to mention the life of All-Father Thor!
As Doctor Donald Blake continues his murderous one-man rampage, Thor’s creative team are hitting their stride.
From its first page depicting a dissected frog and lamenting the fate of Throg, the issue immediately draws its audience in. The cold blues and pallid greens, punctuated by the pink of organ matter — all courtesy of colorist Matt Wilson — make the art by Nic Klein all the more arresting.
The tone of the issue is a terrific mixture of humor — necessitated by appearances from Throg, Lockjaw, and Jane Foster’s mouthy pegasus Mr. Horse — and horror as Donald Blake tears everything and everyone to shreds. (A personal favorite moment was Mr. Horse complaining about the Tories.) Writer Donny Cates’ first Thor arc was driven by grandiose, drawn-out fight scenes that seemed generally empty, but that is no longer true. Rather, the issue’s main conflict between Throg and Donald Blake has weight. Perhaps it’s due to a deeper understanding and exploration of this antagonist’s motivations, or the result of a writer growing more comfortable with writing this particular cast. While panels are occasionally cluttered, Klein’s mastery of dynamic poses and expressions leads to a sense of sustained momentum. From beat to beat, Wilson’s colors shift drastically but always to the issue’s betterment. The brief appearance of Kirby krackle is also delightful. Though the issue has three splash pages, all of them are worth the space they take both artistically and in terms of narrative.
As Cates’ plot reaches a breakneck pace, some plot threads feel abandoned (i.e. where exactly Loki has gone, or if he’s dead, following his fight with Blake a few issues ago). Nonetheless, the issue is fast-moving, hard to put down, and ends on a shocking cliffhanger sure to bring readers back for more.
The issue’s weakest point is its cover by Oliver Coipel and Laura Martin. It’s well executed artistically, but nonetheless misleading. While it promises a face-off between Jane Foster and Donald Blake, no such fight takes place. Donald Blake’s black leather costume pulls the eye wonderfully on the cover, but is sadly nowhere in the issue. Throg, meanwhile, appears on only one variant cover which neglects Jane instead.
Thor #12 shows a creative team in their element. As Donald Blake rips the world apart, the mix of humor, horror, and high stakes can only leave readers begging for more.
Thor #12: No More Hoppy Endings
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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