Writer: Donny Cates, Artist: Nic Klein, Colorist: Matt Wilson, Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino, Cover: Olivier Coipel & Laura Martin.
I'm not sure why it was necessary, but Marvel again restarts Thor at #1 (Legacy #728) for a new story arc by Donny Cates, arguably Marvel’s hottest writer after the splashy successes of Absolute Carnage and Silver Surfer Black. Thor is now the All-Father, looking more and more like Odin with a missing eye, graying hair and beard, a horned helmet, and mystical ravens Hugin and Munin on his shoulders. Asgard is rebuilt, and Thor is about to address the masses, when the incredible happens. Galactus falls into Asgard, maimed and weary from battle, asking Thor for help. Winter is Coming. The Great Black Winter. A Star Plague. A Final Entropy that kills universes, like the previous one that birthed Galactus. Only Galactus can stop the Plague, but it will take more power than he has ever possessed. The Silver Surfer (now Black) joins other heralds to advise King Thor, and reveals five special planets that he had hidden from Galactus that can properly energize him to the level of power to defeat the Plague. Against his will, Thor is transformed into a new herald…a Herald of Thunder, who will lead Galactus to these worlds.
Part two of the story arc “The Devourer King” picks up in issue #2 with Thor leading Galactus to the first world on the menu. Thor is shocked to discover that the first of the Surfer's secret worlds is inhabited with intelligent life, and battles Galactus both physically and philosophically for the rest of the issue to save these sentient beings before he feeds. Thor and Galactus have a spectacular knockdown-drag-out with Galactus definitely getting the worst of it.
Cates has a natural feel for dialogue and doesn’t write to impress, merely to tell the story in the clearest and most succinct way possible. His sense of humor provides welcome relief from the deadly serious drama, and gives Thor’s dog Thori the funniest line of all.
Artist Nic Klein and colorist Matt Wilson team to give this book an otherwordly feel, with a glowing palette, showing off coloring techniques that are only possible with computers and an artist’s vision and skilled touch.
The last page reveals a surprise appearance from a fan favorite, but this isn't a social visit.
Hopefully this story arc won't be repetitive as Herald Thor leads Galactus to each of the five worlds. Let's trust that Cates has some twists up his sleeves.
Thor #2 from Marvel Comics is available January 29, 2020.