The next issue in the new post-Civil War Thor series arrives this week, and I have your advance review of it. Spoilers after the jump.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Olivier Copiel
What’s Going On:
After resurrecting the Norse gods from their demises in Ragnarok and relocating the newly reestablished Asgard to Oklahoma, Thor has granted freedom to his friends and family. The gods have been wary to stray from their floating walls until Loki, newly reborn as a female, gets back to his/her old ways and lays temptation and trickery before Balder and the Warriors Three.
Lessons Learned Here:
- Don’t trust Loki. Really, how many times does this have to be learned?
- If you see a family being assaulted by Frost Giants, either walk away slowly or call the cops. Under no circumstances should you actually rescue them.
How It Ends:
Balder has fallen under the twisty web of Loki’s trickery and believes Thor may be holding him back from true freedom. Loki twists the treacherous knife by telling him that Odin and Frigga are his true parents, and Balder has as much right to the throne of Asgard as Thor.
I’m loving Copiel’s art in this new run of Thor, and Straczynski’s story feels like it’s finally finding its feet. The first several issues were all about bringing a pantheon back to life, and at times it’s felt like it was plodding along without much direction. Now that the gods have returned to Asgard and all the pieces are in place, Loki’s meddling is going to introduce some much needed conflict to the story. The setup for Loki’s tricking Balder felt a lot like the classic Avengers issues where Loki would convince a bunch of people that the Hulk had wrecked a train or that Thor had stolen Captain America’s cookies. Fun stuff, and JMS makes it feel current and relevant here. My favorite part of this issue was seeing Oklahoman William attempting to court Kelda and teaching the Asgardians to play basketball. This has the potential to be a classic run for Thor, and I really hope Straczynski maintains the momentum and conflict this issue builds.