Thor: Blood of the Fathers

Thor: Blood of the Fathers
Thor Blood of the Fathers review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-1-3029-4760-6
  • Volume No.: 6
  • Release date: 2023
  • UPC: 9781302947606
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Five volumes ago in The Devourer King Donny Cates introduced the idea of Thor’s fate inextricably being tied to a confrontation with an even more powerful than usual Thanos. While an interesting piece of foreshadowing, it’s become continuously diluted via a holding pattern, and The Legacy of Thanos was very much filler accompanied by very little thriller. However, at the end new writer Torunn Grønbekk pulled the rabbit from the hat in the final chapters.

Although Cates receives a credit as co-writer on a couple of chapters here, it’s Grønbekk who’s now taking the lead and she starts by finally picking up on the cliffhanger that ended God of Hammers. The souls of the departed are no longer to be found in Valhalla, so where are they?

That chapter is Nic Klein’s series swansong and by some distance the best art here. He supplies a grandeur entirely absent from Juan Gedeon’s pages on the remainder of the book. Even allowing for the possibility of his having to take over at very short notice, Gedeon supplies basic artwork. Backgrounds and surroundings are replaced by walls of colour, foreshortening is poor, and people resemble posed action figures, with Thanos a particular casualty. After two such chapters Sergio Dávila starts pencilling some pages, and the overall look improves for the ending.

As with the art, the ending is not what’s expected. Gronbekk picks up on elements of the plots Cates had running, but anyone looking for the final showdown with Thanos won’t find it here. However, her use of Thanos is innovative in showing his part in the growth of Asgard, a viable connection nobody’s  made previously, yet one that’s perfectly logical as Thanos has been around for a long time. Instead Grønbekk ties up some other plots. There’s an end to Odin’s story, an origin for a long-running Asgardian, and some touching scenes between family members. It’s not everything readers who’ve followed the series from the beginning might have wanted, but were the art better this would be very readable.

Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing provide a final story with no connection to the remainder. The transformation of an old Marvel villain is well conceived, but it’s about the only idea of note in an what’s decently drawn by Ibraim Roberson.

All going to plan this run of Thor is to be collected as an Omnibus sometime in 2024, and perhaps it’ll read better as one large lump, but overall it’s disappointed.