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The Mighty Thor #20: Review

Jun 2017
Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman

Story Name:

Baptism by Fire

Review & Comments

4 stars

The Mighty Thor #20 Review by (June 26, 2017)
Comments: Origin of the new Ultimate Thor/War Thor/Volstagg Thor. The cover is a homage to THOR #337 by Simonson. The usual team of Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson did pages 1, 9-12, 18; Valerio Schiti and Veronica Gandini produced pages 2-8, 13-20.

Review: Well, this was certainly a surprise. A major overhaul to one of Thor's oldest characters, Volstagg. He first appeared in the 1960s as one of the Warriors Three, but unlike his comrades Hogun and Fandral, he is no doughty warrior but a braggart and a coward whose victories were largely accidental. And that was that for many decades, his problem being that no one could take him seriously—so he was cursed with being the comic relief through the comic's history. But now things have changed: though he makes jokes at first in this issue, he is soon caring for refugee children, then protecting them—then seeing them die in his arms. Whoa, that's grim and bitter—but it serves its purpose, namely, changing the character to suit his new calling—the War Thor. Sounds interesting but it also reminds me of Speedball/Penance, the last time Marvel tried to rewrite a comical character as an intensely grim and gritty figure. That didn't go well. We'll have to see what they do from this point on. PS That title is eerily on the mark.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Mighty Thor #20 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The War of the Realms expands into Nidavellir, the land of the Dwarves. Three Senators of the Congress of Worlds—Roz Solomon (Earth), Volstagg (Asgard), and Milkmane (Light Elves)--arrive to see what they can do before the forces of Malekith invade. They find the realm full of Light Elf refugees. Volstagg donates his massive lunch to the feeding of several hungry elf children. The place is then bombarded from above with fire; when the skies clear, Volstagg finds himself cut off and taking charge of the children....

Old Asgard: Jane Foster meets with Thor Odinson who is quite angry over her having concealed her identity as the new Thor from him. She confesses she is afraid that the next time she becomes Thor she will not want to change back to the dying and helpless Jane. Mjolnir summons her to battle in Nidavellir but as she reaches for the hammer she collapses....

Nidavellir: Roz Solomon retreats from the battle, Senator Milkmane having been killed. She learns they are being bombarded with Muspelheim fire, a fire that can burn through anything and not be quenched. A Fire Goblin is shot down near Volstagg and his charges. It detonates its maggot bombs and the fire incinerates the children, leaving only Volstagg. Roz later finds Volstagg, having quenched the flames by bathing in the only substance that can neutralize this type of fire: Fire Goblin blood. He has quenched the fire...but in his mind he is still burning....

Later in Old Asgard: Volstagg, changed by his bitter experience, responds to the call of the Ultimate Thor's hammer. Lifting it, he becomes the armored War Thor, one that suits the dark times they live in....  

Russell Dauterman
Russell Dauterman
Matthew Wilson
Russell Dauterman (Cover Penciler)
Russell Dauterman (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)


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