Thor #610 brings us the fight I have been waiting for since the robot clone of Thor (Ragnarok) first came on the scene in Civil War: Thor vs. Ragnarok. This book is also Kieron Gillen’s final issue before Matt Fraction takes over next month. Gillen really wanted to go out with a bang, and having the fight of the century, you would think it would be guaranteed. Sadly though, the fight is actually the worst part of this issue.
Let’s get the fight over with first. For something that has been on the minds of every Thor fan since he came back, Gillen sure did gloss over it. The Ragnarok vs. Volstag fight, back in Thor #608, was better than this. Doug Braithwaite’s light pencils coupled with his, Andy Troy’s, and Paul Mounts’ light coloring made for a near indistinguishable battle scene. It was nearly impossible to tell what was going on. It’s really too bad; this fight could have been one for the ages.
What Gillen did do well was to show us how all the Asgardians are handling the destruction of their home. There is a fantastic scene between Thor and Baldur in which they discuss the fate of the throne. Gillen does a fantastic job expressing Baldur’s reluctance to lead after seeming to fail so completely. Thor and Baldur have been brothers in arms from the beginning and I really look forward to seeing them rebuilding Asgard together.
The crown jewel of this issue is a scene with Kelda. Walking amongst the destruction, she is still in mourning over the loss of her mortal lover Bill. She is taken to the hall of Valhalla where she sees that Bill has been granted the honor of sitting at Odin’s table among the bravest of warriors who were lost in battle. Kelda and Bill’s love has been one of the highlights of Thor. From the start, it was doomed to end in tragedy, but nothing would deter them. Now Kelda is faced with being able to see Bill from outside Valhalla but never enter the hallowed hall. In true form, she won’t even let this stop her. Bill and Kelda will find a way. It is in scenes like this where Braithwaite’s art shines. His softer pencil helps to highlight all the emotion that is happening on the page.
As an issue advertised as the fight of the century for Thor, it is an absolute disappointment. But by no means should you skip this one. Just be prepared for a great character piece rather than an action packed beat ‘em up.