By J. Michael Straczynski (writer), Marko Djurdjevic (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Laura Martin (colors)

One thing I’ve been enjoying about this new Thor run is J. Michael Straczynski’s use of restraint. With a book full of powerful deities, it’d be very easy for an author to fly off the handle and give us a bunch of no-holds barred battles. But Straczynski doesn’t do that. Instead, he plays the story close to his vest, giving us a little here and there.

Not since the second or third issue (where Thor owned Iron Man) have we seen Thor lay down the law. This issue finally gives us what we’ve been craving, even if it’s minute compared to the rest of the issue – Thor kicks some butt. Keeping action like this sparse can sometimes lead to a book crossing that fine line into boredom (the modern Daredevil title walks this line, too), but this is not the case with Thor. When you see him swing the hammer, it means something, and Straczynski doesn’t mess around here either. Divine being, demon, ghost, or whatever – being hit by a huge blunt object is not something your skeletal structure is going to enjoy. It’s painful and yet, gloriously satisfying to finally see.

Other parts of this issue deal with Donald Blake confronting a woman of his past, Thor trying to save his father from his own personal hell, and well, that’s pretty much it. As I said before, it’s all about restraint. As the pieces of the story unfold, we finally understand why these people, fixtures, and places are there. And with the last page, the big picture is revealed.

For those who complained that this new Thor series has been drudging itself along, this two-part storyline should silence those complaints. And really, how can you complain with Marko Djurdjevic doing the art? The guy was born to draw this book and as much as I love Olivier Coipel, there’s just no competing with Djurdjevic. (Grade: B+)

– J. Montes

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Conclusion