by Matt Fraction (writer), Pasqual Ferry (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), and John Workman (letters)

The Story: Odin summons some very powerful forces in his defense against the World Eaters.

The Review: After a rocky issue last month, Thor comes back this issue with all guns blazing, leading to a much more enjoyable experience overall.

That said, it doesn’t necessarily look that way for the first few pages.  Thor #620 is one of those issues that’s a little hard to get into at first.  What I mean is that it’s one of those comics where it feels like you missed something between issues.  When the comic starts, Odin is yelling amidst a field of bodies and there’s little indication as to what’s going on or how this situation arose.  Frankly, when the focus shifted away to Broxton, I had to double-check to make sure that the comic didn’t start in media res.  It’s a little frustrating, as it essentially feels like I missed at least half an issue somewhere.

Once things get going though and the reader settles in, the book becomes a rocking good time.  Suffice it to say, this issue is very, very heavy on the smiting.  Giant monsters abound and bodies go flying all over the place.  In other words, it gives Pasqual Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth a chance to really cut loose.  Ferry’s action scenes are stupendous in size and scope and altogether very exciting, while Hollingsworth paints the whole comic in brilliant shades of red to go along with the raining blood, leading to a downright hellish looking warzone.  Ferry’s Odin also looks fantastic, as do his big creatures.

I think Odin fans will also have a lot to like this month.  For most of the issue, the All-Father comes across as a complete badass and Matt Fraction puts him to very good use having just brought him back.  Almost every page with Odin on it is one that’ll have you saying “hell yeah!”  He’s a great character, hardened, violent, and perpetually pissed off.

Frankly, the issue may not be the smartest or most emotionally resonant book, but it’s just a lot of fun.  It’s a complete explosion of violence and chaos and there’s a sense of all the big forces Fraction has been playing with all coming to the fore.  The result is a feeling of Fraction gleefully letting things fly off the rails, allowing huge powers to run amok in a cataclysm of action and bloodshed with Ferry and Hollingsworth happily obliging.  It’s akin to watching a well-orchestrated, cosmic/mythological demolition derby, and when Fraction cuts to Dr. Eric Solvang, him and his science are finally unable to explain the madness unleashed.

Conclusion: A return to form of sorts.  It may not be the most intellectually challenging book and it may have a bit of a rough start, but once things get going, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Grade: B

-Alex Evans