Kieron Gillen has had a slightly thankless task in stepping in to write “Thor” for a few months. Not only did he have to follow J. Michael Straczynski, who had pushed the series into the spotlight and best-selling status, but he had to finish off Straczynski’s stories as well as then tie the book into another writer’s stories (Brian Michael Bendis) as part of the “Siege” crossover. The good news, though, is that Gillen’s doing a strong enough job that would make you think he’d been around all along.
With the Asgardians no longer hanging out in Latveria, the stage is set for the assault on Asgard by H.A.M.M.E.R. troops, and that’s where Gillen gets things moving. His focusing on some of the non-big-name Asgardians is what makes “Thor” #607 interesting, with the eve of war upon them even as they ignore the one warning sign frantically waving its arms in front of them.
Using a soothsayer, Knut, as a Cassandra takes the book down familiar, if frustrating, territory. Gillen at least hedges his bets by having characters note that Knut’s visions are normally false. Otherwise, if there was any one group of characters who should believe in visions of the future, it would be the Asgardians. Gillen plays the scenes out well, though, with not only visions of doom but also having Loki take the appropriate steps in a situation where all of his plans are about to unravel.
And while normally I’d have rolled my eyes at Volstagg’s subplot on how he tries to clear his name, Gillen writes the scene with the right level of emotion and humor that it ends up ringing true. Trying to describe the scene may sound a bit silly, but it’s a logical series of steps and it works surprisingly well.
Billy Tan and Rich Elson split the art chores this month and it works out well. Elson’s art is a more classical style that matches with the scenes within Asgard proper, while Tan’s superhero influenced art is a stronger fit for Volstagg’s scenes in Oklahoma. When it’s time for punches to be thrown (even if I had to groan at the arrival of the villain, one whom if we’re lucky Gillen will kill off once and for all), Tan does a good job of keeping the tension level high. “Thor” #607 is a good use for a “Siege” crossover; after all, the siege is of Asgard, so it’s about time we saw how its inhabitants are doing. Gillen may have been hired to serve as a bridge between Straczynski and incoming writer Matt Fraction, but he’s doing a good job in his own right as well.