“The Mighty Thor” #22, from Matt Fraction, Barry Kitson, Jay Leisten and Wil Quintana is all about consequences in the aftermath of Surtur being defeated. Delivered as an aftermath tale in the wake of “The Burning” storyline, this issue has little action or adventure and a great deal of discussion and drama. The plot is pretty simple: Odin wants Thor tried for disturbing Odin’s exile. Of course, Thor did so for the good of all, but Odin chooses not to present it in such a manner.
Odin chooses to have Amora, the Enchantress, oversee the proceedings as an impartial advocate on his behalf. Hreidmar, king of the dwarves steps up to represent Thor. Through this device, Fraction is able to reflect on everything he has done to and through Thor over the course of this series. There is no real action or adventure in “The Mighty Thor” #22, save for one brief scene set in Limbo, but that doesn’t make the issue an immediate sedative.
Barry Kitson’s layouts, with Kitson sharing the finishing duties with Jay Leisten, pull the story together quite nicely. The visuals don’t have the same weight as a fully-drawn Barry Kitson comic would, but there is no mistaking Kitson’s influence throughout this issue. Quintana’s colors help distinguish the flashback sequences from the vibrant present, enhancing the visual contrast of the story to match the point-counterpoint discourse between Amora and Hreidmar. In splitting time, however, Kitson’s familiar style and character illustration doesn’t shine through on every character in every panel, but his storytelling is predictably strong throughout.
“The Mighty Thor” #22 does provide a verdict on Thor’s actions, but doesn’t completely button up everything that Thor is about right now. Additionally, it leaves room for reader interpretation, making for an enjoyable “nothing” tale. With the upcoming “Thor: God of Thunder” series set to launch within a month, Fraction clearly leaves things open for incoming writer Jason Aaron to pick and choose. In the meantime, this issue provides a final inventory of how the legendary Asgardians intersect with the real world and how much richer the Marvel Universe is for it. All of the pieces are on the table, waiting to be polished up and used.