Thor #604

If this issue does nothing else, it certainly serves as a reminder of the self-righteousness and self-entitlement contained within the armor of the ruler of Latveria. The issue opens with Doom confronting a distraught Kelda, who is determined to confront Doom's ally, Loki. The machinations of Doom are brought to light and, quite shockingly, the world of the Asgard will never be the same again.

Following "Thor Giant-Size Finale" #1 (or perhaps more appropriately "Thor" #603 1/2) and the "new" status for Donald Blake, this issue does little to advance the story of Thor, but instead sets up a confrontation between Doom with his twisted experiements and the Asgardians. Thor's story seems to remain outside of Asgard, as Balder makes no secret of his hesitation to rely upon the Thunder God. Thor, himself, appears in but one panel in this issue, but that appearance is certainly impactful. Nonetheless, Balder declares that battle with Doom must be joined.

Gillen inherits this book with a myriad of storylines spinning through it, and while it seems as though he is heaping more plotlines on top of the pile, some of these threads are set up for a dramatic conclusion. How this all plays into the "Seige" storyline coming up in the Marvel Universe will be interesting to see. I cannot help but hope that this story -- "Latverian Prometheus" -- will forever impact the Marvel Universe, but I am prepared to be disappointed as I expect Doom to somehow weasel his way out of a seemingly insurmountable defeat at the hands of some mightily pissed off Asgardians.

Tan's art is good. It carries a grit that is well-suited to the Asgardians' trials, but it feels disjointed in some places. It took a second read for me to determine that it was not Doom's hands that were upon Kelda. Still, Tan, while a stylistic change from Coipel, is a good match for Thor. The final splash page is nicely drawn. Doom's creations are creepy and unsettling. Balder is heroic and Loki is wily.

Reminiscient of the "Acts of Vengeance" story from 1989 wherein heroes faced foes who were not their regular sparring partners, this story sets Doctor Doom up against Thor (and friends). To me, this seems like a massive mismatch. After all, Thor is a god. Doom, however, has some tricks left in his arsenal. I would think that with the dastardly deeds Doom has performed, however, that he has made new enemies for life.

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