After a bit of a lag in forward moment in the previous issues, Cates brings Thor and Galactus face-to-face with the Black Winter in this beautifully drawn issue, with a bit of a surprise revelation waiting at the end.

Review: THOR #5 – Facing the Black Winter!

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Thor #5, part five of its “Devourer King” arc from Marvel Comics, hits your local comic book shop on June 24. Donny Cates continues writing his story, putting his stamp on the God of Thunder’s ongoing tale. He is joined by artist Nic Klein, colorist Matt Wilson, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino.


Cates had some big shoes to fill, taking over for Jason Aaron, who crafted an epic Thor run of his own, but Cates seems up to the challenge, creating a personal story for Thor that is also cosmic in scope. While issues 2-4 did seem to lag a little bit, getting taken up by the Thor/Beta Ray Bill/Lady Sif conflict, issue 5 finds Thor and Galactus confronting and being consumed by the Black Winter. Previously, Galactus claimed that the Black Winter consumed the universe he originated from and now sought to destroy the current Marvel Universe. Still, by issue’s end, readers discover that all is not as it seems.


Klein’s art is perfect for the high concept, sci-fi/fantasy nature of the story that Cates is telling. He does a good job capturing the emotions on each character’s face, even a despondent Beta Ray Bill, whose alien features could make that task difficult.

However, he is also about to demonstrate the scope of the overwhelming, cosmic conflict Thor finds himself in, while again, conveying the personal emotion that the character is feeling.

The way Klein shows Thor creating a lightning shield for himself, trying to beat back the darkness even while conveying the futility of this attempt as the darkness surrounds him and his terror-filled eyes is a juxtaposition that conveys both the grandeur of the story and the nuances of Thor’s character.


Klein’s art is complemented by Wilson’s colors. The grainy speckling that Wilson employs is perfect for demonstrating the mystical character of the Black Winter.

Wilson also does a good job coloring Thor’s hammer, giving it a powerful glow that contrasts it with his often dark surroundings, although sometimes Thor’s lightning comes off looking too solid and almost cartoony compared to the gritty shading Wilson gives to the characters and their surroundings. But that’s a nitpick. This really is a beautiful issue!


Sabino conveys the voice of each character well through his lettering. It is pretty standard to use a font that indicates the “old English” feel of the Asgardian dialect. In contrast, Galactus’s lettering indicates that he speaks with an overflow of cosmic power and energy. One can almost hear the voice of Tony Jay from the 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon (I can’t help NOT hearing his voice for Galactus!). The Black Winter conveys a sense of menace, with lettering that reminds me of the lettering in Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, and if THAT doesn’t convey evil, I don’t know what does!

After a bit of a slow down with an overly decompressed conflict with Beta Ray Bill, Cates quickly rushes through the destruction of five planets to bring Thor and Galactus face to face with the Black Winter in this beautifully drawn issue. With the revelation at the end, I can’t wait to see what Cates is planning!

Thor #5 is available in stores now. What did you think of the ending of this issue? Tell us in the comments below.

Matthew Brake
Matthew Brake is the series editor for the book series Theology and Pop Culture from Lexington Books. He is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Religion and Comics series from Claremont Press. He holds degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy from George Mason University. He also writes for Sequart and the Blackwell Popular Culture and Philosophy blog.