Thor’s impulsiveness turns the tides of battle in this issue, breaking into the conflict between Odin and Galactus. Leading with his hammer, Thor breaks an apparent stalemate, but as with all things Asgardian that shift is certain to be more than it appears.
As the battle lines are drawn and the pawns are moved across the board, Sif questions the format of a battle between two omnipotent beings. In this issue, Matt Fraction provides glimpses to the war under which such a battle would occur. The battle provides glimpses into the minds and pasts of both Galactus and Odin. Their conflicts take forms that are rational to their individual histories, yet the other threads add a new threat to old worries. It’s effective and adds to the heft of this issue, which includes the actual battle, the fight between those who answer to Galactus and Odin, and the continuing saga of Loki.
Rounding (yes, that is a pun) out the issue is the story of Volstagg the Merciless (or one of the other monikers he applies to himself in third person) as he prepares for an invasion from the townsfolk of Broxton, Oklahoma. As is frequently the case when Fraction writes Volstagg, there are a couple of chuckles to be had in this story. Volstagg’s interaction with Loki is one of those moments. Not only does Fraction deliver some chuckles, Olivier Coipel really plays that up in the artwork.
Throughout the story, Olivier Coipel is channeling the work of Jack Kirby throughout much of this issue, but he does not hesitate to make this story his very own. His Silver Surfer, Thor, and surrounding cast seem to be natural descendants of Kirby’s, and it works quite well in this otherworldly cosmic Asgardian surprise. Laura Martin’s colors certainly aid in making this tale both otherworldly and cosmic, and her work in the mind games between the omnipotent foes really seals the deal on what is going on and how.
This is the fourth installment of the story of the “Galactus Seed” and it really feels like it’s going somewhere now. Thor is ready to put the hurt on the Silver Surfer -- on Mars no less! I can certainly understand if people are bemoaning the pace of this story, but there is no denying the sheer quantity of plots and subplots, conflicts internal and external, and surprises that Fraction and company are jamming into this book. It seems as though the next issue might be the one where the other shoe drops. When that shoe hits, it’s going to make quite a ruckus and it’s going to provide quite an enjoyable story.