Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Olivier Coipel
For how many delays Thor seems to have, it's remains one of the few books, along with All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman, where that detriment has no impact on my enjoyment of the book. I think that might be due to the nature of the story, where each of those books doesn't seem to rely on decompressed arcs to pad out stories.
Yes, Thor is a slow paced book, but there's a difference between the negative decompression we use to describe most books in recent years to actual decompressed storytelling, as seen in Thor, which allows us to get to know characters better, while building towards an actual goal.
This issue is a prime example of this with the revelation of Baldur's heritage and the confrontation between he and Thor over it, thanks to the urging of Loki. And by confrontation, I mean verbal, not the cliched fisticuffs most stories seem to rely on.
I'm not sure what Loki's aim is with this gambit, but she has something planned. This revelation did not seem to cause any outright rifts between Thor and Baldur, as they appear to be friends still and they even celebrate the Baldur's newfound princehood after they discuss why Thor never told Baldur the truth for all these years (it was to protect him from becoming a target of Asgard's enemies since it is prophecized that Baldur's death heralds Ragnarok). So I'm at a loss as to what Loki will gain from this, but she seems mighty pleased with herself at the end of the issue, so, whatever it is, it must have worked out for her.
I also loved seeing more of Bill and Hilda. I'm unfamiliar with Hilda or her archtype in Norse mythology, but she better not break Bill's heart! That would be cruel. Ahahah.
Verdict - Must Read. Just another wonderful issue of JMS's Thor with beautiful artwork from Mr. Coipel. While I'd probably chastise other books for the slow pace, I think it's a perfect fit for this title.