Donald Blake tells The Mighty Thor what he thinks and Marvel takes one more step toward Marvel NOW!
The Mighty Thor #17
Thor battles the Enchantress’ monstrosity. Thor then realizes that this newly created Executioner of hers came from the body of someone he nearly forgot all about, Don Blake. He learns that, while his life wasn’t exactly designed to constantly think of Blake’s needs, he was everything to Blake. Blake’s entire existence was born out of Odin’s exile of Thor. Meanwhile, in Marelock, the Dire Monks send Jeff Fischer back into the dream world to communicate with the Mares to reach an agreement about their future. Finally, the All Mother awaken to find the battle between Thor, Amora, and her new Executioner and exile the villains. Later, when Thor returns from Marelock with news that they wish to have a voice in Asgardia’s new Parliament of Realms and that he’s in their debt for giving Don Blake a chance to live a life of dreams.
I actually found myself really moved by this arc’s finale. Things that I wasn’t a huge fan of earlier in the story, like the back and forth between the Blake story and the Mares story and the Jeff Fischer character, seemed to tie together nicely. There was even a nice little arc for the Jeff character – someone I really wasn’t digging in the story. Both of the stories featured in this arc ran parallels with the idea of beings of seemingly smaller stature just needing to be heard. The Mares were misunderstood because they created the dream worlds to communicate the only way they could. Jeff Fischer was a misunderstood son because he would continue to retreat into dream worlds to escape his pain. Donald Blake had an amazing life until he was separated from Thor and now felt he needed to tell Thor about how he felt.
I will forever remember this issue for a fantastic way Matt Fraction concluded Don Blake’s story and for this story taking a step toward the future of the character as Marvel NOW! starts to creep over the horizon. Remember, Marvel has promised us a universe that won’t be rebooted like the New 52 did for DC. Instead, it’s just trying to move things more in line with their incredibly successful movie endeavors. Donald Blake is not part of that Thor universe. This issue closes that chapter in Thor’s long run. For all intents and purposes, Donald Blake was killed. Not in the sense that someone shot him or he died from cancer or something. Yes, he was beheaded, but because his entire life was created around being a mortal disguise for Thor, Enchantress didn’t kill him to use his body for her new creation. Is he dead and buried in the dirt? No, but he really is dead to the Marvel Universe now. The sweet part of that “death” is that he gets his wish to live a happy life even if it’s only a dream. It kind of got me a little bit, but it definitely signals the path Marvel is taking toward their future.
I have to say that artist Pepe Larraz dis a spectacular job with this issue. From start to finish, it’s gorgeously illustrated.I would kill to own just the panel of Thor holding Blake’s head. It’s a powerful image and worked on so many levels for me. Every page seemed to have something that leaped off the page. This issue, alone, competes against some of the Olivier Coipel stuff at the start of the series as one of the greatest drawn issues.
So, we say goodbye to Don Blake. Man, this is getting to be way too many goodbyes in the Thor books.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Exceptional art from Larraz. Story is well written with some really touching stuff to finish on.||This arc took a while to play out, but whether or not the wait was worth it, that’ll be up to each individual reader.|
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