When Marvel called their new Thor saga The Blackest of Winters, they were not kidding. Donny Cates revealed that the scourge of darkness will kill the Justice League in the next issue of the Asgardian's book. Twitter posts with images of the book show a city that seems eerily similar to any other until people come into contact with an otherworldly substance that starts dissolving their very being. As the panels zoom out, the reader starts to understand that this is supposed to be Metropolis and the Justice League are there but only obliquely. Superman is a blur, Batman is a shadow, The Flash is a lightning bolt, and Green Lantern is a hard light streak. But, unfortunately for the DC Heroes, they're a long way from home. It's a pretty brutal introduction to the destructive wave that's headed a bunch of other planets' way.
When Cates teased The Black Winter in an interview with CBR, no one could have seen devastation like this coming. Having the Justice League as collateral damage to show how dangerous the threat is just adds to the risks the writer is already taking. He knew he had to dial it up to 11 in this new post-Jason Aaron run.
"This is an idea though that I've had for a very long time and has required a lot of research," Cates began. "Essentially, the idea of this villain goes back decades in Marvel lore. I found a little piece of untouched territory in old Jack Kirby stuff, and it blew my mind that no one had ever touched it before. So, I called Tom Brevoort as soon as I thought of it. I was like, "Is it possible that no one has ever explained this thing?" He was like, "No." And I asked, "Can I do it?" He said, "Yeah, totally." So, this has been gestating in my head and it ended up being perfect for Thor."
THOR #2January 23, 2020
"This first arc really sets the stage for the ongoing run," he continued. "Then every arc gets bigger. And in the first issue you'll see three or four different mysteries that are questions raised by the first issue. We'll answer those questions over the course of a few years. So, if people tune in and love the first arc stay tuned! Because things keep on getting bigger and and badder."
Thor #2 releases next week.