A major character in the Thor franchise will meet an untimely end in an oversized issue celebrating 750 issues of the God of Thunder. April's Thor #24 takes place in the aftermath of the "God of Hammers" story arc by writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein, with Thor and his allies in Asgard mourning "a brutal loss." An all-star list of acclaimed artists and writers will join Cates and Klein in the special issue, though a look at the cover by Klein doesn't give away the identity of the character who dies. All we see is Thor, Sif, Volstagg, Jane Foster (Valkyrie), Odin, and more honoring their fallen, who receives a hero's funeral.
Many of the returning creators have helped define Thor for several generations. Writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Oliver Coipel are reunited for a story set during their redefining Thor saga; legendary comics creator Dan Jurgens pens and draws a team-up story featuring Thor and his brother Balder Odinson; Walter Simonson writes and draws a new adventure starring his creation Beta Ray Bill; Al Ewing and Lee Garbett, the creative team behind Loki: Agent of Asgard, are together again for the first time since their run ended for a new chapter featuring the God of Mischief; the classic team of Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz are back together again with an Enchantress story; and Jason Aaron and Das Pastoras deliver a revelatory tale about Thor's father, Odin Borson.
"God of Hammers" finds Thor in search of his Asgardian hammer Mjolnir. The artifact has become harder and harder for Thor to lift since Cates and Klein began their run, with everyday run-of-the-mill people able to lift it, including Tony Stark. This appears to be different from the time in Original Sin when Thor became unworthy to lift Mjolnir after Nick Fury, Sr. whispered in his ear. Marvel eventually revealed Fury told Thor that Gorr the God Butcher was right, which apparently was enough to rock Thor to his core.
Thor and Hulk will also collide this summer in a five-part crossover event titled Hulk vs. Thor: Banner of War, celebrating the God of Thunder and Jade Giant's 60th anniversaries. Cates is currently writing both comics, and will be joined by artist Martin Coccolo with covers by Gary Frank.
"Well, I was a little surprised that Marvel approached me to write this, if I'm being honest. I'm mostly known for writing very small, very quiet, intimate comics, so I had to—ha!! Sorry. Couldn't keep that up. Yeah, this is gonna be bonkers as hell, guys," Cates said. "We're going to break EVERYTHING! Happy birthday, Hulk and Thor! Hope you enjoy MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF VIOLENCE!"
"Where do I even start? I get to celebrate Hulk and Thor's 60th anniversaries, which is already amazing and a dream come true, but I get to do it with an insane script by the great Donny Cates AND the support of an incredible group of editors? That's just ridiculous!" Coccolo said. "I'm absolutely honored by this opportunity and I've been giving it my 100%. Hopefully readers will agree. I can only say to all the fans out there to strap yourselves 'cause this is going to be a wild ride!"
Who do you think readers will be mourning in Thor #24? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!