Cover of the Week 18/6 – Thor #23 by Agustin Alessio

Thor - God of Thunder 023-000

I initially thought that Esad Ribic had drawn this cover because it captures his epic and passionate style, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was Agustin Alessio. I am not familiar with his work but he certainly fits the mould of the heroic artist, one that is able to bring an ethereal and otherworldly tone to his work. This image is vivid and emotive. Not only do we have a central Thor character in full aggression and mid strike, we also have a beastly antagonist sprawled below, flailing in despair. The details are incredible as you see the striations of Thor’s upper arm, the hairs of his adversary, as well as the grimace on Odinson’s face. The posture highlights that this is mid battle but the refinements together with the anger on display brings out the emotion of the piece. The glorious power that Mjolnir brings is shown by the lighting bolts firing their way to the hammer held aloft. You will also notice the environment around them crumbling to pieces under the watchful gaze of Galactus. This is when the image becomes a little disturbing because Thor is using all of his might to reign down lighting onto the Minotaur, to the point where all around him is caught in the aftershock. But the creature looks to be in pain, as it curls its knuckles, almost as if it is submitting. You can imagine his face full of fear as it looks up at an angry Thor ready to unleash Mjolnir. If it is trying to concede then it is almost too late as life is surely passing before its eye. If Thor can strike a beaten creature, then what of the compassion of the Gods? What kind of deity is our hero, who is so enraged that he cannot see that the battle is already won? I love this image because it asks these questions of Thor’s motivations, especially when Galactus is just watching on. An epic cover worthy of the artistic merits of the comic and successfully blurs the moral lines of our favourite God.

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