Bargain Comic Reviews

New Reviews of Old Comics

The Mighty Thor #224 (June, 1974)

Purchase price: $1

That’s quite a cover with Thor bashing the Destroyer who has Hercules pinned to the ground; something you don’t see every day.  This is actually a pretty cool cover with the coloring of the sky and Hercules getting pummeled through a dock.  Thor is one of those titles I always buy when I find it, based mostly on the seminal Simonson issues and the early Lee/Kirby classics.  The issues from the 70s are a real hit or miss for me, so I’m always optimistic, but usually disappointed.

“No One Can Stop…The Destoryer!” was written by Gerry Conway with John Buscema bringing his pencil work to the party.  The splash page has Thor in a hospital about to strike his hammer down and return to his mortal identity, Donald Blake, because he can more ably help Krista as Don Blake than as Thor.  Who is Krista?  Dunno.  Go read #223 to find out.  Hercules is bringing Krista in at Thor’s behest, but of course Herc doesn’t know about Thor’s alter ego until the good doctor drops a few hints.  If that weren’t enough, somewhere in Manhattan a mad scientist has revived the Destroyer, a giant robot created by none other than Odin, the god of all Norse gods.  While Donald Blake works to save Krista and fight with his internal demons over who is more helpful to the world, Thor or Dr. Blake, Hercules is out on the town tossing back drinks in swanky nightclubs and pretty much scaring people wherever he goes.  Those good times are literally broken up when the Destroyer shows up and starts tearing down the club.  Guess he didn’t make the VIP room list.  That’s enough for Don Blake to realize how important Thor is, because not just anyone can go toe-to-toe with a robot created by All Father Odin.  Standard fight scene ensues.  Gods being tossed around, robot pounded on with magical hammer, general property destruction, yet no one has so much as a bruise or scratch.  The story ends with the Destroyer picking up Thor’s hammer, putting Thor at risk of switching back to Don Blake in 60 seconds due to the curse placed on Mjolnir.  Also, some idiot cut out the Marvel Value Stamp which was right in the middle of the last page.  What the hell is wrong with people?

This was actually a very enjoyable issue of Thor.  His interaction with Hercules was entertaining, even a little funny, particularly when Donald Blake is dropping hints about being Thor to Hercules. The story was a continuation from last issue and fed into the next, but I didn’t feel totally left out.  I’d really like to read #225, which doesn’t often happen after I finish an issue of Thor from this time period.  Buscema’s art was very good like it usually is.  Mostly I’m pleased with the fact we’re not beaten over the head with “verily,” “doth,” and “Odin’s Beard,” in every other panel.  That gets tiresome after awhile and becomes a real turnoff for me.  Was this issue a disappointment?  I say thee, Nay!


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