Archive for Thor

Hammer of the Gods


The Mighty Thor #3

Loki is back to being, at best, an anti-hero, and more likely, just a regular villain again. He does look an awful lot more like Tom Hiddleston than he used to. He tries to talk Thor into teaming up with him — but Jane Foster has had plenty of contact with Loki before, and he generally just tried to kill her to get back at Thor. So she knocks his head clean off. Of course, that’s no way to kill the God of Lies, and he comes back with a horde of alternate Lokis, including Loki Classic, King Loki, Kid Loki, Teen Loki, Frost Giant Loki, Lady Loki, and even Cat Thor Loki from the Squirrel Girl comic. Does Thor have a chance against all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see so many Lokis in one place, isn’t it? Also liked Thor’s rationale for knocking Loki’s head off — he’s always treated Jane Foster as nothing worth bothering with, which means she’d definitely be ready for payback.


Starfire #8

It’s the second half of Starfire’s team-up with secret agent Dick Grayson. There’s some decent action stuff, and a lot of soap-opera stuff, most of it involving minor characters whose names I can’t totally remember.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I ain’t entirely knocking soap opera, because superhero comics would be damn boring without some soap opera. But most of this issue was soap opera, and it wasn’t really much fun.


All-New All-Different Avengers #3

The Chitauri warlord called Warbringer just keeps kicking the Avengers’ butts, though he does have secret assistance from Mr. Gryphon, the mysterious businessman who bought Avengers Tower. Warbringer is trying to assemble a device that’ll bring hordes of Chitauri to Earth to conquer the planet for him. The team manages to get the pieces of the artifact away from him, but he’s still powerful enough to easily beat the most powerful members of the group. So Spider-Man is going to have to activate the device and then destroy it with split-second timing so they can push Warbringer through the portal as it opens. Will the plan work? Or will there be other complications?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not at all bad, decently tense — and it looks like the Vision being creepy and weird is something that’s going to carry over into every comic he appears in…

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Hammer Time


The Mighty Thor #2

Loki is tested by his father to see if he’s a strong enough warrior to join Malekith’s Dark Council — he proves his worth by talking a bunch of frost giants into dying. That’s not the frost giant way, so Laufey is unhappy about it, of course. Meanwhile, the Thunder Guard serving the increasingly insane and tyrannical Odin are attacking Thor, and they’ve got her on the ropes ’til Heimdall calls a halt to the battle, sends Thor back to Alfheim, home of the light elves, and allows himself to be taken into custody. In Alfheim, the elves are being slaughtered by hordes of dark elves, backed by Roxxon technology. Can Thor help the situation when Loki is sent after her next?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really, the most interesting part of this story is Loki’s continuing transition from semi-innocent Kid Loki to semi-innocent Teen Loki to not-very-innocent-at-all Slimy Jerk Loki.


Ms. Marvel #2

Kamala raids one of the offices of Hope Yards Development and discovers a strange purple goo being stored there. She takes some of it to Bruno for analysis, then has to play chaperone for her big brother — he’s not allowed to see the girl he likes without his sister there to keep them both honorable. Tyesha is both traditional and entirely cool, and they all discover that all the locals are sporting purple glowing eyes and all act bizarrely happy with what Hope Yards is doing. Bruno calls in to report that the purple goo has nanites in it, and Ms. Marvel goes after the development company. What’s going on here, and who’s really behind Hope Yards?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun story and art, as always, with great character interaction and dialogue. Excellent cliffhanger, too.

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Thunder and Pain


The Mighty Thor #1

I didn’t pick up the previous series with this character — I was assuming I’d be able to buy the collected editions later. Turns out Marvel added an extra five dollars to the price tag of the trades — the bad news for me is I haven’t been able to read the previous issues yet. The bad news for Marvel is that I’ll wait ’til I can buy them used instead.

But of course, Marvel wouldn’t be price-gouging everyone if the character weren’t incredibly popular. At this point, the rest of y’all probably know the backstory — the new female Thor is actually Dr. Jane Foster, the old Thor’s former girlfriend. While she holds Mjolnir, she’s Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, ridiculously powerful, a righteous ass-kicker for the forces of good. When she’s just plain Jane Foster… well, she has cancer, and she’s dying. Every time she becomes Thor, in fact, the transformation burns out the chemotherapy drugs that could save her mortal body’s life.

So the trouble here starts when Roxxon Oil’s news satellite (which, because they’re a supervillain megacorp, is actually a TV news station located on a satellite) is suddenly hit by a bunch of dead, dismembered elves. The satellite is knocked out of orbit, but Thor manages to save it before it crashes in Washington, DC. After that, it’s off to Asgard — but not as Thor. Apparently, Odin has gone nuts, declared Thor a criminal, and imprisoned. Jane’s cover story is that she’s a senator in the Congress of Worlds, representing Midgard. The congress is currently debating — and not doing anything but debate — about whether the dark elves are responsible for the murder of all the light elves in space. The dark elves and their allies are plotting against all the other realms — but who’s their secret agent behind the scenes?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not sure I’ll care much for this probably endless “War of the Realms” storyarc, but Jane/Thor really is a wonderfully fun character. It’s great to finally be able to climb onto this bandwagon.


Rat Queens #13

The Rat Queens managed to avoid dying in the blizzard and wake up at Mage University. Violet visits the bars, Dee hits the library, Betty goes off to buy drugs, and Hannah goes to see her old professor — who sends her off to meet someone behind the mirrors. Meanwhile, Betty buys a rocketsled, and Violet, against her better judgment, joins her as they ride down a terribly steep mountain.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A little drama for Hannah and Dee, and a little comedy for Betty and Violet. Plenty of wonderful single-panel gags, too — I’m particularly fond of the terribly snooty King Bear.


I Hate Fairyland #2

Gertrude has slaughtered the assassin who’d been sent after her last issue and is now enjoying an evening boozing it up in a local tavern. Unfortunately, she’s been drinking magical wish beer, and when she wishes she could look normal for a day, instead of like a little girl, she ends up looking like a 40-year-old woman who eats nothing but sugar all day. The results are in no way pretty. Meanwhile, Queen Cloudia realizes that barbarian warriors are not the right opponents to send after the kill-crazy Gertrude, so she contracts a witch to come up with a magical plan. How is Gertrude going to handle an army of brain-eating zombie fauns?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Tons of great cartoon grossout humor. Not sure if there’s much more depth to the story than that, but maybe that’s enough…

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Friday Night Fights: Free for All!

Well, my children, it’s the end of another thoroughly gruesome week, and one measly weekend just ain’t really gonna settle things down for us. But it’ll help. So let’s celebrate while we can with everyone’s favorite: FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from February 1983’s Marvel Two-in-One #96 by Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson, and Mike Esposito. Ben Grimm is stuck in the hospital after a rough battle, and now a whole bunch of supervillains are on the way to finish him off.




But Marvel’s superheroes aren’t gonna let Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew down, are they?


That’s a bunch of Marvel’s greatest superheroes beating up on the Rhino, MODOK, and a bunch of Moloids. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend, is it?

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The Best Sound Effect Ever

I’ve never been able to figure out which comic this panel came from (which is why I’ve never used it for Friday Night Fights), but it never fails to make me happy.


I bet if you were ever around during a fight where Thor and the Hulk were smashing cars around, you’d need to go to the bathroom, too.

((ADDENDUM: In the comments, Habbakuk identifies the issue as “The Incredible Hulk #300 – mindless Hulk post-Secret Wars rampaging and being fought by all the different heroes before being banished by Doctor Strange to The Crossroads.” Many thanks, Habakkuk!))

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Friday Night Fights: Holding the Bridge!

Well, it’s been another long, horrible week of working at our horrible jobs instead of maxxin’ and relaxxin’ at home where we belong. But we get a much-too-short break now, thank goodness, so we’re going to kick the weekend off as violently as we can with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

We’re going with a true classic tonight — December 1985’s The Mighty Thor #362 by Walt Simonson. Skurge stands alone at Gjallerbru.





It’s always a good thing to read as many of Simonson’s Thor comics as you can.

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Friday Night Fights: Sweet Mashup!

Well, it’s been another rough week. We’ve been abused by bosses, abused by coworkers, abused by customers, and it’s way past time for the weekend to get started and give us a chance to forget that abuse for another couple of days. So let’s get things started with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle is a short one — just a little gag strip from August 1982’s What If? #34 by Joe Albelo and Al Milgrom. What do you get when you move NYC’s mean streets to Asgard?



Hey, Idris Elba worked as a Norse god — so why can’t we get a good Luke Cage movie already?

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The Hero Sandwich List of Favorite Comics for 2010

I don’t think I’ve ever tried to do a year-end retrospective list — it’s always too difficult for me to pick out a list of things I enjoyed the most out of 12 whole months. But what the heck, I’m gonna try it today.

This list is strictly listed in alphabetical order. I can’t claim it’s a list of the best comics — I haven’t read all the comics, after all — but it’s the list of the 15 comics that I enjoyed the most.

American Vampire

Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Stephen King came together to re-invent the vampire for the rough-and-tumble American West. Outstanding characters, close attention to setting, and rip-snorting horror make this a must-read for anyone who loves non-sparkly bloodsuckers.


The adventures of Stephanie Brown as the newest Batgirl are full of great humor, great action, great dialogue, and great characterizations. This is one of the best superhero comics around.

Batman and Robin

Grant Morrison’s triumphant run of Batman comics had its most epic stretch in these stories of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne, as well as Alfred, Dr. Hurt, and the Joker. The scale of Morrison’s storytelling here was breathtaking.

Blackest Night

Possibly the most successful crossover storyarc in years, this grabbed readers’ imaginations and didn’t let go for months. Even better than its commercial successes were the overall excellence of the plotline. At its height, there was nothing as good as this story about zombies, power rings, and emotions.


I’m not a fan of the new series, but Garth Ennis’ original Crossed miniseries was the most harrowing, brutal, relentless, depressing, and terrifying horror comic to hit the stands in a long, long time.


This was, without a single doubt, the best comic series of the entire year. Nothing else came close. Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon deserve to win so many awards for this one. If you missed this series in the original run, you should definitely keep your eyes open in the next few months for the trade paperback.

Detective Comics starring Batwoman

Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III didn’t create the character, but they crafted her best stories. While Rucka brilliantly fleshed out her backstory, personality, and supporting cast, Williams took the stories and created some of the year’s most beautiful artwork and design.

Hellboy in Mexico

This story of, well, Hellboy in Mexico was my favorite, but I also loved all of the other collaborations between Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and fantasy artist Richard Corben. These two meshed together creatively in ways that very few creators are able to do, and all of us readers were the beneficiaries.

Joe the Barbarian

Grant Morrison’s fantasy story is both epic and mundane in scale, which is really quite a trick — Joe is in diabetic shock, and he’s hallucinating that his home and toys have turned into a fantasy kingdom. But what if he’s not really hallucinating?

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit

The second chapter of Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Donald Westlake’s crime fiction is a beautiful tribute to Cooke’s retro-cool art sensibilities and the pure fun of good pulp crime novels.

Power Girl

Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner created the best version of Power Girl ever for a year’s worth of funny, smart, sexy, exciting superhero stories. These creators loved this character, and you can tell that in every story they published about her. I still hope they’ll be able to come back to this title eventually.

Secret Six

Far and away DC’s best team book, Gail Simone has hooked us a bunch of people who are extremely likeable and also completely crazy and prone to trying to kill each other from moment to moment. This shouldn’t work as well as it does, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s colossal fun to read every single month.

Strange Science Fantasy

Scott Morse’s retro-pulp series packed a heck of a lot of audacious fun into six short issues. This was a treat visually, emotionally, intellectually — even on a tactile level, what with the heavy, rough paper it was printed on.

Thor and the Warriors Four

The Power Pack go to Asgard. I didn’t really expect much of it, to be honest, but readers were treated to godlike quantities of humor, excitement, whimsey, and awesomeness, thanks to writer Alex Zalben and artists Gurihiru, and to Colleen Coover’s excellent backup stories.

Tiny Titans

Probably the best all-ages comic out there right now. These comics are smart and funny and cute and just plain fun to read.

Aaaaand that’s what I got. There were plenty of other comics that just barely missed the cut, but these were nevertheless the ones that gave me the most joy when I was reading them.

So farewell, 2010. And hello, rapidly onrushing 2011. Hope you’re a better year for all of us, and I hope we can all look forward to plenty more great comics to come.

Now y’all be safe and have a good time tonight, but call a cab if you need it — I want to make sure all of y’all are here to read me in 2011.

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Friday Night Fights: Nuts to You!

I don’t know about you, but I think I need this weekend. It’s been a weird, wild week, and a little lying-around-the-house-and-not-getting-roused-up-by-anything sure sounds good. And the best way to start off a weekend is with a little FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today’s fight comes from December 2009’s The Incredible Hercules by Greg Pak, Fred van Lente, Reilly Brown, and Nelson DeCastro. And lemme tell you, I could’ve posted about a dozen pages of this, ’cause it’s jam-packed with awesome butt-whoopage. But I picked this one, ’cause it makes me laugh like a hyena. Here’s Hercules pretending to be Thor vs. Thor pretending to be Hercules:

Owww. Ow. Owwww. Oww. Owwww.


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Power and Thunder

Thor and the Warriors Four #4

Loki and the Enchantress are triumphant — their spell has turned Thor and the other Asgardians into babies, and they’ve obtained the Golden Apples of Idunn, ensuring themselves immortality — and without the Golden Apples, everyone else in Asgard is now rapidly aging to their true ages of several thousand years old. The kids in Power Pack seem largely helpless to stop them, aside from talking a little smack. And even worse, the whole thing appears to have kicked off Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods and the end of the world. Jormungand, the immense World Serpent, appears to fight Thor. Alex Power is able to call on the help of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, but they can’t do much against a giant dragon fated to strangle the world. Will Thor have to sacrifice himself to save everyone? Or is someone else worthy to assist?

Verdict: Thumbs up times a billion. This was the best comic I got last week. Absolutely HUGE props to writer Alex Zalben and artists Gurihiru for this one — I haven’t had this much fun reading a comic book in ages. I’m trying to limit the spoilers, but there was a ton of funny stuff in here, and a ton-and-a-half of awesome stuff going on in here. There were about a dozen panels in this comic that could be entered in a Most Awesome Comics Panel of the Year contest, but I can’t show most of them to you, because they’d be spoilers, and this story is just too cool to spoil. I can, however, show you this:

Beta Ray Bill with an afro? I would watch a TV show based on that alone.

Oh, heck, we didn’t even talk about Colleen Coover‘s backup feature, with Hercules babysitting the Power siblings and telling them stories about his Twelve Labors. There’s not a lot of real plot going on here — it’s really just Herc telling stories and philosophizin’ about mythology and science — but it’s still a whole boatload of awesome. Coover’s characterization of Hercules is just perfect, and the final panel of this one should definitely be entered into that Most Awesome Comics Panel of the Year contest, too.

Tails of the Pet Avengers: The Dogs of Summer #1

This is really just a showcase of Chris Eliopoulos‘s very cute Franklin Richards stories, with a few guest appearances from the Pet Avengers. In the first one, Franklin accidentally creates a giant garbage monster and must defeat it with the assistance of the Pet Avengers. Later, Franklin has to dogsit Lockjaw for the Inhumans, and he gets his first dog, Lockjaw’s grandson, courtesy of his future self. And there’s a story illustrated by Ig Guara that features Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Fin Fang Foom and sets up this fall’s “Avengers vs. the Pet Avengers” series.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mostly reprints, but they’re fun reprints.

Hercules: Twilight of a God #2

In the distant future, Hercules is the hero of the Andromeda Galaxy, and his kids and grandkids are the rulers of the planet Wilamean. But Hercules is being attacked by a new Silver Surfer, and a black hole threatens to swallow the entire galaxy. Can Hercules survive the battle? Can anyone?

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. I liked it on my first read-through, but the non-stop slugfest just didn’t do very well on repeated readings.

Today’s Cool Links:

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