First,I want to think all of the IAT readers who made the jump over here yesterday. It was a great “grand opening”for The Daily Thor! And special thanks to those of you who left feedback on what can make these articles better. We’re still working the kinks out here and knowing what you’d like to see can only help,so thank you for that. I hope you’ll keep reading and posting.
I really enjoyed #86,but maybe not for the right reasons. It was a great read,but it also features the full gamut of the oddities I’ve been encountering with this book:the Blake/Thor dichotomy,his deus ex machina hammer,and yes,Jane touches her face.
Despite the fact that these early articles are running a bit longer than I originally intended,I keep thinking of things that I left out after they’ve been posted. In this case,I haven’t gotten to talk much about what’s going on with Thor when he’s not on camera. He didn’t have much exposure in the first two issues,but he was practically a household name in the last issue.
Thor was at a hospital entertaining children by levitating a bed with the hammer. When Thor appeared to answer Loki’s challenge,the crowd recognized him immediately – some were even astonished that anyone would dare challenge Thor! There are clearly some stories going on in-between issues where Thor is gaining notoriety and popularity. I kinda wish we were seeing them.
Issue #86 extends Thor’s notoriety in a new way –he’s now actively working with the military. But I have my doubts about their intentions. Chasing down anti-aircraft missiles so they can make them better &faster seems innocuous enough,but then they want to test what happens when a bomb blows up in his face.
You heard me right. The US Military wants to see what happens to a person when they’re caught up in the blast of a cobalt bomb. And Thor “thinks he can survive” so he agrees to let them do it. What happens if they’re wrong? Worse still,if you know what a cobalt bomb is – it’s not about blowing stuff up. It’s a dirty bomb meant to radiate targets and make them uninhabitable.
So basically,the military asks,“Mr. Thor,we’d like to detonate a bomb in your face and radiate you to see what happens,is that okay?”
Fortunately,a new villain – Zarrko,The Tomorrow Man – appears and,in a twist of irony,saves Thor by stealing the bomb and spiriting it off to 2262. The future see,is utopian. Everything’s perfect. There aren’t even weapons (well,no guns and bombs anyway –do you have to outlaw baseball bats and box cutters to achieve world peace?). And Zarrko? Well,you probably know a guy that’s just gotta bring you down when you’re doing well because they’re not happy with their own lives? That’s Zarrko. This peace thing? It isn’t his bag.
Zarrko needs a weapon so he can shake things up. Mind you,he’s converted some robot laborers (bet they’re enjoying utopia) into killing machines and he’s capable of building a time machine,but he has to go into the past to steal a bomb. And when he does,he steals one from in front of a superhero. So,clearly,he’s got mad technology skills,but he’s apparently not that bright.
One of the military men –with his “sherlock holmes”calabash pipe –determines that Zarrko must have come from the future based on qualities in a left behind piece of metal from Zarrko’s ship. Now you’d think the bomb being in the future means this probably isn’t Thor’s problem anymore. I mean,what can he do? Two words:magic hammer.
Thor goes off to call up Dad,and as we’re treated to yet another “Wait,is he Blake or Thor?” moment,Odin lets him know that the hammer can time travel. You just have to spin around like a tornado with it. Of course!
Thor simply spins his way 2262,but he overshoots and gets there a month into Zarrko’s reign. He’s in charge simply because has the bomb and he could use it. So remember if you’re ever in a utopia,everyone is a pushover. Come to think of it,that might be the only way you can have a utopia…
Thor is told he can’t confront Zarrko directly,so he comes up with a plan. And in the next panel,he’s… going off to confront Zarrko directly. But whenever security forces get near Thor a mysterious cloaked figure thwarts them. Well,I found myself wishing the cloaked figure was the Thor of 2262 because that would’ve been kickass,but the reality is Thor is the cloaked figure and some patsy was forced to dress up like Thor and play decoy. It was disappointing,but you have to appreciate that they had a spare Thor costume handy. And you should feel bad for the decoy because he gets thrown around the room and beat up for his trouble. Great plan,Thor!
We then move into the “run from Thor” portion of the book. Zarrko tries to slow down Thor a variety of ways and does have some success with those aforementioned robots. One of them grabs the hammer,and in probably the coolest moment in the book,leaves Thor with only a minute to take the robots down without it. Instead of punching his way out,he outwits the robots and floods the room. With hammer in hand,he retreives the bomb from Zarrko’s ship and lets the villain crash land. Zarrko survives,but without his memories and mental prowess. Ouch.
With his adventure done,Thor spins back to 1962 and returns the bomb to the military. We close on Blake in his office with Jane. She’s reading a paper that says “Thor saves C-Bomb;Survives Explosion”.
Those maniacs! They blew him up! Damn them! Damn them all to hell! Sorry… I get carried away. Blake looks none the worse for wear having just been through a close range radioactive blast. Jane doesn’t seem to notice anything either,though she is busy daydreaming about Thor… and touching her face.
Maybe this issue wasn’t any more or less silly than the ones before it,but it did feel like it. Maybe trying to blow him up at the beginning just threw me off to much. Anyway,I’m off to Journey into Mystery #87. By request,I’m leaving you with a larger look at the cover as well as a new feature,a shot of my favorite panel. See you tomorrow!