Thor #207 (January, 1973)

In our last post we discussed Amazing Adventures #16, one of three comics published in October, 1972 in which a trio of young comic-book writers staged an unofficial crossover between Marvel and DC Comics, set at the annual Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont, and featuring themselves as characters, without telling their bosses they were doing so.  In this post, we’ll be taking a look at another of those comics: Thor #207, which, behind its dynamic cover by Gil Kane and Joe Sinnott, features a script by Gerry Conway and art by John Buscema, Vince Colletta… as well as Marie Severin, whose mysterious credit for “good works” covers her renderings of the story’s likenesses of Conway, Steve Englehart, Len Wein, and Glynis Oliver (who, as it happens, also served as the story’s colorist, under her then-married name of Glynis Wein). 

But, as it also happens, Thor #207 is actually the second and concluding episode of a two-part story, so we’ll need to start with a quick recap of the previous issue.  “Rebirth!”, by the same creative team of Conway, Buscema, and Colletta (the colorist is unknown, as Marvel didn’t start listing those credits until the following month), opens in the environs of the aforementioned small Vermont town of Rutland, as a couple of local boys see a “shooting star” crash explosively not far from where they’ve been quietly fishing.  They go to investigate, and then…

“…brown glass“?  Yeah, I don’t see that, either… not in my original printed copy, and not in the digital edition I’m using for this post.  I guess it’s a good thing that Gerry Conway made a point of spelling out in his script what the coloring should have been showing us here, since “amber” represents a rather large clue as to the identity of the silhouetted figure shown above… or should, anyway, at least for anyone who’s been reading Thor since issue #195.

The two boys freak out, understandably enough, and try to make a run for it, but the guy from the busted-up amber releases an energy blast that freezes them in their tracks (an effect we’ll just have to hope is temporary, since we never see these poor kids again).  Then he lifts his arms and releases another, much-longer-range bolt of force:

That’s right, the Absorbing Man!  Crusher Creel had been a foe of Thor’s ever since Journey into Mystery #114 (Mar., 1965), where he gained the power to absorb the properties of anything he touched by drinking a magic potion slipped him by the Thunder God’s wicked stepbrother, Loki.  He’d had several subsequent dust-ups with our hero following that first outing — though, as indicated by the editorial footnote above, his most recent appearance had been not in an issue of Thor, but rather in Hulk #125 (Mar., 1970).  (Your humble blogger hadn’t bought or read that particular comic, incidentally, and all of Creel’s Thor appearances predated my buying my first issue of the title; nevertheless, I knew who the guy was, thanks to recent reprints of some of those earlier stories.  And while I preferred seeing my favorite superhero go up against mythological or outer space-based menaces, so far as Thor’s Earth-based villains went, I considered the Absorbing Man to be one of the better ones; he beat the hell out of Mr. Hyde and the Cobra, for sure.)

Following a mental compulsion, the Absorbing Man heads for New York City, which not so coincidentally happens to be the current home base for our favorite Asgardian Avenger.  As regular readers of this blog may recall, in the concluding scene of Thor #203 the Son of Odin had lashed out angrily at his father for the latter’s recent manipulative actions in the service of a secret plan to create a new race of Young Gods.  In response to this act of defiance, Odin had subsequently exiled from Asgard not only Thor himself, but also his closest friends and companions.  Ever since then, Thor, Sif, the Warriors Three, Balder, and Hildegarde have been crashing at Avengers Mansion (Sif had even accompanied Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on a recent excursion to the Savage Land, as shown in Avengers #105).  And wouldn’t you know it — Sif and Hildegarde are hanging out on the Hudson River shore, checking out the view of the Palisades over on the Jersey side, when the Absorbing Man suddenly hurtles down from the sky to crash into that natural landmark, then caroms clear across the river, touching down just a few yards away from our two goddesses…

The two warrior women quickly change into their fightin’ togs, and then proceed to engage Creel in battle…

Thor, meantime, has been kicking back at Avengers Mansion, watching TV (no, really) when the team’s butler, Jarvis, brings him word of a disturbance on Manhattan’s West Side.  Thor immediately — and literally — flies into action, crashing through one of the Mansion’s windows as he makes his exit.  (Jeez, dude, would it kill you to use a door every now and then?)

Alas, moments before our hero can arrive at the scene of battle, Creel lays out both Sif and Hildegarde with a mighty blow from his enchanted ball-and-chain…

Neither Sif nor Hildy are really hurt, of course — they were just momentarily stunned, and both quickly recover — but that hardly matters, now that Thor’s got his mad on.

Our storytellers break away from this fracas long enough to show us what’s happening with some other members of the book’s supporting cast.  First up, we have a scene set in Asgard, where the realm’s Grand Vizier and Karnilla, the Norn Queen, are watching the battle on a crystal ball-type thingy.  Viz is worried, but Karnilla has thoughts only for the absent object of her affections, Balder the Brave — who a follow-up scene shows us is presently on a camping trip with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg, aka the Warriors Three, but is unable to enjoy himself because he’s moping over Karnilla.  Aw, those poor kids…

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan…

It may look like the Absorbing Man has the Thunder God on the ropes, but looks can be deceiving.  It’s all part of Thor’s plan, as he explains to his fellow Asgardians once he’s rejoined them:

I’m sure none of y’all out there reading this are surprised by this last-page reveal — if for no other reason than I’ve already shown you the cover for the following issue, which rather gives the game away.  But was my fifteen-year-old self surprised when I first read this comic, back in October, 1972?  I’d like to think not; between the facial features (and speech pattern) of the stranger who showed up at Tom Fagan’s place about eight pages back, the evident connection of that stranger to the Absorbing Man, and of course the amber, the hints as to our mystery villain’s identity were pretty damn strong.  But half a century later, I can’t claim to actually remember whether I caught on before Conway and Buscema spelled things out for me, so who knows?

In any event, we’ve come at last to the main topic of our post, Thor #207.  Assuming you’ve read Amazing Adventures #16 (or at least our post on same), you’ll notice four familiar faces on the opening splash page — and I’m not referring to any of the folks wearing costumes…

Len Wein is no longer with us, so I’m going to refrain from commenting on the off-putting possessiveness his comic-book incarnation demonstrates here towards his then-wife, Glynis — save for stating that I kinda hope Gerry Conway was indulging in some dramatic license with this particular bit.  (While we’re at it, the implication that Steve Englehart is putting some moves on his friend’s wife, however frivolously, doesn’t play all that well in 2022, either.)

At the beginning of the post, I referred to Thor #207 and Amazing Adventures #16 as being part of an “unofficial” crossover, undertaken by its writers without their editors knowing what was up.  And that’s very likely true, so far as these two books’ relationship to DC Comics’ Justice League of America #103 is concerned.  But clearly, the two Marvel segments of this “stealth” trilogy were officially connected, and had the sanction of editor Roy Thomas — as indicated in the promotional item from that month’s Bullpen Bulletins column, shown at right, as well as by the reference to the events of AA #16 in the panel above.

Of course, in that story, our foursome hadn’t only gotten a glimpse of the mutant superhero known as the Beast while still on the road — they’d subsequently given a lift into Rutland to the Beast’s civilian identity of Hank McCoy, as well as his companion Vera.  So… I guess this scene takes place some time after the full group of six arrived in town, and our core foursome bade farewell (temporarily, as it turned out) to Hank and Vera?  Sure, that tracks.

I guess the Rutland Halloween Parade — or at least the Marvel Earth-616 version of it — must be an all-day-long kind of thing, since this story’s opening splash sure made it look like the event was already in progress.  Oh, well, whatever…

Why does Thor have to fight Crusher Creel alone?  No good reason at all, as far as I can see — and Sif seems to share my opinion, as she attempts to go to her beloved’s aid.  But Hildegarde is extraordinarily deferential to Asgardian royal authority, it seems (everybody remember how she cold-cocked Sif on Odin’s say-so back in Thor #195?), and she forcibly restrains her friend from getting involved as the fight heats up, ultimately carrying her off under one arm.  Sheesh.

Meanwhile, back in town…

“They still have to repair the floats.”  As the footnote indicates, Steve’s remark calls back to a scene that occurred about mid-way through Amazing Adventures #16, when the Juggernaut appeared in the middle of the parade and started wrecking the floats.  The only problem here is that Glynis went missing in the midst of that mayhem, and wasn’t reunited with the guys until a considerably later scene set at Fagan’s house… and so, she shouldn’t be in this scene.  But, hey, I’m sure it’ll all come together in the end.  Won’t it?

OK, so Glynis is going missing now?  Is the supposed to be a second instance of this happening, that follows after she resurfaced at the Fagan place following her first vanishing act, in AA #16?  That… seems confusing, to say the least.  (Incidentally, Gerry Conway would provide an answer of sorts to Len’s question, “Whoever heard of Powergirl, anyhow?” just three years later, when he’d co-create Power Girl for DC Comics.)

Meanwhile, in the woods outside town…

Ooof.  Wotta way to go.  (Of course, no one reading this scene could ever doubt that Crusher would eventually pull himself back together, and return to fight Thor once more — as he indeed would, in issues #235-236.)

So far, I haven’t said much about the art in these two issues of Thor, perhaps because it’s so easy to take John Buscema’s reliably excellent pencilling for granted.  But I can’t help but pause to note the particular effectiveness of these last two pages — the run-up to the big reveal, with the Absorbing Man’s agonized dissolution in the river and Thor’s slow three-panel turn to face his true foe, followed by the culminating full-page splash itself.  The oft-derided Vince Colletta deserves kudos here as well, I think; as I’ve said before, he really seemed to bring his “A” game to his work inking Thor during this period.

Well, at least we know where Glynis disappeared to this time…

And now we have an explicit answer to the whole “how did Loki escape from that chunk of amber Mangog sealed him up in, back in Thor #195?” question, for anyone in need of it.  (Of course, the answer basically boils down to, “By magic!“, but what are ya gonna do?)

I’m sure that there must be a good reason why Karnilla can’t find Balder with her own “magicks”, or, failing that, why she hasn’t asked her friend the Vizier to scope the Brave one out using his view-globe contraption.  Remember, Balder’s simply gone off on a camping trip with his buds; he shouldn’t be any harder to find than Sif herself was.  But I’m not sure Conway ever provides us with a rationale for the Norn Queen’s behavior here, other than the obvious one of narrative convenience.

The sibling rivalry continues for another few panels, until…

Um, if Thor could simply call his hammer to him by saying a few choice words, shouldn’t he have done that a couple of pages ago?  (Not to mention in how many other scenes in earlier stories which found our hero in similar straits.)  Did we really need Karnilla to call down a thunderstorm just for that?  Oh, well, whatever.

As you may recall, Steve’s car was almost stolen by the Juggernaut in AA #16… but wasn’t.  Indeed, if we try to arrange the events of that comic and this one in a single timeline, we’ll find we have several such repeats, or near-repeats — Glynis going missing twice being another prime example — and come Saturday, we’ll find that we have even more, if we try to incorporate the Rutland-associated activities of our road-tripping quartet as recorded by one Len Wein in Justice League of America #103.  Which is why your humble blogger thinks it’s entirely possible that the three writers involved in concocting this “stealth crossover” never meant for the scenes involving their four-color doppelgängers to line up in a neat little sequential row — no, not even the ones in the two Marvel stories, which could reasonably be expected to hew tightly to a shared continuity, but in actuality don’t (at least, not without considerable cognitive accommodations being made on the part of the reader).

I’d even go so far as to speculate that the references to the events of AA #16 that we find in Thor #207 weren’t part of Gerry Conway’s original plot for the latter comic, and maybe not even included in the first version of his script, but were instead late additions — perhaps ordained by Marvel’s famously continuity-minded editor-in-chief, Roy Thomas.  To my mind, most if not all of the available evidence supports the idea that the connections between the three parts of the crossover are best viewed as more thematic than structural (to borrow a phrase from Conway’s 2013 intro to Marvel Masterworks — The Mighty Thor, Vol. 12)… but my full closing arguments regarding that subject will, of necessity, have to wait for our post on JLA #103, coming your way three short days from now.

I may be wrong, but I suspect that no one reading this post will be surprised to learn that Hildegarde will prove less than prescient with her prediction to Thor that they’ll “ne’er” see either Sif or Karnilla ever again.  Because while Gerry Conway will manage to mine this rather thin narrative premise of “Thor’s quest for Sif, who is herself questing for Balder with Karnilla” for another nine months’ worth of stories (introducing such nigh-instantly forgettable foes as Mercurio the 4-D Man, the Demon Druid, Sssthgar the Lord of Lizards, and Xorr the God-Jewel along the way*), Thor and Sif will in fact ultimately be reunited… and will even see their and their comrades’ sentence of exile from Asgard lifted by Big Daddy Odin by the time it all wraps up.  Don’t believe me?  Then check out this final panel from Thor #216 (Oct., 1973), courtesy of Conway, John Buscema, and Jim Mooney:

See?  All’s well that ends well.  (At least until Thor #217.)


*Yeah, sure, these guys were all from outer space.  But, honestly, they could leave you pining for Cobra and Hyde.


  1. Steve McBeezlebub · October 19

    I have never forgotten Mercurio in all the years since his meh debut but I think that’s more to character design than the tepid writing on Thor back when I started reading comics. As to Cobra and Mister Hyde, I’ve long wanted a reunion just to see what modern comics storytelling would do with that pairing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. frasersherman · October 19

    Gerry Conway’s run on Thor was one of the weaker post-Lee Marvel runs (not that Lee at the end was on his A game). For that matter I don’t think anyone was writing really good Thor again until Simonson.
    As for the Steve/Len/Glynis bit, hitting on your friend’s wife wasn’t considered kosher back then, either.
    The first time Crusher lost because he absorbed the wrong thing was in his debut battle with Thor (Thor tricked him into becoming hydrogen). Unfortunately it became the default solution for too many later stories, like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. B Smith · October 19

    With 50 years’ hindsight, some things about this have me wondering…like, John Buscemi is great artist – surely he could have done the Marvel staff caricatures himself? At the time I took it that Bob Brown in AA#16 maybe wasn’t such a dab hand, so Marie stepped in…but Big John? I can only wonder now whether Marie did the likenesses across the board purely to give the “spread across three different titles” some visual consistency. And one might ask who inked those – that surely wasn’t Colletta’s work; just look at Len and Gerry’s hair in that cafe scene!

    Also, having read your conjectures, I wonder if Gerry, Len and Steve made sure their stories had some inconsistencies so that if the Powers-That-Be ever caught on and started heaving them, they could at least try palming it off as a coincidence (OK, a bit farfetched) or at least there would be enough differences for them to say the no casual reader would cotton on to the links.

    And just wondering – for all the coverage those floats got, did anyone ever get any photographs of them? I recall an issue of Comic Book Artist that covered here issues, with photos of various cosplay efforts (including Mr Wein as Morbius), but I’m curious how the real things looked.

    And having had a look at the issue at hand, after many decades, I noticed that Conway has Loki (in battling Thor) exclaim “Thinkest thou I was blind?…Oh, I saw Thunder God…I saw, Thor, yea I saw it all!” just a couple of pages before being struck blind…it’s a foreshadowing from Conway that would have gone right over my childish head at the time, and I daresay anyone else would have picked up long before me.

    Am enjoying your writing, and look forward to JLA #103!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Stewart · October 19

      B, per your question about photos of the floats, I don’t recall ever having seen any (although I should note that I haven’t really looked that hard). One would think there ought to be some out there. As for not picking up on Conway’s foreshadowing of Loki’s blindness, don’t beat yourself up about it. *I* didn’t catch that business until you just mentioned it, and I’ve re-read that page a dozen times in the last few weeks! 😀


  4. DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · October 19

    Like you, Alan, I wasn’t a fan of any foe of Thor’s that wasn’t Asgardian or mythological in some way and the so-called terrors you mention at the end of your post are an excellent reason why and probably explains why I was never a regular reader of this book. That said, I always liked Crusher Creel and enjoyed seeing him square off against Thor or Hulk whenever he turned up. I know his power’s were co-opted and given to Bruce Banner’s dad in the first Hulk flick, but I’d really like to see what the MCU could do with a real take on the character. I’m sure it would be most enjoyable. However, and I know I’m gonna regret asking this…since when could Creel fly? I thought his absorption power and the strength that came with it were the only powers he had, yet clearly, he’s seen flying here from Nevada to New York and then from the Big Apple to Rutland to meet Loki. Have I just forgotten this about Creel or was he allowed at one point to “absorb” the power of flight from someone the way Rogue would a decade later in the XMen?

    As for the characterizations of our four friends from Marvel, I think it would be generous to say that Conway was looking to land them at a depth of characterization somewhere on the level of, say, a Scooby Doo cartoon, where nothing is inappropriate as long as it’s corny, hokey and decidedly unfunny. I agree with Fraser, that Conway was way out of his depth with the Thor book and it shows on every page of every issue.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Alan. I look forward to Saturday’s DC-centric post, when we’ll at least be looking at a comic I actually read back in the day. Ta ta!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Stewart · October 19

      Don, that’s a good question about Creel being able to fly. I didn’t find anything about a permanent power of flight a la Rogue in the couple of wikis I checked just now.

      I’d be tempted to say that he’s using the strength of, I dunno, rocks?, to leap long distances a la the Hulk, but Buscema and Colletta definitely gave him a “whoosh” trail on the 3rd from last page of #206 that indicates he can adjust direction multiple times in mid-air — so leaping would seem to be out.

      Anybody out there got any other ideas?

      Liked by 1 person

      • frasersherman · October 19

        Now that I think about it, he’s always manifested his absorbing power as a blunt instrument — absorb strength, energy, steel, that sort of thing. Never, say, hex power or Sue Storm’s force fields.
        I suppose we could hand-wave and say “Loki did it!”

        Liked by 3 people

        • Alan Stewart · October 19

          “Loki did it!” I wouldn’t be surprised if that is indeed what John B. thought he was drawing — Loki’s summoning magic powering Creel’s flight across the distances — but that bit was ignored when it came time for Conway to write the script. Wouldn’t be the first or last time such a thing happened under the “Marvel method”. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          • frednotfaith2 · October 20

            I haven’t ever actually read Thor 206, but just from the panels posted, it was my impression that Creel was being mystically drawn to Rutland by Loki’s spell rather than by his own will or power.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Steve McBeezlebub · October 19

        He partially took on the properties of air and wind. When do I ge my No Prize?

        Liked by 1 person

        • DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · October 19

          OK, I’m not saying you’re wrong, Steve, but “took on the properties of air and wind” how? And from who? Is this just a gift of the comic gods or is there actual textual confirmation of this? Again, not saying you’re wrong, but if there is a contextual moment when this happened, I’d love to read it.


          • frasersherman · October 20

            He’s taken on properties of gas before. Like when he turns into liquid in this story, he’s unable to stay solid so that’s definitely not it.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Ed · October 19

    Those pages are ANY inker’s A-game.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joe Gill · October 19

    I’d say our distiguished commentators are being a bit harsh on Mr. Conway here boys. To me the back and forth between our Rutland visitors is just harmless joshing, the sort of “giving ’em a hard time” that friends do, especially back in the 70’s. I mean, Len’s just kidding about breaking arms and didn’t any of you ever tease about stealing your friends girl? it’s a back handed compliment, I’d say. Also, I think Conway’s run on Thor was pretty well concocted. He had a nice mix of outer space , cosmic adventures interspersed with some more down to earth type adversaries as well. I also think that Gerry Conway had a pretty good handle on Thor’s speech pattern, better than a lot of other writers. Getting the proper verbiage, just enough “thous” and “dosts” along with that high handed, imperial sort of haughtiness that Thor exemplifies isn’t that easy to pull off. To me no one really comes close to Stan Lee to writing succinct soaring comic book dialogue but Conway, at least in Thor comes off okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chris A. · October 19

    The early bronze age was so much fun for my younger self in an era when it was still possible to keep up with every title from the Big Two, and to know who all of the creators were—-something not even remotely feasible in subsequent decades, especially from the ’90s onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. frednotfaith2 · October 19

    This issue was when I began collecting Thor more or less regularly — I also got 208 & 209, 211, 214-216, 219 and so on. The only previous regular issue I’d gotten was 191, but I’d also gotten an annual that included the first couple of Absorbing Man stories so at least I was already familiar with him. Anyhow, even if with hindsight and having since read all of the classic Kirby run, from Journey into Mystery 113 to Thor 179, as well as Simonson’s full run (as writer & artist), Conway’s writing doesn’t hold up as well, but I found it entertaining enough in my wee years of ages 10 through 12 or so, and Thor was one of my favorite comics back then, I think largely due to its strange mix of super-heroics, myth, fantasy and sci-fi elements. It stood as something different from other superhero mags of the era. Of course, Lee/Kirby & Simonson did it all better than anyone else, IMO, but I still liked the runs of Conway, Wein & Thomas. And Big John Buscema continued to provide excellent artwork herein. I get the feeling he enjoyed the variety of settings Thor yarns could be set in, away from the city-scapes, to more rural, woodsy regions, to play with the natural landscapes and evening shadows.
    As always, Alan, enjoyed your write-up of this Halloween tales of 50 years vintage now and looking forward to reading about Len Wein’s third of this eerie-trilogy. I’ve a hunch Thomas was in on it but slyly looked the other way to have plausible deniability if Lee somehow found out. As a 10 year old with both this mag and A.A. #17, I failed to read them side by side to look for continuity gaps or errors in the frolics the Frantic Four (Gerry, Steve, Len & Glynnis).Obviously not very closely plotted for better cohesion, but amusing enough. I’d put down the exchange between Steve & Len about Glynnis while getting into Steve’s car as sort of standard immature young men joshing each other, of which I’ve heard much of in real life, even among some not quite so young men who apparently never fully matured even as their bodies got noticeably older. Well, some people never really grow up, even if they live into their 70s or beyond, and even despite becoming leaders of powerful nations (which is highly disturbing and destructive).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Stuart Fischer · October 21

    Although I generally will take any opportunity to flame Gerry Conway, including here (though I’ve recently discovered that I was in error in thinking that it was his idea to kill Gwen Stacy), I have to say that I thought that he did a (surprisingly) great job on Thor, at least until this issue. His story arcs on Mangog/the well/Ego Prime were well written (much better than Stan Lee’s final Infinity storyline in my opinion). I agree with Joe Gill that Conway got the Asgardian mode of speaking down wonderfully. The exile storyline up until now (some of which I read for the first time over the last few months) was entertaining.

    Then we get this issue. Ironically, this was one of the first issues I read in real time when I began to pick up reading comic books again after the Agnes flood disaster in June 1972. I did not read Amazing Adventures #16 then or the JLA contribution to the “secret” crossover (I don’t think so anyway, I’ll know for sure tomorrow when you blog about it) so I read Thor #207 originally as a stand alone. Because I loved the Rutland stories, I remember very much enjoying Thor #207 back in 1972 when I was 11. Now, I look at it as a hot mess of contradictions, sloppiness and forced story points, many of which Alan pointed out and which I did not pay much attention to 50 years ago (probably because I was just so glad to be reading comic books again).

    However Alan, you missed a biggie. This is perhaps the most egregious error I have EVER seen in a comic book. On page seven of Thor #207, which you did not reproduce (and I don’t how to do it here), Creel, who has touched Thor’s hammer to turn uru, slams Mjolnir deep into the ground, causing an earthquake that knocks Creel and Thor out for “long minutes”. Thor doesn’t have his hammer during these long minutes but stays Thor. Oops (and the transformation is a story point later in the issue). This one has to be on Rascally Roy as well. How did anyone not catch this? For that matter, how did I miss it fifty years ago (because I think I would have remembered catching something like that)?

    For what it’s worth, I went back to Thor #206 on Marvel Unlimited and, while it is not specifically stated how Creel was flying, I got the impression reading the reproduction in the blog post that Loki was the one who provided the magic to get Creel to fly to him on that occasion as part of the enchantment to draw him to Rutland. Unlike so many other things in this storyline, I don’t find it an unexplainable stretch.

    Finally, that this issue marks the end of the line for my plaudits for Conway on Thor. The string of forgettable villains that followed during what I remember as being a rather boring searching for Sif storyline pretty much ended my interest in Thor when I read comic books in real time. While I salute Rascally Roy for his attempt at hard core Norse mythology around Thor #300, the next really interesting Thor stories I read were when (no surprise) Simonson took over.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alan Stewart · October 21

      Welcome back, Stu… it’s been a while! 🙂 I’m glad that it didn’t take you any longer than it did to resume reading comics back in 1972, as I’ve missed your commentary.

      I agree with you (and Joe Gill) that there’s a good bit of merit in Conway’s early Thor work (which is the main reason I’ve blogged about it as much as I have). I also agree with you (but not Joe, I’m afraid), that it’s all downhill from here. There are some bright moments in the next decade’s worth of Thor issues, as Thomas, Wein, and others have a go, but it’s largely a slog until Simonson comes aboard as writer/artist with #337. Luckily, I had my quest to collect as much as I could afford of the original ’60s Lee-Kirby run to keep me engaged with my favorite Marvel hero through the rest of the 1970s.

      And you’re absolutely right about that egregious “long minutes” error, of course. How did I ever miss that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • frasersherman · October 21

        Funny, this looked like an improvement over Conway’s initial efforts to me. Reading reprints of his first stories, he’s just recycling plot elements (Loki steals Asgard!) Stan used not that much earlier (though they were old hat even then).
        I take it the sixty-second rule was still in force then?


        • Alan Stewart · October 21

          The sixty-seconds rule was indeed still in place, as already noted by Stuart (and as also shown in the blog post, in the scene where Loki steps on Thor’s forearm).

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Justice League of America #103 (December, 1972) | Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books
  11. Alan, I also have a certain fondness for the Absorbing Man. He’s a fun kind of gruff, working class type supervillain with a clever power who basically just wants to rob banks and show how tough he is by beating up superheroes, but he’s not looking to take over the world or murder innocent bystanders or anything like that. I really like how he’s been written in the past few decades with him trying to settle down with his wife Titania and go straight, except he’s got a short fuse and isn’t too smart and really doesn’t possess any marketable job skills, so he usually ends up going back to attacking armored cars or henching for guys like Baron Zemo.

    In fact, I’ve often wondered why Lee & Kirby introduced the Wrecker when they already had the Absorbing Man. Both characters are blue collar criminals who gained powers from evil Asgardian gods. But whereas the Absorbing Man has a cool power with a ball & chain, the Wrecker is just a big dumb strong guy with a crowbar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • frasersherman · October 27

      The Wrecker, as originally written, wasn’t dumb. In his first appearance he’s a smart, calculating criminal, albeit relying on brute force to get his way. And his powers after he got amped by Asgard were different from Creel’s.
      I agree about Creel’s efforts to go straight. I particularly loved his wedding to Titania where in reverse of umpty-zillion stories it’s the superheroes crashing the supervillains’ wedding.

      Liked by 2 people

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