Monday, January 4, 2021

Marvel Immersion Project: Thor #339-344

Walter Simonson, lead writer and artist for this run of Thor, was born September 2, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee, though he grew up in suburban Maryland.  He got a degree in geology from Amherst and then went to grad school at the Rhode Island School of Design.  He started working for DC Comics in 1972, then Marvel in 1977.  He has worked on major titles for both companies, though Thor is probably his best known work.  He has won numerous industry awards.

My Recent Reads

Thor #339
Originally Published January 10, 1984
Writer and Artist: Walter Simonson
  • Beta Ray Bill has, by rights, won the hammer Mjolnir.  But this won't do as the hammer is meant to be only for Thor and Bill's too honorable to claim it outright.  So...
  • Odin gets the dwarfs to forge a new hammer for Bill, naming it Strombreaker.
Eitri via Marvel Database

  • In return for this favor, the dwarf king Eitri asks that a female warrior - he was hoping for Sif and he got her - be called to defeat Throgg, a giant dwarf (oxymoron?) who has been tormenting them.  She succeeds.
  • Bill, Thor and Sif all run off together to confront the demons attacking Bill's people.
  • Featured:
    • Nidhogg, a green dragon based on Níðhǫggr of Norse mythology
    • Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, based on Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóster, the goats who pull Thor's chariot.

Thor #340
February 10, 1984
Walter Simonson
  • While Sif fends off the demons from Bill's people's fleet - and chats with his apparently sentient ship, Skuttlebutt, Thor and Bill combine the powers of their two hammers to destroy the portal from which the demons are emerging, effectively destroying all of them.
  • Skuttlebutt tells Sif the story of how Bill achieved his current form, powerful yet repulsive to his own people.  Sif then relays the story to Odin.
  • As a reward to Bill, Odin transfers to him Thor's power of transformation back and forth with an alias.  Bill can now revert to his previous, more attractive form, only summoning the superpowers when he needs them.
  • Just like that, Donald Blake, Thor's Earth-bound alias, is no more.
  • Bill is sent back to Skuttlebutt in order to help his people find a new homeworld.  Sif, evidently in love, goes with him.

Thor #341
March 10, 1984
Walter Simonson
  • Now that Thor no longer has an alias, he has to go for more subtle disguising, including eyeglasses - a poke at Superman, complete with cameo appearances by Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
  • His new alias is named Sigrud Jarlson.
  • Jarlson takes a job at a construction site where he is attacked by the dragon Fafnir, who in turn was goaded by Lorelei, also now on Earth and out to get Thor.
  • In the end, Thor/Jarlson rescues Lorelei who seems amnesiac... or is that all part of her plan?
  • Meanwhile, back in Asgard, Balder is wandering in the wilderness.  Unbeknownst to him, he is being observed from afar by Karnilla, Queen of Nornheim.

Thor #342
April 10, 1984
Walter Simonson
  • Lorelei recovers just fine and is still determined to seduce Thor.
  • Thor has been hearing a mysterious voice calling to him.  He follows the voice to Antarctica, where he discovers a mostly abandoned Viking village in a volcano crater.
  • Thor finds the village's last survivor, Eilif the lost.  
  • Eilif desires a warrior's death but Thor won't grant him one.
  • Thor declares that Eilif's life now belongs to him.

Thor #343
May 10, 1984
Walter Simonson
  • Thor convinces Eilif to join him in the fight against Fafnir and grants him temporary rejuvenation courtesty of Mjolnir.  
  • They defeat Fafnir and Eilif dies a hero in the battle.  Thor gives him a Viking funeral.
  • Featured: the Valkyrior
  • Lorelei, alias Melodi, arrives at the apartment of Thor, alias Jarlson, to thank him for saving her life... wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

Thor #344
June 10, 1984
Walter Simonson
  • More a Balder story than a Thor story.
  • Odin sends Balder with a message to Loki.  Asgard needs Loki's help.
  • Featured: Frigga, Odin's wife and Thor's mother
  • Balder accepts the mission but tells Odin he has sworn off killing, even for Asgard.
  • On his way to Loki's, Balder is captured by fire demons and brought before Loki.
  • Loki introduces Balder (and us) to Malekith, the dark elf.  
  • Malekith sets the demons upon Balder.  
  • Balder is forced to kill them all (and Malekith, sort of) in order to deliver the message.
  • Loki casts the message aside, telling Balder he's already decided to side with the giants instead.
  • Balder broke his vow of non-violence for nothing.
  • Loki's such an asshole!
  • Meanwhile, on Earth, Lorelei/Melodi does her best to seduce Thor/Jarlson but the poor guy falls asleep.

4 comments:

  1. el primer dibujo, que feo es el pobre, jajaja

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I assume you mean Eitri. Peter Dinklage played him in the movies. He's probably too good looking.

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  2. Replies
    1. He's a good character. I'm still undecided about Thor in general. I've enjoyed the movies. I enjoy the Norse mythology trappings. But, as yet, I don't feel especially invested in the stories.

      This is a long run. We'll see how I feel in a few weeks.

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