Monday, February 15, 2021

Marvel Immersion Project: Thor #373-377

I will be moving on from Thor soon so it seems appropriate to offer a few thoughts on the series in general.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor movies rank high among my favorites.  I would, in fact, go so far as to say that Loki is the best character in the MCU thus far.  As such, my expectations for the comic books were high.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm disappointed, exactly.  I can't deny the quality of the work.  But I frequently find myself wishing the Thor story were different from what it is.  When he's on Earth, I long for Asgard.  But then sometimes he stays in Asgard too long.  And if he were always in Asgard, what would be the point in pretending he's part of the broader Marvel Universe?  But then when he's on Earth, how is he appreciably different from any other superhero?

You see my struggles.

I guess what I really want is for Marvel - or anybody - to create a more faithful comic book chronicle of the original Norse myths.  In fact, I'd love to see such a rendering for world mythology in general: Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, African, Native American, Celtic, Babylonian and on and on.  Maybe if I suddenly come into a lot of money, I will fund such a project.

I have one more stop before maybe taking a break from Marvel for a while: the original Secret Wars series.  Stay tuned.

My Recent Reads

Thor #373
Originally Published November 10, 1986
Writer: Walter Simonson
Artist: Sal Buscema
  • This issue and the next are both part of the Mutant Massacre crossover event.
  • Thor revisits his New York life as Sigurd Jarlson.
  • He also runs into Puddlegulp and other froggy friends in Central Park.
  • Puddlegulp tells him of a massacre in the sewers so Thor goes to investigate.
Blockbuster via Marvel Database
Harpoon via Marvel Database
Vertigo via Wikipedia

  • Amid many Morlock corpses, Thor discovers Angel - currently of X-Factor, formerly of the X-Men - being held captive and tortured by the Marauders: Harpoon, Blockbuster and Vertigo.

Thor #374
December 10, 1986
Simonson/S. Buscema
  • Back in the sewers of New York, Thor must fight off the Marauders before he can rescue Angel.  
  • Thor prevails and now must carry Angel out of the sewers.
  • Featured: Sabretooth, another of the Marauders.
  • Thor meets the enigmatic Artie Maddicks, an X-Factor trainee.
  • In a fight with Blockbuster, Thor's arm is broken.  Thor doesn't realize it yet but Hela has cast a brutal curse upon him (she does tell him by the end of the issue):
    • His bones will break easily, then never heal.
    • Then he will never die.
  • Thor and company meet up with Cyclops and Marvel Girl (??!! - I guess I missed some important developments) of X-Factor.  Cyclops creates a sling for Thor's arm and they take Angel off his hands.

Thor #375
January 1, 1987
Simonson/S. Buscema
Man-Beast via Wikipedia
Wrecker via Marvel Database

  • Loki's latest trick: turning innocent, unassuming Earth mortals into old Thor villains, specifically Man-Beast and Wrecker.
  • Once Thor defeats each of them, Loki's illusion is revealed and Thor is powerless to prevent the mortals from dying.
  • Thor also has to be careful because of Hela's curse, though Tony Stark has built him an armored arm to protect the broken one.
  • When Thor arrives in New York, he finds he must battle Absorbing Man, though he assumes it's another Loki-created fake.
  • Alas, no.  This time it's the real thing.

Thor #376
February 1, 1987
Simonson/S. Buscema
  • Thor realizes it's the real Absorbing Man.
  • However, Loki has one more trick.  He creates a fake Titania who attacks Thor.  Thor kills her only to discover the ruse as another innocent mortal lies dead at his feet.
  • Absorbing Man, however, believes it was the real Titania.  Apparently, he loved her and now he's enraged.
  • Using Mjolnir, Thor transports Absorbing Man to another dimension.
  • Finally victorious, Thor staggers towards Avengers Mansion where he knows he can rest.
  • Instead, he collapses in the street, right in front of astonished reporters.
  • On the last page, Loki releases a powerful spell upon Asgard.

Thor #377
March 1, 1987
Simonson/S. Buscema
  • Thor recovers in Roosevelt Hospital.
  • Upon release, he heads to Pittsburgh to rent a steel foundry for a week (as one does) in order to forge new armor for himself.
  • While at work, he is attacked by the Dark Elves, led by Grendell, an ancient warrior elf long presumed dead.
  • Meanwhile, in Asgard, Loki kidnaps Iceman - currently of X-Factor, formerly of the X-Men - in order to harness his cold energy to restore the Frost Giants to their full size.
  • Also, the spell Loki released in the last issue is causing fever among the gods of Asgard.
  • In a surprise move, Loki rescues Thor from the Dark Elves bringing him back to his own castle where he can observe Thor's likely long suffering for his own amusement.
  • When Loki finally turns off the cold, the Frost Giants turn on him.
  • To be continued.


  1. Oh, yeah, the whole thing with X-Factor was to bring back the original X-Men as a team again, so, of course, they had to resurrect Jean Grey.
    I'd forgotten that Thor was the one to rescue Angel.

    Secret Wars changed comic books forever. There would have been no big Mutant Massacre crossover if not for Secret Wars.

    1. I'm looking forward to it. I do have a few issues left of the Simonson Thor run but I'm ready for something else.

  2. Oh, Loki.

    ...He heads to Pittsburgh to rent a steel foundry for a week (as one does)

    Of course, one does!!

    1. The clear message of this transaction: everything is for sale if you are literally as rich as a god.

  3. Any word on whether Chris Hemsworth will still be part of the MCU after the next Thor movie?

    1. As of September, he's on record as saying he would like to do more.