Monday, February 1, 2021

Marvel Immersion Project: Thor #361-366

My Recent Reads

Thor #361
Originally Published November 10, 1985
Writer and Artist: Walter Simonson
  • Thor leads the Asgardian warriors to Hel in order to free the mortal souls trapped there.
  • Thor challenges Hela to a one-on-one battle.  If he wins, the mortals go free.  If she wins, Thor forfeits his soul to her.
  • Thor wins but Hela leaves him with disfiguring scars across his face.

Thor #362
December 10, 1985
Walter Simonson
  • Thor and his troops make their escape from Hel.  Hela sends her forces after them.
  • Skurge the Executioner is the hero of this tale.  He stays behind to defend the bridge Gallerbru while Thor and company get away.  Not a single demon sets foot upon the bridge.  Skurge is slain.
  • Cameo: Magma

Thor #363
January 10, 1986
Walter Simonson
  • Part of the Secret Wars II story, a crossover event.
  • At this point, the series goes off the rails a bit.  #363 is, at least in part, the continuation of a Power Pack story.  The Power Pack, first mentioned last week, is a little kid superhero team.  In their previous issue, the Pack defeated but did not destroy Kurse, a Dark Elf.  Now Kurse is revived and out to get Thor.
Kurse via Marvel Database

  • Thor has returned to Earth to bring back the mortal souls he'd rescued in Hel.
  • Together, Thor, Beta Ray Bill and the Power Pack prevail over Kurse.
  • The Beyonder, of the Secret Wars stories, had been boosting Kurse's powers - and diminishing those of Thor's and Bill's hammers - over the course of the fight.  Afterwards, he is convinced of the goodness of Thor and company.  At Thor's request, the Beyonder refrains from destroying Kurse and sends him instead to Asgard to help in the broader battle against Malekith.
  • Meanwhile in Asgard, the Althing approaches, a conference in which Odin's successor, presumably either Thor or Loki, will be named.  Obviously, Loki cannot allow Thor to return from Earth if he can help it.
  • After the fight with Kurse, a woman, transmuted by Loki, kisses Thor and turns him into a frog.
  • Yes, you read that correctly.

Thor #364
February 10, 1986
Walter Simonson
  • That's right, Thor has been turned into a frog.
  • As a frog, he gets caught up in a turf war between the frogs and rats of Manhattan.  
  • He hatches a plan to enlist the help of the alligators in the Central Park sewers.
  • When he finds the alligators, however, he discovers that they are under control of the Piper.
  • Okay, the frog/rat story isn't as terrible as it could be.  The Power Pack idea was worse.  But I can't help feeling for the poor kid in 1986 who plunked down 75 cents of his/her allowance for a Thor comic book only to find it's all about frogs and rats instead.
  • Somehow, despite being a frog on Earth, Thor shows up at the Althing!

Thor #365
March 10, 1986
Walter Simonson
  • Thor is still a frog.
  • The Thor in Asgard is actually Harokin, cleverly and effectively disguised as Thor - Heimdall's idea.  Confused, Loki demands that the ceremony be delayed.
  • Later, Loki discovers the ruse.
  • Thor and his frog army triumph over the rats with the help of the alligators.  The frogs offer to make Thor their king but he knows he must return to Asgard.
  • Thor returns to the alley where he'd left his goats and chariot.  
  • When the rats attack him, he manages to lift Mjolnir and become... Thunder Frog.
  • Okay, as unimpressed as I am by this whole story line, I have to admit, I kinda love Thunder Frog.  I might need to find a t-shirt.

Thor #366
April 10, 1986
Walter Simonson
  • The Althing resumes which presents a dilemma.  The real Thor has not yet returned and Heimdall and Harokin know they must give up their ruse before permanent harm is done to Asgard should the imposter be chosen.  None of that will matter if Loki is able to carry out his own schemes.
  • Finally, Thunder Frog/Frog Thor/Thor Frog/whatever returns and carries Loki away so they can duke it out in relative privacy.
  • Thunder Frog prevails.
  • What's more, Volstagg, off on his own adventure in search of a cure for his ailing daughter Hildy, manages to destroy - essentially by accident - the enchanted sword Twilight, simultaneously curing Hildy and lifting the frog curse from Thor.
  • Though Loki is defeated, Thor stops short of humiliating him by exposing his machinations.  However, Thor renounces his own right to the throne, citing his responsibility to protect Earth.  Instead, he endorses Balder for the job.


  1. I loved the FrogThor story, even as a kid in 1986 when I first read it. Some of my favorite issues. It was that story line, in fact, that decided me on the genius of Simonson. The next story is the time battle between Reed Richards and Dr. Doom. Brilliant.

    1. Glad it worked for you. I could have done without.

      Except for Thunder Frog. I like Thunder Frog!