Issue(s): Thor #218, Thor #219, Thor #220
The Black Stars are in fact 5 planets, each three times the size of Jupiter, that orbit a central sun and travel around the universe eating up other planets.
Considering the Rigellians were first introduced in a story concerning the Black Galaxy and Ego the Living Planet, i expected some sort of tie in with that, but they do seem unrelated.
Anyway, Meanie A is this guy. But he turns out to merely be part of the robotic maintenance crew.
Meanie B is the Protector. He's just another robot, albeit more Kirby-ish.
And Meanies C are just a bunch of dudes.
Ok, i'm downplaying the third group. They are in fact a bunch of HUGE dudes. How huge?
I guess maybe Galactus would be visible to these guys without a microscope, but that's about it.
And that's about when i started skimming, i have to admit. As i mentioned, it does end with the tiny Asgardians and friends getting the "Rhunians" to realize they exist and promise to stop eating everybody.
Along the way, Thor's group also picks up some Rigellians mutants, or mutates, that the Rigellians left behind when they fled their planet. Since i don't think we've seen a regular Rigellian outside their armor, it's hard to say exactly how mutated these guys are.
But the idea is that the mutants were created by the Rigellians as part of an abandoned project. I was originally hoping they were natural mutants, or possibly Deviants to further the idea that every alien race, like Earth, has its Eternal and Deviant varieties. But i guess they are closer to the Inhumans' Alpha Primitives. I don't think we'll ever see them again. Probably the Rigellians just exterminate them all after Thor leaves.
The lead-in for the next story in Thor involves Krista, the Asgardian we first saw in issue #217 finding a magical stone. In this arc we learn that she is Hildegarde's sister, and unlike Hildegarde she's a timid thing. Then she disappears and Odin declares her "doomed".
I criticized the last big arc (#214-216) for quickly sweeping a bunch of dangling plot threads under the carpet (SuperMegaMonkey: for all your mixed metaphor needs) so i want to give Conway some kudos for not letting at least one of them completely drop. Odin says to the Vizier that he's worried that he's sending Thor off to his death while they haven't fully resolved their differences over their recent argument.
But there's nothing regarding Karnilla and Balder. Balder just hops aboard Thor's Viking Space Ship as if Karnilla hadn't spent half a publication year searching for him.
I'd also love to know what Silas Grant is doing with the group. His story is that he was a caveman on a planet where Tana Nile brought a piece of Ego the Living Planet, hoping to super-evolve the planet so that the Rigellians could colonize it. In the process it evolved Grant, but not into like some super-human Future of Man kind of way. It turned him into Popeye the Sailor Man, without the spinach power-up. So he's absolutely useless and he adds nothing to the story. It's just weird how he gets to hang around.
As always, nice John Buscema art. Conway delivers another "epic" story that unfortunately doesn't really have a lot of impact. This would have been better as a one-and-done, like issue #209's Stonehenge Alien story. You could remove the escalating threat syndrome and just do the Horton Hears A Who story in a single issue. But it really seems like Conway had run out of things to do on Thor at this point.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBalder, Fandral, Grand Commissioner of Rigel, Heimdall, Hildegarde, Hogun, Krista, Odin, Sif, Silas Grant, Tana Nile, Thor, Vizier, Volstagg
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