Issue(s): Thor #237, Thor #238, Thor #239
Donald Blake is out on a nice date with his newly merged girlfriends...
...but Ulik the Troll has figured out the connection...
...so he has some trolls kidnap Jane...
...to force Thor into an uneasy alliance with Ulik.
Ulik wants Thor's help in overthrowing the troll-king Geirrodur...
...and holds as a hostage Jane Foster, who is only alive because Sif sacrificed her life for Jane's. Thor and Ulik dispatch Geirrodur and his army (which includes a robot called Zotarr that was dressed up to look like a giant armored troll), and Jane shows that she is more of a warrior, possibly due to Sif's sacrifice, although Geirrodur's magic spear is also listed as a factor.
With Jane free, Thor severs the relationship, and he and Ulik fight. Ulik was once depicted as being nearly impossible to defeat, but here Thor beats him with ease.
Meanwhile, Hercules, the Vizier, and the police stand around the hole that the trolls dug into the NYC streets, waiting for Thor and Jane to return. After they do, a professor from UCLA contacts Hercules and asks him to give a lecture in Ancient Studies. He doesn't want Thor because the "real" Thor is so different than what is described in Norse Myths:
Professor: "Well, uh -- to tell you the truth, er -- from what little we can gather, the Asgardian pantheon isn't exactly according to Hoyle. What I mean is -- nobody in my department ever even heard of Vollstagg - or Hogun the Grim, or --" Thor: "Thy point be well made, my friend. Hang on mightily to thine illusions."
So that's how Hercules winds up in California.
Odin, still in his amnesiac Orrin persona, helps migrant farm workers fight for their rights in San Diego.
Weirdly, a giant pyramid then appears and the Egyptian gods step out.
Odin goes to join them.
Buscema's art is great with Sinnott's inks.
Conway's story isn't terrible. I do feel like we're getting a bit cyclical with another visit from Ulik, but the Odin storyline is interesting. These are Conway's last issues, with Roy Thomas and then Bill Mantlo filling in for #239-241 and Len Wein taking over beginning with issue #242.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this arc after the serpent Crown arc in Avengers #141-149. Thor decides to look for his father at the end of this story, and he leaves Jane's apartment before seeing Odin on TV with the Egyptian gods. I'm placing the Egyptian god story in a separate entry to allow for Thor appearances in other books.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showGeirrodur, Hercules, Horus, Isis, Jane Foster, Odin, Osiris, Ralph Blumkenn, Richard Fenster, Thor, Ulik, Vizier
I'm tempted to think Gerry Conway sent Hercules to California to dovetail with the Champions, but I don't think Gerry was too pleased with his status at Marvel at this time.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 20, 2011 10:54 PM
Zotarr looks uncannily like Walt Simonson's Kurse.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 12, 2012 12:42 PM
This year, Thor's costume made its first film appearance: former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman wore it in Ken Russell's "Lisztomania".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 4, 2013 5:48 PM
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