Issue(s): Thor #341, Thor #342, Thor #343
Thor returns to Earth (he says it's been "months"), and after declining a mohawk...
...he checks in with the Avengers. He's soon shown heading off to Secret Wars with the team. Sort of.
The missing panels are provided in the lettercol for issue #342.
Meanwhile, Lorelei hunts down Fafnir the dragon in the New York Subway system. She tries to charm him, but it winds up working the other way around.
Prior to that, Lorelei fends off a group of thugs on the subway. I only point it out because they accost her by saying she "looks like Blondie", and it's the same thing a bunch of thugs on the subway will say to Dazzler years later in an issue of the X-Men. It's an odd thing to say, and i wonder if it was something that actually happened to someone at Marvel or something.
"A couple of weeks later", Thor is back on earth and visiting Nick Fury. Now that he's lost the Donald Blake identity, he wants SHIELD's help getting a new identity and a place to live.
The result is simple enough.
There's a couple of Superman jokes, and Thor even bumps into Clark Kent at a SHIELD press conference.
Fury also gets him a job at a construction site run by his cousin, but it's there that Fafnir attacks him.
After a nicely drawn battle...
...Thor chases Fafnir away with lightning (for now) and rescues Lorelei without realizing who she is. But she recognizes Thor and gets his civilian name (Sigurd Jarlson). And she prepares a special mead to enchant him.
Throughout issue #341, Thor is feeling a faint entreaty from a worshiper, something that is exceedingly rare in this day and age. After chasing Fafnir away, Thor follows the call, and winds up in an oddly tropical village hidden in a volcano in Antarctica (i thought at first it might be part of the Savage Land, but it seems to be unrelated). He finds a cave and fights his way through some death-traps, and eventually fights and defeats an old viking named Eilif the Lost, who was hoping to trick Thor into granting him a warriors death. Thor is pleased by his arrogance and entreats Odin to grant the viking strength and weaponry to restore him to proper strength.
In the meantime, Fafnir has realized that he didn't have anything to fear from Thor's lightning.
And he's gone on a rampage through the Bronx, demanding that Thor show up to confront him.
Thor brings Eilif with him to the battle. In addition to a winged horse...
...Eilif also receives a spear blessed by Odin himself. And that spear turns out to be key to defeating Fafnir.
Eilif, of course, dies in the battle, and is taken to Valhalla.
Thor rides his goat cart during the dragon battle, which i find amusing.
Also in this arc, Odin sends his ravens Huginn and Muninn to investigate the domain of the demon that Thor and Beta Ray Bill couldn't penetrate in the last arc. They are detected by the demon...
...and Muninn is injured and Huginn seemingly killed. The demon also gives the name Twilight to the sword he has been working on.
And Balder leaves Asgard in a self-imposed exile that leads him to Karnilla's domain.
There's a funny bit where Volstagg shows up looking for Balder and, finding him not home, decides he'd better check the larder in case unexpected guests show up. Then we pan to Balder, who figures by the time Volstagg is done "checking the larder", he'll be long gone.
We end with Lorelei showing up at Sigurd Jarlson's apartment after the battle with Fafnir.
Great humor, great art, and some nice set-up for future stories.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Only the first page and a half of this issue takes place before Secret Wars (directly before Thor appears in Avengers #242). The rest talks place 'a couple of weeks later', it makes more sense to place the issue after the heroes return from the Battleplanet.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (3): show
Balder, Dum Dum Dugan, Eilif Dragonslayer, Fafnir, Heimdall, Huginn, Jerry Sapristi, Karnilla, Loki, Lorelei (Norse Goddess), Muninn, Nick Fury, Odin, Surtur, Thor, Volstagg
Blondie's (Debby Harry's) career actually took a big nosedive in 1982 and never really recovered, making that remark and the later Dazzler one rather strange.
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