Characters Appearing: Bloodaxe (Jackie Lukus), Captain America, Dr. Doom, Hercules, Jerry Sapristi, Kevin Masterson, Kristoff, Loki, Marcus Stone, She-Hulk, Susan Austin, Thor, Thunderstrike
Issue(s): Thor #409, Thor #410
...and having another dizzy spell...
...Thor returns home in time to change back into Eric Masterson and go to work. Unfortunately his roomate is an immortal party god with no conception of time.
By the time they get to work, Eric has a tight deadline on some architect thingy. He's in competition with Jackie Lukus, "the hottest little pencil-pusher in the biz", but she seems more interested in flirting than anything. I'd get into all this exciting architect stuff in more detail, except i'm pretty sure i'm supposed to be reading a Thor comic. Instead let's check out Herc in his Harry Cleese identity, dressed so that Eric can hook him up with a construction job.
Meanwhile, we find out that Dr. Doom is behind all the generic criminals in town getting high tech weaponry, and it seems to be a scheme specifically designed to attract Thor's attention, although he seems to also be monitoring other heroes. From what we can see, i'd guess She-Hulk, Spider-Man, USAgent, Captain America.
The guy with the cape in the middle is Thor. When i saw that image, i said it couldn't be Thor because we didn't see Thor fight a tank. But as Robert points out in the comments, here's the tank right on the first page:
I have to admit, that did not look like a tank to me. I thought Thor was just throwing his hammer through some rubble.
One of the policemen investigating the high tech robberies is Marcus Stone, who we saw earlier in Thor #403.
Dr. Doom sends a robot on a rampage and Thor and Hercules respond to the attack. During the battle, Hercules gets tossed by the robot, and he observes that he's starting to feel fear.
He does his best to ignore it though.
The robot's blast turns out to be a time-transporter, and Thor briefly gets zapped into the time of Godzilla.
Dr. Doom himself then shows up during the battle. But the fight ends when Thor's hammer gets zapped back in time...
...and after 60 seconds Thor turns back into Eric Masterson. Oh yeah. I forgot that contrivance is back now that Thor is bonded with Eric.
Issue #410 opens with Hercules and Eric having gone to the Avengers to borrow a Quinjet. Captain America has insisted that She-Hulk go along with them.
In Latveria, Dr. Doom retrieves Thor's hammer and uses it to stop time in the area, so that he can go and confront Kristoff alone.
If you feel like you've seen this movie before, you may be thinking of Fantastic Four #330, but remember, that was just a dream.
When Hercules, She-Hulk, and Eric get to Latveria, Herc continues to insult She-Hulk, but she takes it in stride.
Eric eventually makes a leap for the hammer and comes back as Thor. She-Hulk regrets not having taken a closer look at Eric before the transformation.
Meanwhile, the real Doom has Kristoff on the ropes, but he hesitates when Kristoff suggests that killing him would ruin Doom's genius and ability to live on past his own death...
...and then the moment is lost because Thor reclaiming his hammer stops the time bubble preventing Kristoff's minions from helping.
Although... seriously? Dr. Doom is afraid of some palace guards?
For his part, Kristoff can't figure out why Doom hesitated, even though it was his words that did it.
Tom DeFalco does his best, such as it is, to honor the fact that John Byrne was showing She-Hulk being attracted to Hercules.
And Dr. Doom is contacted by a mysterious someone who would like some help with an Act of Vengeance.
More retro fun from DeFalco and Frenz, and i just love the grinning Hercules (not necessarily this "fear" plot, just the general idea of him going around being big and dumb and funny).
The Tales of Asgard back-ups include a conclusion to the story with the Uru creature named Uroc (he falls off a bridge) and a story about Volstagg fighting some brigands on the way home from a tavern.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP have Loki's appearance here as the first of the recruitment scenes leading up to Acts of Vengeance, which is appropriate since it's his brother's book. In any event, note that that scene takes place "A few days later". She-Hulk's appearance is pretty much context free; the only thing that nags at me is her comments in She-Hulk #8 about putting Hercules back together, but that's really meta-commentary and also non-specific (i.e. it could have been referencing Herc being stuck in super-god state with the High Evolutionary). The MCP has She-Hulk here after She-Hulk #8 (and Atlantis Attacks).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Acts of Vengeance crossover tag?
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | November 3, 2014 7:04 PM
As FNORD says above - "The MCP have Loki's appearance here as the first of the recruitment scenes leading up to Acts of Vengeance,". This is the prequel to AOV.
Posted by: clyde | November 3, 2014 7:10 PM
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | November 3, 2014 7:25 PM
This is Marcus Stone's first appearance- you might want to note that, since he has many more appearances over the years. (Although I've heard fans argue that he was one of the cops that arrested fake Executioner in issue 404.)
Posted by: Michael | November 3, 2014 8:21 PM
Thanks Michael. Looking at the scene in #403 again, it doesn't really seem like there's anything to argue about. That guy is called Detective Stone and he's got the same hat and mustache. I've added him as a Character Appearing there and made a note in that entry's Historical Significance remarks.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 3, 2014 8:54 PM
You wrote "Meanwhile, we find out that Dr. Doom is behind all the generic criminals in town getting high tech weaponry, and it seems to be a scheme specifically designed to attract Thor's attention, although he seems to also be monitoring other heroes (from what we can see, i'd guess She-Hulk, Spider-Man, USAgent, Captain America, and i'm not sure who the caped guy is; it's not Thor)."
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 6, 2014 2:31 AM
I considered it since he's one of the few active heroes that wears a cape. But he looked too beefy to me. But it could be him.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 6, 2014 7:53 AM
FNORD - Could it be Hyperion?
Posted by: clyde | November 6, 2014 10:34 AM
Maybe. He's supposed to be blind at this point, and it would be weird for him to appear on our Earth just for this, but who knows? Not sure if DeFalco or Frenz really had anyone specific in mind.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 6, 2014 11:37 AM
Well, Hyperion (and the rest of the Squadron Supreme) were sent to Earth-616 around this time, at the conclusion of their graphic novel. Most likely there wasn't anyone particular in mind.
Posted by: Bill | November 6, 2014 12:16 PM
I'm pretty sure that's Thor. The tank in the shot with the caped guy is identical to the tank Thor destroys on the opening page of 409.
Posted by: Robert | November 6, 2014 5:04 PM
Also it's the screen directly in front of Doom (the one he's looking at) and he's talking about how one of his teams has made contact with Thor. Seems like it's Thor to me.
Posted by: Robert | November 6, 2014 5:07 PM
Der. Thanks, Robert. I totally missed that tank on the first page. It didn't look like a tank to me. I've updated the entry and added a scan of that.
Thanks to everyone else for playing my pointless guessing game!
Posted by: fnord12 | November 6, 2014 6:41 PM
I'm glad you threw in that final panel where DeFalco finally acknowledges She-Hulk's interest in Hercules. I had been reading their interactions and thinking to myself, has DeFalco not read Byrne's She-Hulk? Or FF #286? Or that Avengers Annual where she and Jan rated the guys? Those interactions were completely unlike any other She-Hulk-Hercules interaction before this.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 13, 2015 8:37 AM
Comments are now closed.
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