Issue(s): Thor #416, Thor #417
The main story here has Hercules fighting a kind of space vampire (a "Stalker From Space") that is able to drain the lifeforce from people...
...and who manages to possess Hercules.
The Stalker is taken care of when Thor summons his godly light.
Despite being a two-issue threat, the Stalker doesn't seem like a major opponent (which is fine; not every villain needs to be a world beater). His main purpose is to allow for the hackneyed Silver Age situation of "I can't be there for my personal life because i'm busy fighting super-villains". But in this case, instead of the personal life situation being getting medicine to a sickly aunt, it's preventing the ex-wife from getting custody of the kids.
Which, again, if you're not going to be around to deal with your kid, maybe letting the kid's mom take care of him isn't such a bad idea.
Hercules was already out of sorts thanks to his experience with the High Evolutionary...
...who we also check in with in this arc.
Seemingly in reaction to the High Evolutionary's plans, a Celesital sends a beam that (again) seemingly awakens Odin and causes him to have a vision similar to what Hercules had.
But by the end of the issue it seems more likely that the Celestial has sent the Thor duplicate that we saw in Thor #387-389 on a mission.
We also see that Eric and his sometime partner Jackie Lukus are taking on a new job from Jim Owsley Tuckerization Aloysius R. Jamesley.
The first back-up, a cute little story with art by Mark Texeira, has Fandral fighting a couple of thugs and then boasting that he's about to go visit the most beautiful woman in the world. So one of the thugs asks to go with him, and they travel through a series of perils. And it turns out that the woman is Fandral's mom.
The second back-up will eventually feed into the main story. We check in on the Celtic gods, who learn that Asgard is drifting in dimensional space and is now in the Negative Zone. Leir has apparently developed a crush on Sif, so he uses his powers to teleport to Asgard. Caber follows.
Sif is in her room in near tears about her inability to get to Thor. And Leir tells her that he has a way to get to Earth.
So Sif agrees to be his bride.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 183,720. Single issue closest to filing date = 166,900.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back in publication time to allow for Hercules' appearance in Thor annual #15.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAloysius R. Jamesley, Bloodaxe (Jackie Lukus), Caber, Count Tagar, Dagda, Ed Marrero, Fandral, Heimdall, Hercules, High Evolutionary, Hogun, Kevin Masterson, Leir, Marcus Stone, Marcy Masterson Steele, Odin, Sif, Surtur, Susan Austin, Thor, Thor Replicoid, Thunderstrike, Vizier, Volstagg
Ohhhh I remember liking this one a lot at the time. I wonder how much of the space vampire story was inspired by the notorious Tobe Hooper bomb Lifeforce (itself based on the novel The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson) or perhaps the earlier Mario Bava classic Planet of the Vampires.
Posted by: Robert | May 26, 2015 3:44 PM
The Appendix to the MU site notes that the four-armed form the Stalker (or "Dark Dweller," http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/darkdw.htm) shifts into at one point resembles the Lurking Unknown. The connection has never been explained.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 26, 2015 9:17 PM
Another possible influence I forgot about was the space vampire from an episode of the '70s Buck Rogers show. A little goofier looking in live action but there is a similarity in the appearance.
Posted by: Robert | May 27, 2015 2:29 AM
The four-armed shadow also resembled the shadow of the being later explained as Dweller-in-Darkness from a 1970s Thor story also featuring both Thor and Hercules; I suspect DeFalco and Frenz were either trying to "finish" that arc, not remembering it had been followed up in Dr. Strange's book, or at least that they were riffing on it.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 10, 2015 7:37 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|