Thor annual #15
Issue(s): Thor annual #15
Iron Man is busy repairing Machine Man, so he's asked Thor to continue the hunt for the animal shaped robots called the Termini. So Thor has flown to San Francisco, taking Hercules with him. Herc didn't even know where they were going until they got there, which i love. Thor then heads into space to to talk to the real Terminus, while Hercules remains on the alert for more Termini.
The Termini's target is a nuclear plant that is closing down thanks to "bleeding heart" protestors.
Many of the scientists meet a gory death.
And notice that the Termini are talking now. Foooood!
Hercules is talking to a pair of police officers when the disturbance is called in, and he accompanies them to the plant. By the time Hercules arrives, the Termii have absorbed radioactive fuel and evolved.
Meanwhile, Thor locates the real Terminus where Quasar left him, floating in space.
Thor hears a voice in his head, "Worm of Earth -- do not come here!", and takes it as a challenge, flying hammer first towards Terminus. Thor keeps attacking Terminus, although it's not clear why. Eventually Thor manages to penetrate Terminus' armor and winds up inside. Once he's in there, he is bombarded with the mind of Terminus, and learns the giant's true origin.
This is where this annual event lost me. Terminus was originally created by John Byrne. Byrne had recently restored Galactus to a majestic force of nature, as opposed to the cheap super-villain that Galactus sometimes was in the 70s and early 80s. But Byrne wanted to say that there was room in the Marvel universe for a character like the one that Galactus was written as in the 70s. So he created Terminus, a giant cosmic plunderer. I couldn't have articulated things exactly like that when i first read these annuals, but i could tell you that Terminus was a badass, and he was a plunderer. He claimed the Earth for his own in his first appearance, and in his second he ravaged the Savage Land, looking for useful technology. I had not read the Quasar story that explained that the Terminus that appeared in that second story wasn't the real one (which is BS!) but this story re-iterates that, and also tells us that Terminus is really a collective organism on a quest to get vengeance against the Celestials after they destroyed a world.
(The Termini are the Revengers? Does that mean my What The--? comics are in continuity?)
Therefore when Terminus came to Earth and was buried by Mr. Fantastic, and (per the Quasar retcon) he came across the Deviant known as Jorro, they bonded over their shared hatred of Celestials.
And then Terminus basically cloned himself using Deviant technology, and that's where the Termini come from.
I mean, everyone needs an origin. Terminus had to come from somewhere. But Terminus is just supposed to be a cosmic asshole. And that's how he's acted in his past appearances. Yes, he was happy to find some Celestial technology in the Savage Land (and that wasn't even him, according to this). But it seems like a complete misinterpretation of that scene and it extrapolates it into an origin that doesn't fit this character at all.
Thor is then attacked by antibodies and expelled, but his hammer is left behind.
There will be a lot of dialogue in the next two issues justifying the fact that Terminus was able to "lift" Thor's hammer.
Thor's hammer allows Terminus to regenerate his lance. He leaves Thor adrift and heads to earth.
Meanwhile, Hercules continues to fight the Termini. I have to admit i love the way they repeat whatever Hercules says. That's pretty terrifying.
When Hercules is knocked down, the Termini then merge into a single giant version. As Hercules notes, they look like Terminus, except with a tail instead of a lance.
And then the real Terminus shows up.
This annual is padded with another television sequence, this one not even adding to the story, just recapping what we already saw.
Herb Trimpe at his best has a hyper Kirby look to it which i love. The art here, sadly, is flat and stiff. Very disappointing. But of course the bigger sin in my book is the continued retcon of Terminus himself.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A back-up story with Thor fighting the Thermal Man is covered in a separate entry. This is part three of The Terminus Factor. Avengers West Coast annual #5 is next.
Crossover: The Terminus Factor
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Insert joke here about Hercules riding Thor's hammer in San Francisco...
Posted by: Dermie | July 8, 2015 10:34 PM
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