Issue(s): Thor #171
The Wrecker has been kept under heavy sedation and armed guard at a hospital since his defeat while the army finds an isolated island where they can keep him.
But he wakes up and easily escapes.
I've always liked the Wrecker, so i'm glad that Lee & Kirby brought him back. It's not a guarantee that some guy powered up by an Asgardian god or artifact will become a repeat threat. Sure, there's the Absorbing Man. But there's also one-offs like Sandu and the Demon (Witch-Doctor).
Anyway, big fight issue.
Thor ultimately wins by throwing the Wrecker onto the New York subway's third rail, and when that's not enough, he super-charges it with his own lightning.
Still, the Wrecker had a good showing.
I like how the basic "wrecking" concept of the Wrecker is fully on display here, as in his first appearance. He doesn't just use that crowbar as a weapon. He uses it to tear down buildings.
Also in this issue, as Donald Blake, Thor performs surgery on a civil rights activist named Pedro Luiz Lopez who was injured by a gunman we don't get to hear anything about. It's said that if Lopez dies, the city will riot, but luckily Blake is able to save him.
Now that we know the relationship between Blake and Thor, there's no need to get into a lot of shenanigans about him maintaining his doctor's office or anything like that. He just shows up every once in a while, replaces the on-call doctor, and performs some surgery.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Avengers #68-69.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The Wrecker's power in these first issues mark him as a real foe of Thor. Later on when the Wrecking Crew is introduced, it greatly diminishes him even though the concept of the Crew is something I like. Cumulatively though, they are rarely depicted as a group that can legitimately take on someone like Thor. Instead, they are just turned into dumb goons to be trotted out now and then as disposable villains.
Posted by: Chris | January 17, 2013 9:16 PM
Yeah, the Crew make a great team for fighting other teams (first appeared in Defenders, after all) and I love me some Elliot "Thunderball" Franklin (aka "The Black Bruce Banner"), but then having latter-day issues where ol' Goldilocks tosses all four of them around feels cheap.
And having Spider-Man take out Dirk (the Wrecker) on his own is just as dubious as the more famous Spidey-Firelord fight, IMO. And didn't have nearly as much thought put into it as Stern put into the Firelord angle.
Oh, and don't get me started on that Iron Drunk issue where Thunderball is all of a sudden some dimwitted thug. Racism, Denny O'Neil, really? (Nah, probably just shitty research. But why use the character if you don't know him?)
Posted by: Dan Spector | July 9, 2014 3:22 AM
In the opening splash pannel there is a building across the street from Thor called the forbush building, little details like that always crack me up.
Posted by: Silverbird | July 19, 2014 6:54 PM
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