Issue(s): Thor #229, Thor #230, Thor #231
Thor brings Hercules to Iron Man to use the memory inducer to find out what happened...
...but using the device just makes Hercules crazy. Luckily Krista is able to calm him down, and Hercules is able to recall the phrase "Where darkness dwells, dwell I!", which was also used by other victims of the incident Herc was investigating, along with "He promised me I'd live if I died", which seems to be a bit of a red herring. He leads Thor into the sewer, and they confront several threats before realizing what they are ultimately facing is fear itself.
It's left a little ambiguous at this point, but the Dweller In Darkness will later be shown in Dr. Strange's book as an actual fear demon. For now we just see shadows that don't look like his later form.
Meanwhile, Hildegarde discovers that Odin has left Asgard.
This issue introduces a Sgt. Blumkenn that gets Thor and Hercules on the trail of the Dweller, and he'll appear in a few more issues of Thor as well as the first part of the Dweller story in Dr. Strange.
Hercules is doing a weird thing with his mustache at this point that i can't really get behind. That's not how Steve Reeves did it.
Issue #231 has John Buscema taking over on art, with Dick Giordano. The main story is about a fake mystic medium whose son suddenly gets possessed by a real spirit, that of "Armak -- first man -- strongest man ever born". The man's body is transformed, and he goes on a rampage and gets into a fight with Hercules.
But the real interesting development is that Thor hears from Sgt. Blumkenn that one of the people affected by the Dweller is Jane Foster, and she is in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.
Sif hears from a doctor that Jane isn't likely to make it. She returns to Asgard (oddly calling Heimdall "friend" instead of brother) seeking audience with Odin, but she finds that he's gone and only Hildegarde is in his chamber.
Thor tears himself away from Sif's side long enough to defeat Armak since Hercules is once again not up to the task.
Armak is killed when he's distracted by a call from his mother.
Not sure what mythology Armak was meant to come from, if any. Loki will reveal that he was behind Armak in the next arc.
The combination of some unflattering inking and weird coloring choices (by Petra Goldberg) leaves us with some odd art in isue #231.
A letter in issue #229 from Ann Nichols (who i think was a repeat letter writer) asks Marvel to stop renaming all their comics so she can file them properly. Having to start putting Luke Cage's comics under P now that the title changed from Hero For Hire to Power Man is just confusing (Journey Into Mystery / Thor is also mentioned, making it relevant to this title). The response suggests filing the comics under L for Luke Cage, but the correct answer is clearly to put your comics in chronological order; then the title becomes irrelevant.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this during Avengers #137. I have Avengers #137 placed after this in my project. Iron Man's appearance is context free (i have it between IM #72-73, the same gap where his appearance in Giant-Size Man-Thing #2 occurs; the MCP has it between IM #73-74). Issue #231 is unrelated story-wise to the previous two issues but begins with Thor and Hercules coming out of the hole in the street where they fought the Dweller, and plugging it back up. Per a footnote, Marvel Team-Up #28 takes place during issue #231.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showDweller In Darkness, Heimdall, Hercules, Hildegarde, Iron Man, Jane Foster, Jarvis, Krista, Odin, Ralph Blumkenn, Sif, Thor, Vizier
The Appendix notes similarities between the Dweller's Shade-Thralls, as seen here, and two other characters: the Lurking Unknown (http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/lurkun.htm) and the Dark Dweller (http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/darkdw.htm).
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 18, 2013 12:16 AM
For that matter, the opening with Hercules being attacked by parties unknown and going bonkers seems a lot like the plot of Avengers #99. A lot of Conway's Thor seems like "remix" versions of Silver Age stories.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 18, 2017 6:21 AM
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