Issue(s): Thor #256, Thor #257
Thor says he's not having any of that Memorax nonsense. He's the Recorder, by Odin.
The story for these issues is exactly the sort of episodic sci-fi tale that this status quo allows (except that the main characters are floating around in a wooden viking ship!), with the group encountering a derelict spaceship where the remnants of the crew live in fear of an alien lifeform...
...that turns out to really be trying to help them. The crew tragically kill the creature before they learn the truth.
My only quibble with this story is that the creature, Sporr, is meant to be grabbing the ship crew's old and infirm to live out their days in a nicer area of the ship. But Sif sustains a minor injury fighting the crew's decrepit robot guards at the beginning of the arc, and the creature snatches her away as well (you've gotta love that guy with the book, though. "What are these young people doing here? I was told i could get some uninterrupted reading done!").
So not only is she basically a hostage during these issues, but she doesn't even really meet Sporr's qualifications.
The aliens are blue-skinned but otherwise human looking, leading me to wonder if they're related to the Kree. But their origin is that they came from a world that was fully automated and idyllic, but eventually they used up their planet's resources and had to leave in their giant automated space arc. And eventually their robots fell into disrepair, with the spoiled citizens unable to fix them.
And that's when the asteroid containing the space creature, Sporr, crashed into their ship.
Back in Asgard, Karnilla and Balder have reached the stage in their relationship where she's telling Balder he really needs to be more ambitious and ask his boss for a promotion.
And then a guard shows up to announce that Asgard is under attack, which Balder rather hyperbolically announces is the greatest threat ever and we're all doomed.
Oh really, Balder? Who is it this time? Mangog and Igron? Loki and the Absorbing Man? A bunch of mercenary space-lizards? An invading army at Asgard's gates at this point just means it's Thursday. The real issue here is that Balder is left in charge and feeling the pressure of responsibility, and that's a decent character moment.
The Grey Gargoyle appears at the end in a set-up for the next arc.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Another "Sporr"--or some version of Sporr's alien race--showed up in a 1958-1961 Atlas book.
The title to #257 is from Lovecraft.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 1, 2013 3:48 PM
"Lurker in the Dark" sounds like half Lovecraft's "The Haunter in the Dark", half Derleth's "The Lurker at the Threshold", with perhaps a soupçon of Star Trek's "The Devil in the Dark"...
Posted by: Andrew | December 8, 2016 8:18 PM
The title of #256 is from John Donne's poem "Death be not proud".
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | December 8, 2016 10:05 PM
Sorry: #247. #256 is Mark and Andrew's one.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | December 8, 2016 11:10 PM
Two points. First, Sporr snatched Sif because, due to her injury, he considered her to be "infirm" and in need of care like his other "victims." And Sif wasn't actually a hostage during this storyline, she was a patient receiving "the greatest care" from Sporr. Also, Thor and friends thought that she'd been eaten so nobody was even thinking of her being a hostage.
Second, the Official Handbook retroactively decided that Sporr wasn't the last of his race. Instead, he was actually the last of his race of mutant Fomalhauti, thereby linking him with the more amorphous Dumog (first seen in Giant-Size Defenders #3) who later fought Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy as one of Korvac's minions. Personally, I find it odd that various alien races who all look identical to (Caucasian) humans from Earth are allowed to remain as separate species but two non-humanoid aliens who share a similar but not identical appearance are quickly redefined as being members of the same species.
Posted by: Don Campbell | December 8, 2016 11:26 PM
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