Issue(s): Thor #267, Thor #268
...Thor decides that it is time to let Donald Blake have a life on Earth again. The Warriors Three volunteer to come with him, but, to help Thor avoid embarrassment, Odin instead sends them on a quest to capture the missing Kroda, Magrat, and Snaykar.
It's a quest i'm fairly certain we never hear any more about.
Loki's punishment for his latest attempts on Asgard are issued as well, with Odin banishing him to Earth (thanks a lot, Odin!) as an amnesiac derelict.
This could have been the beginning of a redemptive arc for Loki; just as Odin forced Thor to live as a lame doctor to learn humility, making Loki live as a beggar might have taught him compassion. But considering that he's described as "almost mindless" makes it unlikely that he'll learn anything from the experience, even though Odin does say he'll restore Loki when he learns his lesson.
The Recorder also returns home; the reconstruction of Asgard and the trial of Loki conclude his observations of the quest for Odin. And Karnilla takes her leave, telling Balder that he knows where to find her.
After saying goodbye to Sif and pausing briefly on the Rainbow Bridge...
...Thor returns to Earth as Blake and learns that it's been "an entire year" since his lease expired at his office, and the entire building has now been turned into a parking garage. So he heads to Trinity General Hospital and looks up a colleague, Dr. Jacob Wallaby, asking for a job that will accommodate his erratic schedule. The doctor suggests volunteering at a People's Free Medical Clinic funded by Stark International. This would be a good idea. It's not like Thor actually needs money, and having Blake volunteer at a free clinic keeps the doctor side of the character, and the accompanying storytelling engine, alive without the unrealistic aspect of Blake maintaining a job while disappearing for long periods of time. Personally i'm not interested in Donald Blake, especially now that it's understood that Blake was just a vehicle created by Odin for Thor to learn a lesson, and i'd rather that side of him was dropped altogether. But since that won't happen yet, this idea at least would have kept that side of the character alive without letting it become an annoyance.
In any event, before Blake can pursue that any further, a villain called Damocles shows up at the hospital to steal some synthetic cobalt (lent by Stark for cancer research).
Damocles escapes Thor by launching a "destruct-drone" at the United Nations, forcing Thor to spend time stopping it instead of chasing him.
Later, Donald Blake is walking down the street when a police patrol car pulls up requesting his help. The police are aware that Blake is "s'posed to be friends with Thor". Once that sort of thing starts to happen, the value of your secret identity is gone. The police will bother you, villains will attack you and kidnap your loved ones, etc.. My preference for Thor is that he's on Earth doing super-hero stuff. When he's with the other Asgardians he's less special, and the plotlines have been insanely repetitive. When he's on Earth, there's a lot more opportunity for him to interact with lots of different characters. Indeed, in these issues, a subplot setting up the next storyline has Blastaar freeing Stilt-Man (!) from prison. But at the same time, when Thor is on Earth we have to deal with Donald Blake stuff like this. So there's a definite tradeoff.
Anyway, the police have been contacted by Damocles' brother, Bennett Barlow. Damocles' real name is Eric. Bennett says Eric was always a weird one. But i think Bennett needs to be put on the Super-Villain Watch List as well. Because he says that while he was in college, he got involved in student protests, "even majoring in physics, so I could learn to build my own nuclear bomb if necessary".
Yeah, i don't think run-of-the-mill protestors learned how to build nuclear bombs just in case. But Eric learned how to build nukes too, by watching Bennett, so Bennett leads Thor to the house that they shared together in college, and they run into Damocles.
Damocles' cobalt powered weapons manage to hold off Thor for a while, but when Bennett learns that his brother is using synthetic cobalt, he realizes that Damocles' cannon is unstable and will explode. When Eric won't listen to him, he shoots him.
Thor tosses the canon into space and does his best to make Bennett feel ok about his brother's death.
One thing i liked about this story is that Damocles' motivations are deliberately vague, and while in public he acts like a typical super-villain, when he's by himself we see he doesn't quite have a handle on things.
I also like Simonson's art, of course, although DeZuniga's inks come through very strongly and are often a bit heavy (check out Thor's eye shadow in the final panels).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc begins with Thor reviewing the reconstruction of Asgard along with Odin and the Recorder, but i've allowed a gap after last issue to fit in some Avengers appearances (as does the MCP). There's no reason Thor couldn't be returning to Asgard after some time away. A little time actually passes between these two issues but since it's part of the same story i left them together.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBalder, Blastaar, Fandral, Heimdall, Hogun, Karnilla, Loki, Odin, Recorder, Sif, Stilt-Man, Thor, Volstagg
I also keep a homemade nuclear bomb under my bed, you know, just in case.
Posted by: kveto from prague | June 8, 2017 5:26 PM
Uh-oh, does this comment mean I'll be on a list now?
Posted by: kveto from prague | June 8, 2017 5:26 PM
Comments are now closed.
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