Issue(s): Thor #269, Thor #270, Thor #271
And he does have a decent showing.
Still, no one promised he'd win.
But Stilt-Man was only the warm-up act. Blastaar is the main event.
Blastaar looks a little wonky in that final panel from issue #269, but he looked cool when he was a mystery guy in shadows earlier.
The Blastaar/Thor fight is fun. Blastaar is a good opponent for Thor.
Thor is defeated thanks to the old "dropped his hammer for more than 60 seconds" bit. Insult is added to injury when Donald Blake has to face down a stereotype named Brother Honcho to get his cane back.
Blastaar is working with a super-computer called FAUST (or F.A.U.S.T.: Fully Automated Unit of Structural Technology - never spelled out in this arc). That's where Stilt-Man got the new suit, too.
Tony Stark helps Thor track Blastaar down again, and as they fight the second time FAUST launches itself into space. It also betrays Blastaar, tricking him into going into the Negative Zone, telling him that he'll become the Zone's king, but in fact he's thrown into the explosive belt in the center.
Thor teams up with Iron Man to take on FAUST.
There's also a brief appearance by the other Avengers, and Nick Fury.
The Avengers and Fury consider using a mysterious doomsday device called Project 13 against FAUST, but they let Iron Man and Thor take first shot at it.
And we get a bunch of cool reaction shots from various Marvel denizens.
The computer is supposed to be made completely of Adamantium, but in the end it is destroyed (said to be because FAUST absorbs a device that Thor earlier struck with lightning). This sort of abuse of Adamantium is what caused Marvel to introduce the concept of secondary adamantium in the first series of Marvel Handbook's Book of Weapons.
The art is definitely not the stylized Simonson from his later Thor run, but you can see some elements of where he is going. The art is pretty wild, in any event. Unfortunately the story is a bit dense and not very compelling, even despite what should be a cool fight and the guest appearances.
There's is a nice scene with the Warriors Three returning home from battle.
There's also a scene in the beginning of this arc with Thor doing his "man of the people" thing, which is always a weird contrast but we've been getting scenes like this since his earliest appearances (that comment about little Jimmy wanting to touch Thor's hammer rubs me the wrong way, though).
A fun story, overall.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: There are context-free cameos by Captain Marvel, Dr. Doom, Nova, Daredevil, and Shang-Chi reacting to the events in the sky. Iron Man appears here during Iron Man #113 according to MCP, but it is context free as well. The Avengers appear here after the Korvac saga and before Avengers #178. The Fantastic Four are currently not home; we see a sign saying the top five floors of the Baxter Building are for rent.
That also seems to be Howard the Duck in the scan above.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBeast, Blastaar, Captain America, Captain Mar-vell, Dr. Doom, Fandral, FAUST, Hogun, Howard The Duck, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Nova (Rich Rider), Odin, Scarlet Witch, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, Stilt-Man, Thor, Vision, Volstagg, Wonder Man
The title to #269 refers to the song by Lou Reed.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 20, 2011 11:37 PM
FOOM#19 announced that Wein wanted to use Prester John in the book, and that we'd get a multi-part story where another worthy person found the hammer and got Thor's power, but didn't actually turn into Thor.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2013 2:30 AM
Walter Simonson was only doing layouts on these issues, which is why the artwork doesn't look much like his usual style.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 26, 2016 11:26 PM
Wow who would've guessed they would sneak in a dr calagari reference.
Posted by: 4Dmike | October 6, 2016 3:52 AM
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