Issue(s): Thor #325
Mephisto is still sore about Thor stealing his souls from their previous encounter. And he's now got the FF villain Darkoth the Death-Demon in his domain. Darkoth says that Mephisto cheated, by snatching Darkoth away before he actually died. Darkoth was actually shown to be a good guy forced into bad circumstances in his previous stories and didn't deserve to go to Hell.
Donald Blake, meanwhile, is diagnosing a woman, Brenda Barclay, as being sterile. He makes up for it by hiring her to be his receptionist.
Mephisto sends Darkoth after Thor while he's in Don Blake mode, but Darkoth resists Mephisto's control...
...allowing Blake to turn into Thor.
Darkoth continues to resist Mephisto, and in the end when Thor is about to defeat him he asks only that Thor look out for the son that he left behind. Having just recently met a woman in need of a child, that all works out fine.
Some pretty awkward art from Kupperberg in this story. When this is your splash panel...
Anyway, in the back-up, Loki and Tyr continue their rebellion against Odin. Their main plan involves withholding the golden apples of Idun (also spelled Idunn or Iduna in the past), which grants the Asgardians their immortality, but they are also laying siege against Asgard. The golden apples requirement was established early on in a Tales of Asgard back-up, but it's not like you often see the Asgardians munching down apples, so it feels a bit out of nowhere. I guess the question is how often do the gods have to eat an apple, and the answer seems to be almost constantly, if the effects of Loki and Tyr's embargo are any indication.
Loki learns this issue that Odin and Jolena aren't really an item anymore...
...but he's already committed to his rebellion with Tyr.
Moench's Thor run is one of the most oriented towards fighting straightforward super-villains rather than having Asgardian epics (and yes i'm counting the Fantastic Four villain Darkoth in the super-villain category). And i see a lot of people say they don't like the super-hero stuff for Thor. But i think the problem really is that Moench's the only writer who really gave it a serious go, and he just wasn't really suited for the book. This story actually isn't bad, but it all happens very quickly and feels underdeveloped. And besides just being a single issue story, part of the reason there is the fact that a quarter of the book is devoted to the modern "Tales of" Asgard back-up. It's all fine. It's just not as great as i think an earthbound Thor series should have been.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Avengers #226-227. I'm allowing that the siege in Tales of Asgard back-up, which continues next issue, doesn't have to continue directly from this story, although both take place between Avengers #226-227. And the story should take place after Odin's brief appearance in Hulk #279.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBrenda Barclay, Darkoth, Fandral, Hogun, Iduna, Jolena, Loki, Mephisto, Midgard Serpent, Odin, Thor, Tyr, Volstagg
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