Issue(s): Thor #434, Thor #435
And Erik reveals his true identity to Captain America.
Eric admits that the whole thing is like a cheesy old comic book.
But Eric isn't looking for help with his new powers or anything like that. He's just telling him that he's going to Asgard to look for the real Thor, and he declines an offer of help.
Meanwhile, Annihilus learns that Thor is gone, Odin is Odinsleeping, and Sif is upset at Heimdall for what he did to Thor.
Annihilus figures it's a good time to attack Asgard, in order to gain control of the Rainbow Bridge that leads to Earth. "I can only guarantee my own immortality by destroying any form of life [that] might possibly pose a risk to me".
Sif has changed her costume and cut her hair in preparation for going to find Thor.
When Eric arrives, he finds that he's not welcome in Asgard.
When Eric considers taking Odin hostage in order to force Heimdall to return Thor, even Sif attacks him.
Eric is able to keep the Asgardians at bay, but he ultimately realizes that it's not worthy of Thor to threaten Odin. And then Annihilus strikes, using a teleportation beam to kidnap Odin.
Eric, who, remember, is an architect when he's not Thor, suddenly takes on the role of advising the Asgardian army.
I guess it's therefore not a shock when Eric's plan falls apart immediately. A small group of warriors (Thor, Blader, and Sif) are supposed to sneak onto Annihilus' planet, but they're noticed and captured right away. Eric starts getting pretty annoying.
One potential benefit of putting Eric's personality in charge of Thor is that he gets to be our point of view character, expressing wonderment in the mysteries of Asgard and the crazy scariness of Annihilus and all of that. For readers that have seen these kinds of stories a thousand times before, it's a reminder that this stuff is wild weird and wonderful. But instead, Eric is just snarky, playing a role closer to, say, Spider-Man, who plays a different kind of POV role, that of letting the readers in on the joke ("We know this stuff is ridiculous, but we're playing along"). But he's not funny like Spider-Man. He's just annoying.
He also can't afford to play by the rules, so he grabs a giant gun used by one of Annihilus' minions.
The Asgardians have used guns before, during Walt Simonson's run, so i don't know what Sif is so appalled about.
Annihilus attacks back with a giant flying fist.
When Thor and his allies get to Annihilus himself, they find that he's absorbed a portion of the Odin power. But Eric is not impressed with that.
Eric is able to hit Annihilus's Cosmic Control Rod with his hammer, causing an explosion. Annihilus is seemingly killed.
And Odin is rescued. And then Heimdall sends Eric home, telling him that his job is to safeguard Earth and nothing else.
Some other developments in issue #435: the Enchantress begins visiting the unconscious Susan Austin in the hospital, debating whether or not to kill her to protect her secret. A Harley Kosinski is upset that Eric Masterson is never around to discuss the blueprints for the building he's supposed to be working on. And a mystery man visits Jackie Lukus looking for Eric.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Sif changes costume here, so this should appear after Infinity Gauntlet, where she's seen wearing her old costume. That also allows Annihilus to be alive during that event. It does meant that Eric's revelation to Captain America that he's not really Thor isn't all that surprising, since it becomes evident during Infinity Gauntlet.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAnnihilus, Balder, Bloodaxe (Jackie Lukus), Bobby Steele, Captain America, Enchantress, Fandral, Gary Paretsky, Harley Kosinski, Heimdall, Hogun, Jerry Sapristi, Loki, Sif, Susan Austin, Thunderstrike, Vizier, Volstagg
Meh. Cancelled Thor around this issue. Just felt it was by the numbers and there were more interesting things going on to spend my limited cash on.
Posted by: Grom | October 9, 2015 5:22 AM
Unlike a lot of the Masterson issues, this fell on the right side of stupid for me. Eric with the Asgardians was somewhat amusing.
Posted by: MindlessOne | June 18, 2017 10:01 PM
Continuing my re-read of the DeFalco & Frenz era, for the first time I noticed the incongruity of the tone in these issues. The new Thor is using a huge gun, because he's dark & serious & grim & gritty! Also, the new Thor is attacked by a giant flying fist, because comic books!
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 17, 2017 12:10 PM
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