Issue(s): Thor #472, Thor #473
Thor wakes up from his post-Warriors Madness coma and promptly gets into a fight with Odin about whether or not he'll remain in Asgard. It's disappointing because if any kind of character development was going to come out of Blood & Thunder, it would have been Odin reexamining his relationship with Thor and realizing he was at least partially responsible for pushing him over the edge. It's disappointing, but not at all surprising.
The argument gets heated and soon Odin is ordering the Warriors Three and Balder to attack Thor. Even Beta Ray Bill feels obligated to obey Odin's orders.
But Odin eventually lets Thor leave. Thor gets to Earth and wonders what he's going to do with himself (he's not currently maintaining any mortal secret identities), but luckily he soon stumbles across a fight between some super-powered beings, including an awesome elephant man.
And if we weren't sure we were reading a Roy Thomas book already, Thor confirms it by helpfully narrating the battle.
Thor takes the side of the pretty and more human-looking creatures over the "brutes". In particular, he helps the lady. She's not exactly appreciative, and we also see that she speaks in a casual modern day English.
It turns out that the fight was a "survival of the fittest" contest set up by the High Evolutionary.
Thor orders the Evolutionary to take his contest out of the city, but HE doesn't like getting ordered around so he orders both the New Men (the animal-based creations) and the "Godlings" (they don't like the name; "makes us sound like children") to attack Thor. Some dumb cops wind up getting some bystanders injured (granted the bystanders weren't too smart for sticking around either, but Thor lulled them into a false sense of security with his impressive control of his hurricane). The Evolutionary takes the opportunity to sucker punch Thor and teleports away with him.
When Thor wakes up, the High Evolutionary tells him that when he woke up from his coma he decided to return to Earth to continue on the advances he made with the New Immortals. But his former creations rebelled against him and the High Evolutionary was forced to go home on his own. Upon his arrival on Earth, he accidentally crashed into an "egalitarian" prison bus...
...and he turned the survivors into the Godlings patterned after Asgardians: Blitziana (after Thor), Loga (after Loki - though full of fiery intelligence, not evil mischief!), and Luminor (after Balder). The current New Men were created from animals stolen from the zoo: Simbus, Tantaro, and - ug- Urson-Wellz ("Despite appearances, I am not entirely without a sense of humor"). But the New Men were jealous of the immortal and favored Godlings, and the High Evolutionary realized that having them fight might be fun. Er, i mean scientifically interesting!
The High Evolutionary currently has another Godling in the oven and he pops out while the Evolutionary is explaining everything. He's Bellam, the Godling of War, and already we can see that's going to be a problem.
Bellam is subdued without Thor's help. The High Evolutionary then invites Thor to come back to Wundagore and hang out with him, and since Thor has been feeling lost, he agrees.
We also see that the inevitable Man-Beast is hanging out in the shadows. He makes a secret alliance with the New Men.
The High Evolutionary intends to go back to Wundagore, but he's only taking the Godlings (and Thor) with him. He says that the New Men are "strong and intelligent enough to build their own lives, without my leadership". But the New Men don't take that as a compliment, leaving them susceptible to the Man-Beast's influence.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the start of this issue, Thor wakes up from a nightmare of Ragnarok that he's seemingly been in since Blood & Thunder, with his Warrior's Madness finally having broken. So he shouldn't appear anywhere between last issue and this one.
The MCP have a few minor Thor appearances taking place during Thor #472, after he leaves Asgard but before we first see him on Earth. I'm actually breaking with that placement for two of those stories (Avengers: Terminatrix Objective and the second story in Thor annual #19), and the third is Rick & Marlo's wedding. I've placed this arc prior to Hulk #417-419 (Thor's appearance is actually in the supplemental wedding story in Hulk annual #20 which demonstrates that he's at the wedding) and if you like you can assume that this arc spans a period of time that includes the wedding. But I also think it's possible that Thor can be hanging out with the High Evolutionary between this arc and next issue (next issue is a fill-in with a framing sequence with Thor on his way to Wundagore thinking about a past event) with Thor occasionally taking day trips elsewhere.
As Michael notes, the Man-Beast should appear here after his appearances in Warlock and the Infinity Watch, ending with him supposedly being sent to the Vault in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #28.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBalder, Bellam, Beta Ray Bill, Blitziana, Fandral, Heimdall, High Evolutionary, Hogun, Loga, Luminor, Man-Beast, Odin, Sif, Simbus, Surtur, Tantro, Thor, Urson-Wellz, Vizier, Volstagg, Ymir
I really liked this arc back in the day. Good old fashioned Thor is finally back with no mind control, no endless crossovers, no Eric Masterson, and no extreme 90's art. That and I thought the Godlings/Godpack were cool.
Posted by: Bonez | February 16, 2018 5:00 PM
Shouldn't the Man-Beast's appearance here take place after Warlock and the Infinity Watch 26-28? I mean, he's impersonating Senator Munson in Warlock and the Infinity Watch 22 and Warlock exposes him in Warlock and the Infinity Watch 26-28. And in Warlock and the Infinity Watch 26-28, he's called Man-Beast, not Karnivore.
Posted by: Michael | February 16, 2018 11:27 PM
Thanks Michael. Clearly Warlock was right that it was a mistake to try to contain the Man-Beast in the Vault. I've pushed this forward past the Infinity Watch issues.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 18, 2018 5:11 PM
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