Characters Appearing: Annie Prazniki, Kim Gaunt, Odin, Sylvia Prazniki, Thor, Victor Prazniki
Issue(s): Thor #497
Thor is flying around Manhattan, relishing the return of his powers, when he sees the words "Thor Must Die" written in flames on the top of a building.
He investigates and finds a Razorfist (no relation to the family of villains from Master of Kung Fu) and a woman named Estelle whose codename may be The Spiral (no relation to the Mojoverse version). They've got rented costumes and self-developed gadgets.
Razorfist wants to join the Avengers, and he's aware that Thor has been powerless (and thinks that he still is). So his plan is to defeat Thor, and then "reform" and that the Avengers will reward him with membership. It's a cute gag from William Messner-Loebs, and of course Thor has his powers back so it's a quick fight.
(Deodato might not be here, but he's here in spirit considering Estelle's pose.)
Emboldened by having his powers back, Thor takes Razorfist and The Spiral to the site of a crime in progress. Two rival gangs (one Neo-Nazi, and one seemingly having a mix of ethnicities) have teamed-up to fight the police. Thor dumps the two in the middle of the battle and then summons a storm to "help" them. The storm tosses around everyone, including the police.
But then Thor's powers conk out, leaving Razorfist and The Spiral to fight the gangs (and they're more effective than you might think).
During the battle, Thor meets Officer Kim Gaunt, a policewoman who will continue to factor into the remaining issues of this series. And Thor also catches a glimpse of his father, Odin, but Odin then disappears.
We also see the Prazniki family, which we first saw in Thor #495 (and little Annie is all grown up).
After the attack, Victor Prazniki sees Thor being interviewed on TV and decides that he has to "buy" him for protection.
Kind of a gaggy issue in the style of the Gary Frank Hulk era, except missing a key component (Gary Frank!). Still, more fun than a lot of books right now.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Thor's internal narration says that he got his powers back "a day ago". The narration also says that the powers came back "in the midst of battle against an enraged Hulk" which is inaccurate (in the Hulk book, Thor got them back in a flashback prior to fighting the Hulk; in fact he prayed to Odin to get his powers back so that he could fight the Hulk). So if Thor is misremembering that he may be misremembering how long it's been, too. In any event, this comes after Hulk #440 and Avengers #397.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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