Thor annual #16
Issue(s): Thor annual #16
The Korvac energy winds up with a middle manager in the company that Dargo works at in his civilian entity named Varley. Try not to gag reading the slang in these panels.
When Varley gets the Korvac power, he uses it to bring order and efficiency to the company he works at. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Dargo-Thor team up to stop him.
Dargo manages to subdue him by opening portals that redirect Varley's own power against him. But, just like the first time, when he's beaten, the Korvac energy just retreats further into the future. Dargo offers to go with the Guardians to chase after it, but they tell him that his place is there, defending his own world.
Back in the present, we have two back-ups starring the three members of Earth Force. The first features Skyhawk, who convinces a guy not to kill himself.
The guy was committing suicide because he's upset about the way he treated a former friend that became a business rival. It turns out that the friend was Skyhawk before he had the heart attack (from work related stress) that put him in the hospital and eventually led to him getting his powers.
The next back-up features both Wind Warrior and Earth-Lord, although it's billed as a Wind Warrior story. Actually, the captions are messed up: the Skyhawk story is billed as a Wind Warrior story...
...and the second story that features Wind Warrior and Earth-Lord is billed as a Skyhawk story.
I get it, Marvel. These Earth Force characters are boring and hard to keep track of. Anyway, the story has Wind Warrior chasing a kidnapper, but it turns out the baby was kidnapped by Silver Sable. Earth-Lord just kind of shows up at that point.
It turns out that Silver Sable's client is the baby's mother. The father is a mafioso who kidnapped the baby to prevent her from testifying against him. In the end, Wind Warrior is offered employment with Sable, leaving Earth-Lord in the lurch.
And a final, non-Earth Force story, features Beta Ray Bill waking up to find out that his fleet has wound up in orbit around Ego the Living Planet.
Beta Ray Bill gets Ego's attention by creating a electro-magnetic vortex on his head.
Ego says that he requires tons of energy to maintain control of the propulsion unit that Galactus put on his back. He says that he tries to consume non-sentient energy, but sometimes doesn't have a choice.
Beta Ray Bill offers to destroy the propulsion unit, if Ego will promise to not eat any more lifeforms. Ego agrees. And after Bill does it, Ego offers to house Bill's people.
Bill declines, saying that Ego's past actions will be considered unforgivable by many. So Ego attacks, and many ships in Bill's fleet are destroyed. So Beta Ray Bill does something very similar to the way Dargo defeated Varley in the main story, opening up portals that direct a giant comet at Ego.
Bill then takes his leave of the lonely planet.
I'm unclear if, now that he doesn't have the propulsion unit, Ego is able to roam space or if he's stuck floating in the area where he's left.
Personally, i like the Beta Ray Bill / Ego story best of everything here. I wouldn't have minded a more drawn out, full issue story with this basic plot, but even at 12 pages it's good. I've complained in the past that a lot of battles with Ego tend to have the heroes roaming his body, fighting antibodies and the like, and that de-emphasizes the fact that they're fighting a living planet. This story is a lot more of what i had in mind. I know that Beta Ray Bill would have to really be the size of Delaware for the perspective to work in some of the panels above, but i'm willing to sacrifice accuracy for the ability to show the hero confronting the planet directly.
As for the other stories in this annual, the Korvac Quest portion would have been very annoying to me if i were following Thor and i instead got an annual featuring his slang talking 26th century stand-in. Beyond that it's a pretty generic encounter that adds nothing to the final outcome of this adventure, but that's basically true of all the parts. And the Earth Force stories... it boggles my mind that Marvel thought that these tiny non-story back-ups were any way to generate interest in new or underused characters, but that's the same thing i say about 90% of these annual back-ups, Marvel Comics Presents stories, etc..
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: I don't count the locals in time travel stories, so Dargo-Thor is not listed as a Character Appearing. I've placed this directly after Fantastic Four annual #24 although really it could take place any time (or rather, it really doesn't belong in my project at all because it takes place in the far future). The back-up stories are context free and i'm keeping them with the main entry.
Crossover: Korvac Quest
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAleta, Beta Ray Bill, Charlie-27, Earth-Lord, Ego the Living Planet, Korvac, Major Victory, Martinex, Nikki, Silver Sable, Skuttlebutt, Skyhawk, Starhawk, Wind Warrior
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