Marvel Spectacular #6, 1974 (Thor #135, 1966),

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You know, it’s really not that difficult to find a book to spotlight when you have the work of masters like Jack Kirby at your fingertips. It also helps that he was responsible for creating (the visuals, of course) one of my triumvirate. Along with Doctor Strange, and Captain America, Thor is my favorite superhero, and for good reason! He’s incredibly powerful, but has a plethora of problems. First, his father can be quite overbearing at times. Of course, he’s usually acting that way to help his son become more of a ruler, but it still is a bit over-the-top most of the time. He also has a difficult love life. He has a beautiful woman that’s basically his betrothed (Lady Sif), but his heart belongs to the mortal, Jane Foster. Enter his overbearing father, Odin, once more. He thinks his son shouldn’t love a mortal, but his fellow Asgardian, Sif, instead. Yeah, it’s complicated.

With all of that said, he still manages to go to Midgard (Earth) for some action once in a while. In this issue, he faces off against the uncanny Super-Beast! This once ordinary Red Wolf, was captured by the High Evolutionary, and mutated into one of his “New Men“. Typically, the High Evolutionary isn’t trying to do something nefarious with his schemes, like destroy the planet or anything, but rather attempting to bring about a spark in evolution. This brings him into conflict with Earth’s heroes from time to time.

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Thor battles the Super-Beast (A.K.A. Man-Beast), basically to a stand still. This adversary is quite intelligent to though, and he escapes into a laboratory, and within minutes creates an army of “New Men”, that are unspeakably evil, and serve only his commands. This army leaps from the lab, and an all out brawl commences. Eventually, Thor and the High Evolutionary manage to render them unconscious, and they put them in what the Evolutionary calls his “Star Chamber” (basically a space ship), and jettisons them out into the far reaches of space. Distraught by his actions, the High Evolutionary tells Tor to leave, and then his fortress on Mount Wundagore, that’s now revealed to be a spacecraft, takes off, headed for the stars.

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Great work here, and you can really see why Kirby is considered one of the greatest of all time (if not the greatest). His structures, spaceships, monsters, heroes, villains, etc., are all a testament to his unmistakable and unparalleled style! See you next time!


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