Thor 229″Where Darkness Dwells, Dwell I!” and 230 “The Sky Above, The Pits Below!” 1974

There are certain quirky characters and areas of the comic book universe that I feel I might be the only fan of, either because they’re so odd or maybe just not well-known. The Fear Lords are one such group! Probably the most popular member of this group is definitely the Dr. Strange nemesis, Nightmare! Another heavyweight that’s a member is D’Spayre (see Fear Lords), and he had a memorable appearance in Marvel Team-Up (during the heralded Claremont/Byrne run), and a few others as well. All that said, in these two issues of Thor, we get to see another member of that group, in the form of the Dweller-in-Darkness!

In these two issues, we see Thor, and his good buddy Hercules! The two heroes are trying to unravel a mystery about why people in New York are going absolutely crazy, with seemingly no explanation. There is murder, robberies, suicide, muggings, etc., the city is in mass hysteria. Hercules tries to help, but is assaulted by a dark, mysterious figure wearing a trench coat. Before he knows what’s going on, he’s dragged into the sewers by a horde of demons! He returns to the surface later, but the son of Zeus is visibly shaken, and in fear for his life!

The creative forces behind these two issues are incredible but in two ways. The cover of the first issue is by Ron Wilson and Mike Esposito. Both men were awesome but vastly underappreciated. Do yourself a favor, and go to one of the many database websites and check out these two creators. Again with the same theme of being underappreciated, we have Rich Buckler (interior pencils on both issues, and cover pencils on #230). After his recent passing (May 2017), I really felt terrible because I’d only met him one time, and was sorry I didn’t talk to him more often, as he seemed like a great guy. The interior inkers are an interesting contrast. In #229, we have Chic Stone, whose style is a bit cartoony over Buckler’s pencils (see the splash/first page). Not bad, but definitely not the best either. The next issue sees Joe Sinnott inking (cover and interiors), and you can clearly see the detail and high level this man brought to the industry. The Bronze Age stalwart, Gerry Conway, is the writer for both issues. He had a pretty long run on the title (#193-238), following Stan Lee. Linda Lessmann, Stan Goldberg, and John Costanza round out the creative team.



Marvel Triple Action #42, 1978 “To Tame A Titan!”

If there’s one thing for me that rivals comic books (classic cinema and music, too, of course), its mythology. Whether its Greek, Roman, Nordic, whatever, it grabs me and pulls me into its world. I guess it’s the reason Thor and Hercules are two characters that have always been favorites of mine throughout the years. In this issue, we see Hercules, fighting against Typhon, for the freedom of his family and friends. Of course, his friends, the Avengers, will not let him face this challenge alone! The story originally appeared in The Avengers #50, 1968.

Roy Thomas is one of the best to ever write the Avengers, there’s no doubt! The pencils of ‘Big’ John Buscema are arguably the perfect way to present a mythological story in the pages of a comic book. He actually commented often about how he enjoyed drawing mythological characters and not superheroes. He’s honestly one of the best all-time no matter what he put in a panel, that cannot be argued. Letters by Sam Rosen, and a cover by Ernie Chan (a redrawn version of Buscema’s cover), really put this issue at the top of the heap!


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