The Bronze Age will always be a huge focus for this blog, but honestly, the late Silver Age is when Marvel comics really started to turn the corner and become not only an innovator, but also super cool. The words trippy and groovy come to mind immediately when you look at their books from this period. The majority of their characters were in place, and the comic book revolution was in full swing by 1969!
This was also a sad time for Marvel, as Jack “King” Kirby was just about to leave the company for greener pastures over at DC comics. He’d have the freedom to write, pencil, and edit his books there, and who wouldn’t be excited about that (plus get paid more as well). The mighty Thor was taken to new heights by Kirby recently, as he’s been to space and met the force of nature known as Galactus, and the malevolent Ego the Living Planet!
In this issue we get a huge battle between Thor and Sif and Pluto and his hordes of the underworld! Fear not, as we’ll also see Balder the Brave, Thor, and even Zeus himself! This book is action packed, and really shows the scope of the Marvel universe as it pertains to the realms of the gods!
Written by Stan Lee, art by Jack “King” Kirby (pencils) and Vince Colletta (inks), and letters by Sam Rosen! The magnificent cover is also by Jack Kirby and Vince Coletta (with colors possibly by Marie Severin)!
The magazine market was in full swing in the 1970s, but as the decade ended, a lot of them went down the toilet. A few lasted into the 1980s, some changing names, like Marvel Preview changing to Bizarre Adventures! These mags were all over the place as far as content, from superheroes to science fiction, to film adaptations. This particular issue focuses on deities, and the one being spotlighted here is none other than Thor Odinson!
The story is definitely in the bizarre category (for all I know it has roots in the character’s mythology), as Thor must take a viking long ship to the sea and fight a giant horse…not kidding here. It’s not just a regular horse but one that has the lower half of an aquatic animal. Guest appearances by The Warriors Three, Odin, and Heimdall!
Written by Alan Zelenetz, with art by John Bolton, this story should’ve just been expanded to encompass the entire book. No offense to the other stories in the book, but none even come close to being as awesome as that one. The magnificent cover is by High School of Art and Design alum, Joe Jusko!
After the departure of Jack Kirby (in 1970), Marvel comics needed someone to step in and fill the gigantic shoes of that legend. Not that anyone can do what Kirby did exactly, but to keep the titles rolling on pace, and with solid work. The Fantastic Four and Thor were books that Kirby made into gold with his style and powerful pencils, not to mention his imagination. With the source material already in place, they turned to “Big” John Buscema to take over the artistic duties.
In this issue, we see the return of the mighty Mangog! One of the few beings that has actually rivaled Thor in power, and strength (and making bold statements!). Throw in the Warriors Three, the Grand Vizier, and just about every other inhabitant of noble Asgard, and you’ve got a story to remember! A slam-bang action issue that features all the characters you know and love from this corner of the Marvel Universe!
Written by Gerry Conway, pencils by “Big” John Buscema, inks by Vince Colletta, John Costanza on letters, and edited by Stan Lee!
With only a few more posts left in the month of February, I really want to go out with a bang! What better way to showcase the talents of Jack Kirby, then to show some classic Thor! Lets be honest, nobody was better at drawing Thor. John Buscema did a fantastic job, and probably is the only artist to come close or equal Kirby’s greatness on this character (Pollard, Coipel, & Frenz were also quite good).
In this great issue, Thor and the rest of the Asgardians are besieged by someone called “The Living Talisman”. This entity has a tremendous amount of magical powers, so much power, that he even has the audacity to face the mighty Odin himself! In the end, we see an all out brawl between the emissaries of The Living Talisman, Thor, Odin, Balder, and every other Asgardian that can fight! A backup story starring Thor and the Warriors Three finishes off this fantastic issue!
You’ll soon come to realize that Thor is one of my all time favorite characters. When I had the chance to buy this book, and get the writer/editor, Len Wein to sign it for me (at C2E2 2013), I was ecstatic. The interior pencils are by the incomparable, Walt Simonson (with inks by the late Tony DeZuniga, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Joe Rosen), and really show his great skills with a pencil from early in his career. As if that wasn’t enough, you get a cover by ‘Big’ John Buscema, Joe Sinnott, and John Costanza! Enjoy!