THOR #195 (1972)

Before getting into the details, I have to note that in 1972, Marvel starting doing this thing on many of their covers where there was a bold, block outline and a panel with word-balloons.  I like it.  I miss having covers like this, which really let you know what was going to happen inside.

Anyway, both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are off the title now, and we’re in the Gerry Conway era.  But before you get alarmed, this is the good Conway, not the crappy one.  Though it’s easy to understand why you might not be sure which Gerry would show up. He was writing about half the monthly output for Marvel at this time, and you could see the strain in some of his work.

This issue starts calm, with a feast and the Warriors Three acting the goat.  But Thor notices that Odin is brooding and asks him what is wrong, and in his standard Odin way, he replies by banishing Thor from Asgard without explanation.

Then Hildegarde coldcocks Sif and takes her to Blackworld.  The Asgardians aren’t much for talking.  Also, once again Sif is a lame maiden and not the strong warrior she was when we first were introduced to her.  I don’t like that.

Meanwhile, Thor and the Three are on some weird planet and they have no idea why, but they decide the best thing to do is go looking for a fight.  There are monsters.  They fight them.

So we have Sif and Hildy on a quest, Thor and his friends questing, and now a third storyline: Loki has one of Odin’s rings, and he’s reviving Man-Gog.  Never mind that Man-Gog was eliminated a long time ago.  It’s not clear how he was revived, but it’s comics.  Who cares?  Man-Gog attacks Asgard.

And yes, that’s all in one single issue.  Wow.  The next year of Thor comics will be one long story, so I may bundle future issues.

Creators: Gerry Conway and John Buscema

Grade: B+

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