THOR #196-198 (1972)

These issues follow the three storylines for the year that were established in issue #195.  It’s kind of interesting-you can see how there was a pitch to editorial, which was basically issue #195, and now what’s left is to move forward with the details.  It is starting to look like Odin intentionally sent his son away from Asgard to avoid the big confrontation with Man-Gog-like maybe Odin fears that Thor would die in the battle.

Indeed, we get Kirbyesque panels like the one above showing exactly how much ass Man-Gog can singlehandedly kick.  Answer: All of it.

And Asgardians die.

Eventually, we learn that Thor’s quest was to draw water out of the Well of Twighlight, which Thor puts on his hammer and uses it to protect the rest of the universe from Man-Gog. 

Then, Thor and his pals return to Asgard and defeat the beast by shrinking him.

That’s hilarious and cool at the same time.

But Odin was killed in the battle, which leads to the next big arc: Thor’s journey to Hel to bring his father back.

Creators: Gerry Conway and John Buscema

Grade: B+

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