Balder is dead….
Walt Simonson lets Sal Buscema do some of the penciling during his run, starting with issue #368, presumably because writing, drawing, and designing much of the lettering was too much to get done each month and he needed a break.
Last issue, Balder became King of Asgard, but Thor becomes suspicious about some of Balder’s erratic behavior. But before he can investigate, Kurse shows up and kills Balder.
Turns out, the reason Balder was acting odd was because he was really the dark elf Malekith. The next logical question, of course, is where is the real Balder?
So we get a Thor-on-a-quest story, something standard in this title from way back in the Stan Lee days. He finds Balder in the thrall of some sirens and, of course, rescues him.
Also, Sif is firmly with Beta Ray Bill now, and they go off to explore other galaxies, taking them out of the series for a while.
Creators: Walt Simonson, Sal Buscema
Grade: B-. I like Sal Buscema, but Simonson’s art basically rejuvenated and defined this book. Not having him on art definitely impacts the overall quality of the book.