Thor #357-359 (1985)

A lot happens in these issues.  First, Beta Ray Bill has been given the hammer-to-walking-stick transformation that Odin originally put on Thor as a curse.  Bill is using it so that he and Sif can walk around Earth inconspicuously.  See the panels above.  (It’s not enough that Bill has limited facial features and is orange—Sif is wearing a red miniskirt.  Who are they hiding from?)  And Bill’s disguise is at least arguably better than Falstaff’s…

The family with kids in the corner turns out to be the Power family, but the kids don’t put on their Power Pack costumes in this sequence—it’s a secret identity cameo.

Bill engages in some crimefighting against some super robots who can’t figure out who he is.

People don’t always talk about how funny Walt Simonson’s run could be.

Those guys he fights turn out to be “The Green Liberation Front”—a cadre of U.S. veterans who have low-grade Mandroid-style body armor and are “liberating” money from banks—who in turn work for
Titanium Man (who developed their suits).

Look at that lettering.  Simonson put his own stamp and style on every aspect of his Thor run.

Also note the frequent use of widescreen panels—Simonson helped pioneer that layout, which is now pretty much standard.

In the world Thor and Asgard, Loki and Lorelei make Thor her love slave with a magic potion, and she gets Thor to agree to turn over control of Asgard to Loki.

However, Enchantress is mad at her sister Lorelei, so she counterplots, forcing Lorelei to fall in love with Loki!

So we’ve got a magic-induced love triangle that provides for all kinds of fun and chaos.

Eventually, the spells are broken when Thor throws his hammer, grabs Loki’s head, and tells him it will be crushed if he doesn’t do what Thor wants–by Mjolnir returning to his hand.

Very well thought out, novel use of an old power.

Finally, Scourge makes an appearance, showing that although Simonson generally kept his run free of editorial interference, he could be a team player as well.

Creator: Walt Simonson
Grade: A

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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