Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Mighty Thor #180: "When Gods Go Mad!"

Download The Mighty Thor #180

Long fascinated by Norse mythology, Jack Kirby returned to it in 1962 when he and Stan Lee got together to invent yet another Marvel superhero. The helmeted and golden-haired Thor was introduced in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962). Lee's brother Larry Leiber wrote the scripts. Thor soon won a following and dominated the magazine. Early in 1966, with the 126th issue, the magazine changed its name to Thor.

The first adventure told how frail, lame Dr. Don Drake found the hammer of Thor in a secret cave while vacationing in Norway. As soon as he clutched the legendary implement, the spindly doctor was miraculously transformed into a muscular superman with shoulder-length blond hair and a form-fitting Norse costume, complete with winged helmet. In subsequent stories the amount of mythology increased. Lee, who'd taken over the writing early on, added Thor's traditional nemesis, Loki, and also tossed in Balder and Odin.

Stan Lee has said that when he started scripting, "Thor became the first regularly published superhero to speak in a consistently archaic manner. Call it Biblical style—call it neo-Shakespearean." Jack Kirby departed the feature in 1970, and Lee stopped writing in 1972. Roy Thomas and John Buscema carried on for some time. Then Walt Simonson took over the writing and the editing. Thor #337 (November 1983), the first written and drawn by Simonson, sold out in comic shops. Simonson remained with the character until the summer of 1987, and Thor has continued, though with diminished popularity, under the hands of various writers and artists.

To go to Mighty Thor #181 please click here.


Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Neal Adams
Inks: Joe Sinnott

  • in Essential Thor (Marvel, 2001 series) #4 [black & white]
  • in Marvel Visionaries: Stan Lee (Marvel, 2005 series) #[nn]
  • in Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor (Marvel, 2003 series) #9 (2010)
  • in Thor le fils d'Odin (Artima, 1979 series) #10
  • in Marvel Deluxe : Stan Lee (Panini, 2007 series) #1


Steve W. said...

I remember reading this as a kid and not being impressed with Adams work on it. It's not just the inks, which are indeed unsympathetic to Adams (as is the colouring), there's also something about the layouts and the figures' poses that feel really weak and uninspired. Still, I was at least happy to see Mephisto turning up in a Thor comic.

The Battler said...

I have heard that Adams wasn't as happy working at Marvel as he was over at DC and perhaps that made a difference? I don't know if that second hand information is really true, but if it is then that might explain it.

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