In a recent blog post thread, Emerkeith Davyjack asked the following:

 

“… anyhow, CC, I thought from the heading that you might as well be list and describing, even if not reviewing, all the Thor stuff that has been published by Marvel in anticipation of the movie.

 “Please do that. Publish a listing … of:

“(1) All 616-related comic books, etc., that Marvel has put out – say, in the last 6 months?

“(2) All "Official Movie Magazine " stuff and similar, likewise.

“(3) Non-616 stuff , such as this Adventures-series OGN that read some preview pages of in a recent Adventures title.”

 

That’s a lot, especially since to explain some of this requires going back a lot further than six months. (In fact, I’ll just go ahead and do Thor stuff from the last three years, with others tossed in where necessary.) I’m sure to miss a lot, or get some of it wrong, so I trust the Legion of Superfluous Heroes will jump in and add/correct what is needful. But I'll give it a go.

 

Onward! For Asgard! For Odin! For Earth!

 

1) THOR OF EARTH-616

 

THE MAIN 616 TITLES


For those who don’t follow Thor regularly, his ongoing title(s) probably appear confusing. So here’s on overview:

 

As all Thorophiles know, the Thunderer debuted in Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962, and that book was re-titled Thor with issue #126 in 1966. That ran until issue #502 in 1996, when the title reverted to Journey into Mystery (without Thor in it), and ran for 20 issues (including a minus-one issue) before being discontinued with #521 (Jun 98). A second Thor series began in 1998 (after the character returned from the "Heroes Reborn" debacle), and ran for 85 issues, ending in 2004. Thor (third series) began with another first issue in September 2007 with J. Michal Straczynski and Olivier Coipel at the helm, and ran through Thor #12 before picking up the original numbering at #600 (Apr 09). JMS’s run ended with #603, but there was a Thor: Giant-Size Finale #1 (Jan 10, included in one of the collections below) that tied up all his loose ends.  Kieron Gillen took over as writer from #604 to #614, then Matt Fraction carried on until issue #621 – whereupon the title has once again reverted to Journey into Mystery! Fraction and Coipel’s run continued into a new title, debuting as Mighty Thor #1, which came out the same month (cover dated Jun 11) as the new/old Journey into Mystery #622.

 

Thor has had one annual in our time frame. Thor Annual #1 (third series, Nov 09) pitted the Thunderer against the Egyptian gods. That’s been done before, and I don’t remember much about this story, so I’m assuming I wasn’t impressed. It's included in one of the collections listed below.

 

There was also a Chaos War: Thor #1-2 that was published in Jan-Feb 2011 in connection with the "Chaos War" event, and I don’t know if it’s been collected anywhere yet. By way of review, I thought it read like “we need to get Thor out of the way for two months, because if he stays in the main Chaos War story we can’t think of a way to keep him alive.” IOW, filler that just marked time. That's only my opinion, of course.

 

COLLECTIONS

 

Marvel’s been publishing Thor collections willy-nilly the last few years. Here are the ones that collect the regular series or related storylines, published 2009-2011:

 

Thor: Whosoever Wields this Hammer (Jun 11): Collecting Journey into Mystery (first series) #83-84 and #88.  Plus: an all-new framing sequence by Christos Gage and Marco Torricelli.

 

Essential Thor Vol. 1 (Feb 11): Second printing. Collects Journey Into Mystery (first series) #83-112.

 

Marvel Masterworks: Thor Vol. 2 (Jan 09): Second printing. Collects Journey into Mystery (first series) #101-110.

 

Essential Thor Vol. 3 (Feb 11): Second printing. Collects Thor (first series) #137-166.

 

Marvel Masterworks: Thor Vol. 8 (Feb 09): Collects Thor (first series) #163-172.

 

Marvel Masterworks: Thor Vol. 9 (Oct 10): Collects Thor (first series) #173-183.

 

Marvel Masterworks: Thor Vol. 10 (coming): Collects Thor (first series) #173-183.

 

Essential Thor Vol. 4 (Jun 09): Collects Thor (first series) #167-195.

 

Essential Thor Vol. 5 (Apr 11): Collects Thor (first series) #196-220.

 

Thor: If Asgard Should Perish HC (Nov 10): Collects Thor (first series) #242-253.

 

Thor: The Quest for Odin (Feb 11): Collects Thor (first series) #255-266.

 

Thor: Ragnarok (Jan 11): Collects Thor (first series) #272-278.

 

Thor vs. Seth, the Serpent God (Dec 10): Collects Thor (first series) #395-400.

 

Thor: Worldengine HC (Feb 11): Collects Thor (first series) #103 and 491-494.

 

Thor: The Lost Gods TPB (Mar 11): Journey into Mystery (first series) #503-513.

 

Thor by Dan Jurgens and John Romita Jr. TPB Vols. 1-4 (Feb-Nov 10): Collects Thor (second series) #1-25, Peter Parker: Spider-Man #2 and 11, Thor Annual 1999-2000, Iron Man (third series) #21-22 and Juggernaut: The Eighth Day.

 

Thor: Across All the Worlds (Nov 10): Second printing. Collects Thor (second series) #26-35.

 

Thor: The Death of Odin TPB (Feb 11): Collects Thor (second series) #36-43 and Thor Annual 2001.

 

Thor: Lord of Asgard (May 11). Second printing. Collects Thor (second series) #44-50.

 

Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America HC: Collects Thor (second series) #80-85, Iron Man (third series) #84-89, Captain America and the Falcon (2004) #5-7 and Captain America (fourth series) #29-32.

 

Secret Invasion: Thor TPB (Mar 09): Collects Secret Invasion: Thor #1-3 and Thor (first series) #142.

 

Thor by Straczynski Vols 1-3 HC (Apr 08-Jan 10) and TPB (Jul 08-Jun 10): Collects Thor (third series) #1-12, 600-603, Giant-Size Finale #1.

 

Thor by Straczynski Omnibus HC (Nov 10): Collects Fantastic Four (third series) #536-537, Thor (third series) #1-12, 600-603, Giant-Size Finale #1.

 

Thor: The Search for Odin (May 08): Collecting Thor (third series) #7-8.

 

Thor: The Latverian Prometheus TPB (May 10): Collects Thor (third series) #604-606, Sif  #1 and material from Thor #600.

 

Siege: Thor HC (Aug 10), Siege: Thor TPB (Dec 10): Collects Thor (third series) #607-610, New Mutants (third series) #11 and Siege: Loki (2010).


Thor: Seige Aftermath TPB (Nov 10): Collects Thor (third series) #611-614 and Thor (first series) #179-181.

 

Thor: World Eaters HC (coming soon): Collects Thor (third series) #615-621 and #620.1, plus material from Thor Spotlight (2011 Marvel).


Thor: Godstorm (Feb 11): Collecting the 2001 miniseries by Kurt Busiek, Tom DeFalco, Steve Rude and Mike Mignola. Despite that roster of superstars, I remember finishing that mini years ago and thinking “why was that published?” It wasn’t bad, it was just … pointless.

 

Thor: Tales of Asgard #1-6 (May-Oct 09): Reprinting Tales of Asgard back-ups from Journey into Mystery (first series) #97-145. Collected in Thor: Tales of Asgard HC (Mar 10) and Thor: Tales of Asgard TPB (Mar 11).


 

Thor: The Warriors Three HC (Aug 10): Collects Marvel Spotlight (first series) #30 and Marvel Fanfare (first series) #13 and 34-37.

 

Thor: The Warriors Three Unleashed HC (Apr 11): Collects Thor Annual (first series) #2 and 17; Thor (first series) #400, 410 and 415-416; Marvel Comics Presents (first series) #66; Marvel Super Heroes (second series) #15 and Journey Into Mystery (first series) Minus 1.

 

Thor vs. Hercules TPB (Oct 10): Collects Thor Annual (first series) #1 and 5, Thor (first series) #126, 221, 356 and 437, Thor: Blood Oath #3-4, Incredible Hercules #136 and material from Thor (first series) #400.

 

Thor: Wolves of the North TPB (May 11): Collects the one-shots Thor: Wolves of the North #1, Thor: Truth of History #1 and Thor Annual (third series) #1.


 

Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Hercules TPB (Apr 10): Collects Incredible Hercules #132-137.

 

MINISERIES AND ONE-SHOTS

 

There have been a lot of these, some stretching back before my time frame that I find cool.

 

Balder the Brave #1-4 (Nov 85-May 86): This was a spiffy little miniseries with story by Walter Simonson and art by Sal Buscema and Simonson. Thor battles Hela while Balder tries to save Karnilla the Norn Queen. Younger readers may not know that Balder, the God of Light, Poetry, Bravery and other nice stuff, was in love with the evil Queen Karnilla, and she with him, which provided much angst for both characters for decades, as well as allowing both to act out of character for more interesting stories. It’s been collected twice in recent years:

 

Thor: Balder the Brave HC (Sep 09): Collects Balder the Brave #1-4 and Thor (first series) #360-362.

 

Thor by Walter Simonson HC (Apr 11): Collects Thor (first series) #337-355, 357-369 and 371-382 and Balder the Brave #1-4.

 

Thor: Son of Asgard #1-12 (May 04-Mar 05): Written by Akira Yoshida, with pencils by Greg Tocchini, with covers by Adi Granov, this series (maxiseries?) takes place while Thor, Loki, Sif and Balder are all teenagers – so, no Mjollnir. I found these stories entertaining, although I’m not usually a fan of superhero stories set in the high school years. It had a Japanese flavor without being wholly manga, and the warrior culture Yoshida imagined was interesting. Collected as Thor: Son of Asgard TPB (Aug 10).

 

Thor: Blood Oath #1-6 (Nov 05-Dec 06): Written by Michael Oeming, pencils and cover by Scott Kolins. I’m not a big Oeming fan, but I love the Warriors Three, and they have their own adventure (with Thor), on a quest that takes them to Asgard, Jotenheim, Ireland, Japan and Egypt in search of magical items. It’s been collected in both HC and TPB, but not recently. And speaking of the Warriors Three:

 

Warriors Three #1-4 (Jan-Apr 11): An AIM agent sets loose Fenris from Hel, which exposes an old oath the Warriors Three had with the Wolf God – and also how Hogun (implausibly) changes from poet to warrior. I love the Warriors Three, but hated Hogun’s “origin,” which spoiled the whole thing for me.

 

Thor and the Warriors Four #1-4 (Jun-Sep 10): Written by Alex Zalben, art and cover by Gurihiru. Thor teams with Power Pack and the Pet Avengers, with Hercules back-ups by Coleen Coover. I haven’t read this, but I imagine it’s cute. I’ll probably pick it up someday just to keep my Power Pack collection complete – and because there’s a back-up involving Ratatosk, the Squirrel Messenger of the Gods! (No kidding, Ratatosk is in the Elder Eddas and everything.)

 

Loki #1-4 (Sep-Nov 04): Written by Rob Rodi with art and covers by Esad Ribac, this series re-imagines a number of myths (and Marvel stories based on those myths) from Lok’s point of view. It’s also the basis for the new Thor& Loki: Blood Brothers animated comic book, as well as the Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers HC (Mar 11), which collects the series with material from Thor (first series) #85 and material from Thor (first Series) #112 and Thor (third series) #12.

 

Sif #1 (Jun 10): Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, art by Ryan Stegman, Tom Palmer and Victor Foreman, with cover by Travel Foreman. Sif teams with Beta Ray Bill on a solo adventure. It's been collected in one of these collections somewhere.

 

Iron Man/Thor FCBD one-shot (2010): Written by Matt Fraction with art by John Romita Jr. This was right before Fraction took over Thor, and was already writing Iron Man, so it was perfectly in sync with both titles. And it’s free! There's a Thor/Captain America FCBD (2011) too, but I haven't read it yet.

 

Astonishing Thor #1-4 (Jan-Jul 11): Cover by Esad Ribic, written by Rob Rodi, penciled by Mike Choi. I haven’t read this yet, but it apparently features Ego the Living Planet, the Collector, the Stranger, Zephyr and a new living planet named Alter Ego (or maybe it’s the same one). That sounds interesting, and Rodi has a good track record with me. 

 

Iron Man/Thor #1-4 (Jan-Apr 11): Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, penciled by Scot Eaton, covers by Ron Garney. A team-up which helps explain the reconciliation that allows these two to continue to be Avengers together. Not a bad little story. Collected as Thor/Iron Man: God Complex HC (May 11).

 

Thor: First Thunder #1-5 (Dec 10-Mar 11): Written by Bryan J.L. Glass, art by Tan Eng Huat and covers by Jay Anacleto.  A modern update of Thor’s first year on Earth. If I've read this, I don't remember it. Collected in Thor: First Thunder TPB (Mar 11).

 

Loki #1-4 (second series, Dec 10-May 11): Another look at mythological history from the POV of the God of Mischief. Is he right? Is he wrong? Hard to say, with myths that aren’t all that consistent to begin with, so this actually makes sense. It raises interesting questions and is a satisfying read. Collected as Thor: The Trials of Loki (Apr 11).

 

Thor: For Asgard #1-6 (Nov-Apr 11), HC (May 11):  Written by Robert Rodi, Pencils & Covers by Simone Bianchi. I’m not sure what this was, and it didn’t end! There will be another series down the road to explain it, I guess.

 

Thor: The Trial of Thor (Aug 09): Written by Peter Milligan, art and cover by Cary Nord. Thor starts a war with the Frost Giants (just like in the movie, surprise, surprise), and is exiled. Followed by:

 

Thor: The Rage of Thor (Oct 10): Written by Peter Milligan, with pencils & cover by Mico Suayan. Thor quits Asgard, marries a mortal woman and hangs out with Vikings. But, naturally, that can’t last. I rather enjoyed these two tales, because I love Norse myths, love history and love Vikings in particular. Your mileage may vary.

 

Thor: Wolves of the North (Jan 11): Written by Mike Carey, pencils & cover by Mike Perkins. Similar to above, and I was similarly entertained.

 

MATT FRACTION’S OUEVRE

 

The future writer of Thor and Mighty Thor wrote a number of one-shots about Thor in ages past – which I found very entertaining, as they featured a Thor and Asgard much more in line with the original myths I loved as a kid. They’re all illustrated by Patrick Zircher, with covers by Marko Djurdjevic, and here they are with solicitation material:

 

Thor: Ages of Thunder #1 (2008): "We join Matt Fraction and Patrick Zircher for a special examining the triumphs and tragedies that have befallen the God of Thunder across the eons. As the things he holds dearest are threatened by unimaginable forces of evil, Thor must rise up, again and again, to hold the line against terror and chaos as only the God of Thunder can!"

 

Thor: Reign of Blood #1 (Aug 08): "From Ragnarok to Ragnarok, in a cycle that spans the millennia, the pantheon of Asgard lives and dies and is born anew. And with each different form and in each new age, come new adventures, greater challenges...and more dire treacheries! Matt Fraction and Patrick Zircher unspool the further epic tales of Thor's warrior heroism, and the Midgard-quaking intrigues of the gods!"

 

Thor: Man of War #1 (Jan 09): "For countless millennia, over and again has the mighty, thunderous, impetuous, petulant god Thor raged and rebelled against the leadership of his father and lord, the all-powerful Odin. The capricious tantrums of a selfish titan, spoiled by his own power. But...ODIN HAS HAD ENOUGH! And so as the cycle is repeated in all ages, Thor must ultimately face the fullest wrath of the enraged All-Father"

 

Thor: God-Size #1 (Feb 09): "His name was Skurge, and men and god alike knew him as Executioner...and the legend of his life and death reverberate across the walls of Heaven itself. In Asgard, though...no one can quite remember WHAT happened to him. How did he live? How did he die? And why does everyone in Asgard remember it differently? There's trickery at hand so vile even Loki joins Thor in trying to unravel it"

 

Thor: Ages of Thunder HC (May 09) and TPB (Dec 09) collects all four.


OFFICIAL HANDBOOK STUFF

 

Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Avengers, Thor, Captain America #1-14 (Jun 10-Aug 11): The title is self descriptive, and the Thor-related material in the first 12 issues has  been collected as Thor: Official  Index to the Marvel Universe TPB (digest, Apr 11).

 

Thor and Hercules Encyclopaedia Mythologica (2009): Spotlights Marvel’s various divine pantheons, from Aztecs to Zoroaster.

 

Thor: Asgard’s Avenger (Jun 11): Thor-related profiles in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe format.

 

ULTIMATE UNIVERSE

 

Ultimate Thor #1-4 (Dec 10-Apr 11): Cover by Carlos Pacheco, written by Jonathan Hickman, pencils by Carlos Pacheco.  “Ultimate Comics Thor brings you the untold story of Thor's thunderous debut!” I read it and don’t remember it, or have conflated it with other stories. That’s probably review enough. Collected as Ultimate Thor HC (Mar 11).

 

Ultimate New Ultimates: Thor Reborn HC (Mar 11): Collected Ultimate New Ultimates #1-5.

 

2) MOVIE STUFF

 

I’ve only found the following, which tells me I’m not looking hard enough. And it’s not out yet, so I’ve included the solicitation.

 

The Art of Thor: The Movie HC (May 11): Text by Matthew K. Manning. "Continuing their popular ART OF series of movie tie-in books, Marvel presents its latest blockbuster achievement! Featuring exclusive production artwork, behind-the-scenes photography, and in-depth interviews with the cast and crew, The Art of Thor provides an insider's look into the making of the highly anticipated film directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. Written by comic-book author and historian Matthew K. Manning with dynamic page designs by Maz!"

 

This might count, if the solicitation material is accurate (I haven’t read it):

 

Thor Spotlight (May 11): "Written by John Rhett Thomas. With the hallowed halls of Asgard opening to moviegoers in May 2011, Thor Spotlight will showcase all that's great and good about Marvel's hammer-wielding God of Thunder! With behind-the-scenes looks at the latest and greatest four-color runs by J. Michael Straczynski, Kieron Gillen, and the titanic tandem of Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry taking the lead, we'll also cast our gaze back in time at the greatest storylines and characters of tales past. And with insights into the much-anticipated movie -- directed by Kenneth Branagh; and starring Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Chris Hemsworth -- this is one Spotlight you don't want to miss"

 

Maybe this one, too:

 

Thor Poster Book (May 11): Cover by Olivier Coipel, with numerous posters, which I imagine are lifted from existing covers (but I haven’t seen it yet).

 

3) MARVEL ADVENTURES

 

There doesn’t appear to be a Marvel Adventures Thor title, but he must be a big player in the Marvel Adventures Super Heroes title, since that’s the bulk of what’s currently being reprinted as Marvel Adventures Thor trade paperbacks/digests. I haven’t read them, so I don’t know for sure – and, frankly, the solicitations don’t indicate that Thor is really the star in most of these stories, if he appears at all. So there might be a little bait-and-switch going on here. Anyway, the all-ages (non-616) Super Heroes title seems your best bet for Thor, and recent collections include:

 

Marvel Adventures Thor TPB (digest, May 09): Collects Marvel Adventures Super Heroes (first series) #5-8. Written by Paul Tobin, Fred van Lente, Louise Simonson, Scott Gray and Roger Langridge. Art by Jacopo Camagni, Matteo Lolli, Rodney Buchemi and Craig Rousseau. Cover by Salvador Espin.

 

Marvel Adventures Thor and the Avengers TPB (digest, Sep 09): Collects Marvel Adventures Super Heroes (first series) #9-12. Written by Paul Tobin, Todd Dezago and Louise Simonson. Art by Jacopo Camangi, Derec Donovan, Scott Gray and Roger Langridge.

 

Marvel Adventures Thor TPB (digest, Jan 11): Collects Marvel Adventures Super Heroes (second series) #5-8. Written by Paul Tobin, art by Crisscross and Scott Koblish.

 

Marvel Adventures Thor: Bringers of the Storm TPB (digest, Mar 11): Collects Marvel Adventures Super Heroes (first series) #7 and 11, and Marvel Adventures: Avengers #5 and 15. Written by Louise Simonson, Tony Bedard and Jeff Parker. Art by Rodney Buchemi, Jon Buran, Shannon Gallant and Leonard Kirk. Cover by Salva Espin.

 

Marvel Adventures Thor/Spider-Man TPB (digest, May 11): Collects Marvel Age Spider-Man Team-Up (2004) #4, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (2005 series) #40, Marvel Team-Up (first series) #115-116 and Thor (first series) #391. Written by Todd Dezago, Marc Sumerak, J.M. DeMatteis and Tom DeFalco. Art by Ron Lim, Ryan Stegman, Herb Trimpe and Ron Frenz. You’ll note this one used 616 material to flesh it out.

 

Thor the Mighty Avenger #1-8 (Sep 10-Mar 11): Written by Rober Landgridge. Art by Chris Samnee. This title wasn’t part of Marvel Adventures, but it was still a “re-imagining” of the Thunder God and is presumably suitable for all ages. The “graphic novels” you were asking about, Emerkeith, are two TPBs collecting this material:

 

Thor the Mighty Avenger TPB (Apr 11): Collects Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1-4 and Journey into Mystery #83-84.

 

Thor the Might Avenger TPB (Mar 11): Collects Thor: The Mighty Avenger #5-8 and Journey into Mystery #85-86.

 

What'd I miss, Legionnaires? And does anyone have any opinions on the stories above? (It all kinda runs together for me!)

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Wow, Cap, that's a lot of spadework.

 

I think Gaiman's Sandman, with its historical/mythical tales opened out the field a bit for Thor stories, and allowed them to dig into the past and mythology a bit more in stories that stood up by themselves, rather than being flashbacks in a superhero tale.

 

And so as the cycle is repeated in all ages

 

This, from Matt Fraction's ouvre above, says it all really...  :-)

 

I'm a big fan of the Simonson run, but more black marks to Marvel for just letting it fizzle out instead of allowing Simonson to tell whateveer tales he had in the pipeline.  And although I collected most of the run as back-issues, I don't think I ever got or read the Baldur mini-series.

 

I haven't read it myself, but the word out there is that Thor the Mighty Avenger #1-8 (Sep 10-Mar 11): Written by Robert Landgridge. Art by Chris Samnee, is first-class superhero storytelling.  It would be top of my list of the titles you mention.

 

I read reprints of the Jurgens run from 2000 onwards, but I left the UK before they'd finished reprinting it and I'd like to read to the end as it seems to be one of the few superhero stories with an ending!  Not just an ending, but a Ragnorak!  (All creation got better, it seems!)

 

Then, JMS' reboot of Thor was probably the best thing Marvel has done in the last few years.  It had a weight and thoughtfulness that Marvel doesn't usually have these days.  It really worked as collected editions and should have been allowed to be the solid bedrock that Thor stories going forwards would be built on.  JMS got about as much support as Simonson had for his efforts...

Figs, you always provoke my thought process and make me think a bit. Kudos, pal.

 

I think Gaiman's Sandman, with its historical/mythical tales opened out the field a bit for Thor stories, and allowed them to dig into the past and mythology a bit more in stories that stood up by themselves, rather than being flashbacks in a superhero tale.

 

Or was it the reverse? I loved Sandman, of course, and I love the Marvel-Thor mythology opening up, but I saw all of that at 10 myself, you know, back in 1968. I don't think it takes a genius, or a Neil Gaiman or a Stan Lee, to see that. But I do think it takes those worthies to DO it. When I read the Elder Eddas in the Richland Jr. High library in 1968, I wanted to see THOR and the RAINBOW BRIDGE and TROLLS and FROST GIANTS and so forth. My imagination was a-swirl. And, yes, Stan Lee gave me those things -- in the way that a 40-ish guy in America about 25 years after WWII could do those things in a way that would be accepted by the CMAA and blue-nosed ladies and my sister and Mullins Methodist Church and all the rest. And then pretty much everybody repeated that until guys like Simonson and Gaiman and Alan Moore and Frank Miller said, no, let's go a bit further ... and we got Sandman and Swamp Thing and Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns and so forth. And then we all argued about that and pulled back a bit and repeated it for a bit. And now we're about to leap forward again.

 

My point is that I've seen the ebb and flow and you can't credit or fault "the powers that be" for what Stan did or didn't do, or what Marvel did or didn't do after Simonson, or what Marvel did or didn't do in the wake of Sandman. These things ebb and flow, ebb and flow. None of us will live long enough to see the cycle through; we just enjoy the part of the ride we're allowed.

 

I haven't read it myself, but the word out there is that Thor the Mighty Avenger #1-8 (Sep 10-Mar 11): Written by Robert Landgridge. Art by Chris Samnee, is first-class superhero storytelling.  It would be top of my list of the titles you mention.

 

Apparently it's something we should all check out. One of the Simonson moments, perhaps.

 

Then, JMS' reboot of Thor was probably the best thing Marvel has done in the last few years.  It had a weight and thoughtfulness that Marvel doesn't usually have these days.  It really worked as collected editions and should have been allowed to be the solid bedrock that Thor stories going forwards would be built on.  JMS got about as much support as Simonson had for his efforts...

 

And, see, we're not all of a mind. I thought JMS's Thor kinda sucked. Self-important, resting on an urban myth about Oklahoma having FUTHARK in its back yard, assumptions about the moderate, happy welcoming of flyover country (dude, Oklahoma is REPUBLICAN), and all that. Utter crap. I think Fraction saved it, especially now that he's getting the Asgardians out of there. I live in the Republican South, and I do not believe for an instant this story written by a New York/Los Angeles fellow about my neck of the woods. None of that made a lick of sense.

 

What do you think, Figs?

Well, to start with, what the Futhark does FUTHARK mean ...?

Futhark is the old, pre-Christian, Norse written language. It was very primitive, and only had like 15 letters, and no vowels at all. That's how you get Donar and Thor and Donner and Thunor and lots other words that all mean the same thing (and all kinda sound the same). When I was 15, I learned it well enough to write in it. (But you couldn't write much.)

 

And while it's a given that the Norse made it to "Vinland" in the northeast of the North American continent, there are some crackpots who think that they somehow they made it to Oklahoma, because some farmer there found a rock that he said had some Futhark on it. Of course, it was horseshit. He made it up, like P.T. Barnum made up "dead giants," and like people finding Jesus in grilled-cheese sandwiches. The farmer who found the rock made up some crap, that isn't sustained by any archaeological effort, as there's nothing connecting the Vikings in NE Canada with Oklahoma, 6,000 miles away, but the farmer made some money for a while, which was his purpose, and then the whole thing went away.

 

Until J. Michael Straczynski decided to hang a story around it, and now we're stuck with Asgardians in Oklahoma.

 

And, again, believe me on this: People in Oklahoma would shoot at those people until one side or the other was dead.

I always thought DC went out of their way to mock Thor in both Sandman  and Top 10. Granted there are certainly myths and legends prone to parody but Thor, as I read him in Norse mythology books as a child, wasn't one of them.

In JLA/Avengers or Avengers/JLA, the fight between Superman and Thor went as I expected with Thor finally knocked out and Superman exhausted but some argued against that, too!

I don't think I heard any of that Futhark stuff before.  I did keep a diary in Tolkien's Dwarvish for while, which probably was a similar alphabet.

 

I don't think there was anything in JMS' series about a Viking colony in Oklahoma.  I gathered from the series that the town in question had been settled in the C19th by those doughty Scandanavian settlers that Al Swearengen refers to fondly as 'Squareheads', and that was the connection to the Norse Gods.  I liked that, as it was a reference to one of the less well-branded immigrant groups that contributed to what became the USA.  It also allowed that the ancestral connections to the Old World still counted for something in the New, which is a theme close to my own heart.  The old land is holy to its children across the sea, as Nancy Griffith would say.  I think JMS was making the same point as Nancy, and giving Americans an ownership of those great old tales.

 

I enjoy your take on the hospitality of the Oklahomans.  Have you spent much time there, or just flew over it?  I take your point though.

 

JMS Thor read really well in trades, and had to be read that way.  It had a different tempo to most monthly comics, and I could see why monthly readers wouldn't see anything in it.  Marvel had 40 years to figure out ways of expanding the forms and content of their superhero comics and expanding their audience, but Thor was still judged against the same kind of fight-of-the-month, cool-momentist comics that have been around forever.

 

Even if you didn't think his run was exciting enough for you, it still got appreciation from certain quarters and was a change of pace for Marvel, so Marvel should have found a way for it to be concluded properly.  As it is, we just have 3/4 or whatever of a critically praised, well-structured, epically paced story, that took the superhero-god concept seriously and treated it in a grown-up way, and might have had an appeal outside the usual fanboy crowd.

 

What good is an unfinished series to anyone?  So that's all that effort of talented people and Marvel resources wasted with nothing to show for it.  At least a finished series is something you could point to and say 'this is a story', even if you didn't like it yourself.

 

And JMS was right.  The strong narrative line of his early issues did get dissipated every which way once it started crossing into the next editorially mandated crossover.  He was right to be annoyed about it.

 

I've seen you argue that comics are healthier for having comics out there that you personally aren't interested in.  JMS' Thor is just another example.

 

Otherwise I kind of agree with most of what you say in respose to my first post, but there's a lot to discuss.  It's late here now and I'd best be off.

Philip: I probably read the myths after I read the Kirby comics, but I was very upset to see that Thor was portrayed in them as a brainless boor.  So DC might have been on to something. 

 

Marvel created something mighty special in their Thor, but as a faithful version of the lunk in the old tales, not so much.

I enjoy your take on the hospitality of the Oklahomans.  Have you spent much time there, or just flew over it?  I take your point though.

 

I joke about Oklahoma and their people quite often, but they really aren't that bad. I've spent a lot of time there throughout the years. The state's biggest fault: their beer has a lower alcoholic content than Texas, or most of the country really.

 

RE: Thor. Heck I was never that impressed with Simonson's run myself. I think that is partly my fault though, as it had been built up for so many years that by the time I read it, eh. It was okay, but nothing earth shattering like I was expecting.

...Thank you , CC:-) .

  I know I've seen a big magazine at CVS , for one...It's interesting that Marvel's ignoring much of early JIM Thor in that .

  It's interestin that Marvel should shuffle under that - I know I had , too , at least one of the books of JIM Thor that collect the unaltered version of #84's first " full-fleged " story , in which Jane Foster is referred to as Jane Nelson...which remains her assumed name ( No last name is again used . ) for a number of issues !

  I had a first printing/edition of the Essentials that used " Nelson :" than a later edition wherein it was " Foster " , obviously relettered...

  Now , briefly , obviously , this was Stan's famed poor memory...perhaps even deciding to go for a pun , as in " foster " healing and the romance between Thor and Jane .

  However , these early Thor stories can be deconstructed/interpreted to fit with the " Jane Nelson leaves , due to something that happens off-panel , and calls her nursing school roomate/student/friend to do the job ! storyline ! They can !

...OK , thank you , and I thought I had read praise for the Langridge Thor , and I think that I may have thought that it was " not quite " an Adventures title...But , since it was being promoted in wone , decided to carry on as if it was .

  Is Marvel a little embarassed by the rather bland " super-hero "-dom , I suppose , of the original Don Blake/Jane Nelson-Foster concept ?

  In a sense , hasn't Marvel quasi-" kinda " retconned the early Thor stories , the same period I'm speaking of , out of continuity...without exactly spelling it out ???

  FTM , given the traditional Marvel " The entire MU , from FANTASTIC FOUR #1 on , has happened in an expanse of about 10 years..." been ignored for Thor ?

  I recall that John Byrne MARVEL THE LOST GENERATION mini showing Thor as existing during a definite " Sixties " , with hippies...Has Marvel kind of declared that Thor came to Earth before other " modern " 616s ?

  FTM , have the early Ant-Man stories , which take place in a " no other superheroes " world , been quasi retconned  away ?  There appears in fact to be a sub-category of " innocent " super-hero comics such as that Langridge miniseries , and that Mike Perilgo?? Spider-Man And The Fantastic Four mini-series that was the last?? thing he did for Marvel , that appear to be " agreed upon " as " sort of " Adventures/sort of " innocent " - but not explicitly stated to not take place in their companies' univeses , either .

Just one very quick comment... AVOID the Captain America/Thor FCBD book.  SPOILERS:

 

 

The story is not entertaining, the "current" Thor has no idea who Captain America is.  Thor speaks as an Asgardian, but Loki speaks as generic bystander #1.  And the art is of the quality of "Look Mommy, I drawed Thor and Captain America for you!  I can has cookie?"  DREADFUL.

 

As always, YMMV.  But I want my twenty minutes back...

 

x<]:o){

How much did you pay for it?

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