Thursday, October 22, 2009
Thank The gods Tis Thor's Day!- Journey Into Mystery # 83
As the good folks at Marvel Comics began to crank out a line of superhero comics, one question was hanging at the backs of their minds: "How can you top Superman?" I mean, for any hero to be more powerful than Superman he'd have to be... well, a god.
Enter The Mighty Thor, Norse god of thunder, hero of legend, scion of Asgard, user of leave-in conditioner.
While on a walking tour of Norway, "lame Doctor Donald Blake" (I LOVE how they describe him like that. He has a severe limp and walks with a cane, but it always makes him sound like he's a sub-standard physician.) is witness to a terrifying invasion by Stone Men from Saturn.
Seeking shelter in a nearby cave, Dr. Blake finds himself trapped in a cave-in. After stumbling through the dark, looking for an alternate exit, Don finds an old, gnarled walking stick laying on a stone slab. Don tries to use the stick as a lever to pry away a large rock blocking a potential exit, and in his struggles bangs the stick against the stone. Suddenly, lightning crashes within the cave and frail Dr.Blake is transformed into Thor.
The stick, it seems was the mighty hammer of Thor, Mjolnir, in disguise. Inscribed on the head of the mystical hammer are the words "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of THOR".
Using his new-found super strength, Thor hefts the boulder out of the way of the exit and leaves the cave. Setting his hammer down, Thor discovers that, after sixty seconds away from the magic of the hammer, he reverts to Donald Blake. He soon discovers that the hammer returns to his hand when thrown, is indestructible and can control the weather.
Thor quickly routs the alien invaders and transforms back into Lame Doctor Donald Blake.
The Hammer turns back into a walking stick. The story ends with the promise of further Thor adventures to come.
For anyone familiar with this comic from its later incarnations, I would like to note a few points of interest. Firstly, it seems pretty obvious (to me, anyway) that at this stage of the comic, Doctor Don Blake is really Doctor Don Blake and he only summons the power of Thor. The Hammer Mjolnir sort of functions like an Aladdin's lamp. Secondly, that being said, Thor reminds me very much of Fawcett Comics' Captain Marvel, who was secretly young Billy Batson. Batson would say the magic word "Shazam!" and transform into the super hero Captain Marvel.
Next Thor's Day will be a Hallowe'en-related post, but after that, I will pick up with Journey Into Mystery #84.