Comics : Thor (Vol. 1) #447

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This story is part of an Arc: "Gods And General Misunderstandings"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Worst of the Worst

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

As of issue #433 of this book, the original Thor has been replaced after accidentally "killing" Loki. His replacement is Eric Masterson, an architect, who has quite a bit to learn about being a superhero in general, and the god of thunder in particular.

A few people are aware that he is not the original Thor. Captain America is one of them. Another is the Absorbing Man. He plans to make use of this information in a relatively creative way.

In Detail...

"Strange Alliances"
Thor (Vol. 1) #447
May 1992 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 1 of "Gods And General Misunderstandings"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz
Inker:  Al Milgrom, Pat Olliffe
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Articles: Jarvis (BTS), Titania

Two of New York's finest catch Titania while she's robbing an armored car. She throws the car at them to enable her escape. While making her getaway she admits to herself that as fun as this is, she wishes she could share this thrill with her boyfriend the Absorbing Man but he is determined to maintain a low profile these days.

Elsewhere Creel returns to the apartment they share and realizes that she's gone. Searching through the chest of drawers, he discovers some of the loot from other crimes. He is extremely angry because this will eventually attract the unwanted attention of a superhero. He decides to scare her straight with a plan that will be revealed to the reader in due time.

At Avengers mansion, Eric Masterson sits in Thor's private room enjoying some time off. He's watching football on a big screen television while sitting in a plush recliner. When Edwin Jarvis knocks on the door, Masterson flips over backward reaching for the enchanted cane. He completes his transformation into Thor (preserving his identity) before Jarvis enters. The faithful butler enters and informs Thor that someone is calling for him, requesting "Sparky, the lightning kid".

Across town, Spider-Man is web-swinging around and discovers Code: Blue (task force to combat super villains) on the scene of Titania's last theft. Spidey lands atop the squad car and overhears Lieutenant Stone (a Shaft wanna-be) talking to headquarters on his radio. He correctly guesses that Titania was behind the theft. Stone gives Spider-Man the cold shoulder, telling him to stay out of police business. He swings away in disgust, sarcastically wishing them all a nice day.

43 streets west and two blocks north, Thor II meets the Absorbing Man in a diner in broad daylight. Creel chides him for maintaining his secret identity and explains the reason he contacted him. He wants Thor to work with him in a modified "scared straight" plan. He will convince Titania to steal the Golden Bull statue from the Guggenheim; Thor will be there to stop the theft. Creel states that she will eventually attract the attention of the Avengers and a battle between the two will cause millions in collateral damage. Against his better judgment, Thor agrees. He returns to Avengers' mansion for some advice from Captain America. However he interrupts his training session and instead gets a lecture in combat training. He leaves to handle the problem himself.

We now switch to Asgard. Hogun and Volstagg are out on patrol and encounter Uroc the Invincible and two rime giants. They question how these creatures could combine forces.

At the Royal Palace, Heimdall has taken over for Odin during the Odin-Sleep, which could last a week or a century. Despite an advisor's encouragement, Heimdall doubts he can make a decent temporary potentate.

Back in Manhattan Spider-Man heads for home after selling some pictures to Jonah. His spider-sense tingles indicating danger and leads him toward the Guggenheim.

Titania and Creel are waiting outside the museum. Creel tells her to wait while he "scouts around". What actually during this time is a last-minute meeting with Thor II to go over his plan. Spider-Man observes them together but is unable to hear what they're saying.

Creel returns to Titania and they break into the museum. They encounter two security guards, who receive some injuries when Titania attacks them. When they start to leave with the golden bull, Thor II appears and calls Creel out on injuring the guards stating that it wasn't part of their deal. Titania picks up on this and realizes that there's more going on here than he's let her believe.

At this point, Spider-Man drops in from the ceiling. His appearance complicates this little outing beyond the point of repair. Creel throws the golden bull at Thor II instructing his "partner" to catch. This is enough to cement Spider-Man's uninformed opinion that Thor II and Creel are working together. Spider-Man rushes headfirst to challenge the temporary thunder god, claiming he's going to take him down.

In General...

I read the second part of this arc first - something that should not be done - and absolutely hated it. After reading this I still hate part two. In comparison this was better, but only slightly.

The full scope of Peter's spider-sense is always a bit vague, but having it lead him to the Guggenheim for no specific reason seems a bit of a stretch. The classic "misunderstanding a situation" plot device is added on to have him interact with the main character, seemingly at all costs. This all comes across as very formulaic and sloppy at that.

Overall Rating...

0.5 web. This was pretty bad. The general approach for this character is to try to make him as close to Spider-Man as possible without being able to stick to walls. To humanize a god and therefore make him more accessible to the audience. To be blunt, this fails on every level. This character remains at the top of my "why did they create him" list.

Footnote...

It's mentioned that Thor II gave Creel and Titania a second chance in Thor #436. I think it was this issue that Creel learned that there's a new Thor in town.