Comics : Thor (Vol. 1) #448

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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: 2007.

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.

For instance, he was (as of last issue) tricked by the Absorbing Man into helping him win back his girlfriend, Titania. This somehow involves breaking into the Guggenheim Museum and stealing a statue of a golden bull. Spider-Man stumbled onto this and is not too happy.

In Detail...

"Secret Agendas!!"
Thor (Vol. 1) #448
Jun 1992 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 2 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: Titania

Spider-Man attacks Thor II first, putting him down quickly. He then turns his attention to the Absorbing Man and Titania. Creel turns into what appears to be iron and attacks.

Thor II has now regained his senses and attempts to assist Spider-Man in capturing Creel. Sensing danger behind him, Spider-Man turns around and blindly punches Thor II in the face, irritating the Asgardian-in-Training. He tries to fight back, but is clearly outclassed. While the heroes are busy fighting each other, Absorbing Man and Titania escape.

Despite his best efforts, Thor II is unable to hit Spider-Man. He finally uses Mjolnir to summon lightning to separate them long enough to explain that they should work together to capture Creel and Titania. Spider-Man agrees. ("Hero fight" to team-up in 5 pages flat).

Absorbing Man and Titania have put some distance between them and the heroes. When they stop to catch their breath near a construction site, Titania attacks Creel for setting her up to take the blame for the museum theft. Creel insists that he did this to scare her straight. She does not see eye-to-eye with him on this and continues to pummel him.

Thor II and Spider-Man eventually catch up to the super-villians and resume fighting. Thor II takes Absorbing Man; Spider-Man takes Titania. Their brawl eventually attracts the attention of Code: Blue - a task force specializing in combating super-powered individuals.

Across town at City Hospital, Dr. Paretsky (I have no idea who he is and there are no footnotes) visits with Susan Austin, who recently awakened from a coma "thanks to him". The busybody nurse thinks that they're a perfect match for each other. As his hand brushes hers on the bedrail, Ed Marrero (I have no idea who he is either. Same reason.) appears with flowers, spoiling the moment.

The battle at the construction site continues until Code: Blue arrives. They have apparently never watched "Blazing Saddles", otherwise they would have remembered the adage "If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad". Which is exactly what happens to Creel after he absorbs the steel in their bullets. He turns his attention to the task force, but is punched into some girders by Thor II.

Ultimately Creel tackles Thor II and tries to absorb the magic properties of Mjolnir to allow him and Titania to escape. Thor II taps the hammer on the ground, transforming him back to Masterson. The backlash stuns Creel long enough for Masterson to punch him out, breaking his hand in the process. He then transforms back to Thor II before anyone identifies him.

Titania disengages from Spider-Man and rushes over to her battered boyfriend and promises that she "won't let them hurt you again". Creel gives a "thumbs up" to Thor II to let him know that he's been played again.

In Asgard, Karnilla the Nord Queen plans to overthrow Heimdall, who sits on Odin's throne during the Great Odinsleep.

Tales Of Asgard back-up: Lady Sif and Balder the Brave continue their search for the original Thor. Their journey leads them to the ship of the New Immortals, who are on a quest for the High Evolutionary. They quickly location the High Evolutionary on Ego the Living Planet, who is at war with The Celestials.

In General...

As you can probably tell by the tone of the review, I didn't like this issue at all. There was insufficient recap from the previous issue, an uninspired fight sequence (which occupied most of the issue), interludes that had no lead-in or explanation for the casual reader, alliterative insults (multiple times), and constant reminders that the new Thor is a loser (who was conned by the Absorbing Man). We're supposed to like this guy?

The intent is to make Thor more relateable like Spider-Man. That's not going to happen. Thor's cool because he's a god that walks among men, not because he went to P.S. 32 with you. Thor has his own unique qualities that need to be utilized, not abandoned in favor of having a Spider-Man clone. (Yes, I said it)

One of the minor aspects of the new Thor that bother me is the absence of the Shakesperean-like diction. Allowing Thor to speak like mere mortals ruins the character in my opinion. The real Thor should sound something like this: "Base villain! Stop thy evil ways ere invoke the wrath of Thor, son of Odin!!". Not "Hey, dat guy just stole my wallet!!"

Overall Rating...

1/2 web. This was terrible. Take the worst elements of the "A-Team", "General Hospital", and the 'Coy and Vance' year from the "Dukes Of Hazard" and you have this issue's story.

The best part of the issue is the artwork, which gets wasted with such a lame plot.