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Thor Masterworks Vol. 2
Regular Edition Cover

Thor Masterworks Vol. 2
Variant Edition Cover

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Another website with more information on Thor, Odin and Asgard




Original 27

  • First print: 1/94
    Marvel Masterworks: Thor Volume 2

    Reprints: Thor and Tales of Asgard from Journey Into Mystery #101-110

    (Vol. 26 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

    Most Recent Print Edition: 2nd Edition, First Print
    Original Release Date: 9/10/03


    REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1191-3 • List Price: $49.99
    VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1279-0 • List Price: $54.99

    224 Pages

    Scripted by Stan Lee

    Pencilled by Jack Kirby

    Foreword by Stan Lee


    It got better, didn't it? Long-time Thor fans know that this particular comic was a slow, steady climb up in quality. Each issue continued to the next in a seemingly unstoppable progress of quality. The first Masterworks reprinted the first couple year's worth of stories from the pages of Journey Into Mystery, with the Thunder God of Asgard fighting a rogue's gallery of space-aliens, communists, and gangster thugs. The thing that might have saved it from overall tedium is the charm with which many of the stories were written. Well, that charm remains in this volume, but is amplified by a more seriously drawn relationship between Thor and Asgard.

    Thor's main concern in this batch of stories- Journey Into Mystery #101-110- is still his love for the mortal Jane Foster. Carried over from the stories reprinted in Vol. 1, Odin continues to be betwixt and between about Thor's obsession with a mortal woman he cannot have...this thing is simply not done in Asgard! Loki knows a good opportunity when he sees one, and in many of these stories we see the evil half-brother of Thor use Odin's simmering dissatisfaction with his "most favored" son to insinuate dark ideas and grievous punishments into the mind of Odin the all-father. It makes for quite the grist of soap-opera psychodrama!

    And continuing to flesh out the reaches of Asgard, we see the first appearance of Odin on Earth and Balder the Brave has a significant first appearance in the pages of JiM #104. But this is only a start! Slowly, ever so slowly, Thor migrates from Earthly plot outlines to stories of which even the cosmic scope of Asgard cannot contain.

    As for the Rogue's Gallery, we continue to see a lot of Loki, which is fine by me. The two brothers have an important relationship, one bound in fate and told in mythological stories from our real world. In these pages, Loki mainly uses proxies to do his battles. The most major development found in these stories is the first appearance of the beautiful Enchantress, whom Loki commissions to do harm to Thor. But the heavenly blonde has her own proclivities, one of which is to win the heart of Thor. The fact that she wishes to do it in cruel ways, and letting nobody stand in her way, cannot help endear her to the object of her lustful desires, but that kind of blind spot is what makes the Enchantress so...special!

    And where the Enchantress goes, so too goes the Executioner, one of Marvel's great tributes to the puppy-loving saps who will do anything for the woman they desire. The Executioner makes his first appearance as a homely utilitarian. He will never know that the Enchantress only uses him as a weapon, to do the dirty work that she cannot physically do. Wrapped around her finger, he will sunder lands distant and near on her whim, and many times, this means traveling to Earth to bash on Thor or the Avengers. Witness the beginnings of a perfectly dysfunctional obsessive relationship in this very book!

    Featured as a new villain Thor will have to contend with for years to come is Paul Duval, a Frenchman better known as the Grey Gargoyle! His first appearance in JiM #108 leads to a bunch of creepy situations in which innocent people, and even our very own Thunder God, turn to stone! There's a sequence involving a cabby that's quite unnerving, but Thor is there to save the day, thank the Thunder God!

    And Thor has a legendary showdown with master mutant Magneto, in one of his and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants earliest appearances. In this case, you just have to check out the nutty submarine he has his band putting around New York Harbor in. (And ask yourself if Thor really needed his hammer to snoop out that amazingly bad camouflage job!) Seeing the earliest battle between Thor and Magneto- two legendary powers of the Marvel Universe- is Must-See Masterworks mayhem!

    But Thor must also face the continued villainy of Cobra and Mr. Hyde, who in the stories in this book, unite against him! In fact, the crafty Cobra might have even f igured out how to wrest Thor's hammer from him! (But he also finds out that getting the hammer away and keeping it away are two different things!) The final issue reprinted in this volume features the deadly duo with powers augmented by Loki, and it is this issue where I feel that the Thor comic finally comes into its own. It offers the perfect balance between Thor's earthly concerns and his godly duties. The sequence in which he defies Odin's banishment and charges into Asgard to get to Loki is as emotionally gripping a few pages as Silver Age Marvel can deliver! And the issue ends with a cliffhanger that is among the heights of Marvel melodrama....

    And after a taste of Tales of Asgard, let it be known that those five-page fables are intact all the way through this volume, and only get better and better! As an ingenious way of adapting comics readers to the more refined edges of Asgardian lore without risking full-issues with such material, Tales of Asgard introduces Thor fans to a bunch of great characters that would later graduate to prominence in the feature stories. Balder, Heimdall and Sif all make appearances here, as well as a lot of major and minor baddies like Hela, the Mountain Giants, the Norn Queen, and my personal favorite- Gullin, mightiest of the Boar Gods! These snapshots of Asgardian legend are a wonder to behold, and make for a great asset to Thor Masterworks.

    Until Loki plays ping-pong with the hammer Mjolnir, Make Mine Thor Masterworks!!!

    -- by Gormuu

    Issues Reprinted
    Thor from Journey Into Mystery #101-110

    Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


    JiM #101

    JiM #102

    JiM #103

    JiM #104

    JiM #105

    JiM #106

    JiM #107

    JiM #108

    JiM #109

    JiM #110


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