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Lee-Kirby Thor, up to #140

Having slogged through Journey Into Mystery 83-100 and mostly enjoyed 101-110 many years ago, I picked up Thor with JiM111, the second half of a two-parter featuring a guilty pleasure of mine, the pro wrestling-like supervillain tag team of the Cobra and Mister Hyde. This is the cusp of the book really taking off and breaking the shackles of repeat villains (Loki of course, but also, as much as I love them, Cobra and Hyde had 7 total appearances between 98-111, including 2 two-parters in less than a year) and New York-bound stories. Beginning with 114, the stories are mostly continued from issue to issue, with seeds continuously being planted that dont pay off until much later. Asgard begins to be featured more and more heavily in the main story, to go along with the Tales of Asgard backup.

Another (major) positive development is the almost complete abandonment of the Don Blake alter ego and, with 136, the writing out of the book of the uninteresting Jane Foster character. She is replaced as Thor's love interest by the amazing Sif. Sif is awesome, basically Marvel's Wonder Woman, and years before Wonder Woman became a major ass kicker in her own comic. All of this is because Kirby is now unleashed, partially due to Lee increasingly stepping back from being in the weeds, just as was happening on FF at the same time. One of Lee's major faults was his insistence on his heroes being tied to one dimensional, helpless females (Foster), while Kirby had no problems creating strong female characters (Sif, later Big Barda at DC).

Highlights include the Trial of the Gods (116), Loki and his flunky the Absorbing Man attempting to overthrow Asgard (122-23), and the coming of Hercules in the mid-late 120s. Then as soon as you hit the 130s the book shifts into another, more awesome, gear. You get Ego the Living Planet (what a reveal!) and the High Evolutionary back to back (131-35), then the crazy Foster swan song issue where she is given the powers of a goddess but cant handle it, AND THEN, what I just finished reading, the peak-Kirby "Asgard-Trolls War" storyline (137-39). The book is really cooking right now, arguably as good as peak Lee-Kirby FF.

So yeah, I love this book. Thor kicking ass and boasting about it is awesome. Odin boasting and sometimes kicking ass is awesome. As already stated, Sif is freaking awesome. Kirby is of course awesome, and Stan's dialogue is mostly, well awesome is too strong a word, definitely really, really fun to read. Like with the other Marvel books in the 60s, Lee gives the characters a soul that makes them loveable. Well, except for Foster, but she's gone now 

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You stole my thunder, Kelly.

Thanks, try the veal, it's delicious.

But yes, I have much the same thoughts as you do on this run of issues. I'm about to read the Asgard-Trolls War issues and then I'll have caught up.

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On 5/2/2021 at 2:16 PM, SomethingSavage said:

Have you listened to the Screw It, Let's Just Talk About Comics (formerly actually titled Screw It, Let's Just Talk About Spider-Man) podcast? It's excellent, and the original premise was just two brothers covering the entire Stan & Ditko run. Tremendous stuff and just a fun listen in general.

I don't listen to many comics podcasts at all but I gave this a try. Pretty fun listen; I try to stop myself from noticing a few errors of fact. I will continue to enjoy their banter I'm sure.

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11 hours ago, Shrike02 said:

I don't listen to many comics podcasts at all but I gave this a try. Pretty fun listen; I try to stop myself from noticing a few errors of fact. I will continue to enjoy their banter I'm sure.

come for the banter, stay for the Fancy Dan appreciation 

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