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Thor #306: Review

Apr 1981
Doug Moench, ?

Story Name:

Fury of the Firelord!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #306 Review by (December 17, 2019)

Review: Nice cover! And if you like drawings of fire, the issue rocks too! In an issue-long “two heroes fight over a misunderstanding until they figure things out” epic, the mix-up looks spectacular and overcomes the cliché of the basic idea. And we’re given the origins of two characters who didn’t really need one (one was kidnapped, the other sacrificed himself) in several tiny cramped panels. Okay. No word on what happens to Kevin, the poor kid who lost the coolest friend he ever had. Probably ends up as a lame Spider-Man villain or something. And the first epilogue is such a serious shift in tone and significance as to be an absurdity. Plus, a detail so strange that it demands a mention: the lettering by the usually reliable Joe Rosen is just plain amateurish. The second tale centers on a bitter self-sacrifice which manages, for the time being, to lift this installment of the endless rom-com that is the Balder and Karnilla epic out of the usual mire into a tragedy. Well and good, as a suicide should be treated as a tragedy so no dissonance here.

Comments: Story 1: Part two of two parts. Origins of both Firelord and Air-Walker are revealed. Firelord has encountered Thor before, in issues #225-228, 232, 246-247. Penciling and inking were shared among Chic Stone, Marie Severin, Frank Giacoia, and Dave Simons. Inks: Chic Stone, Marie Severin, Frank Giacoia, Dave Simons Story 2: Part two of two parts. The plot will continue in issue #311.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #306 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Firelord, former Herald of Galactus, now lives in Saudi Arabia where he is worshiped as a native deity. When he sees the battle between Thor and Air Walker on television (last issue), he immediately streaks toward New York City…

…where Thor stands over his fallen foe and Gabriel’s friend Kevin tells the Thunder God he hates him. Kevin is claimed by his mother and the police ask Thor to take charge of Air-Walker’s remains. And then Firelord arrives to accuse Thor of killing his friend and he strikes out against the hero. He traps Thor in a headlock then turns up the heat, planning to kill the god for his deed. Thor breaks free and leads his hotheaded foe away from the city and they end up crashing into the river. The fight resumes on the shore where Firelord fuses the sand to trap Thor in a prison of glass. Thor breaks free and they trade blows for another several pages until Thor bows his head, challenging Firelord to kill him. This makes the Herald stop and they work out their problem. Firelord relates the origins of Air-Walker and himself: Gabriel was Captain of a Xandarian ship and Firelord (then named Pyreus) as his First Officer/BFF. Gabriel was teleported away by Galactus and made his Herald, Air-Walker, and Pyreus vowed to find him. Serving many years as Herald, Gabriel was killed by the alien Ovoids and Galactus transferred his “life-spark” into a robot body and continued until he was destroyed by the Silver Surfer (FF #124). By this time, Pyreus had caught up to Galactus and demanded to know what happened to Gabriel; Galactus offered to tell him if Pyreus agreed to become his new Herald; after the tale was done, Big G wiped the memory of his friend from Firelord. Firelord met Thor, was freed by Galactus who accepted the Destroyer in his stead (THOR #228). And the rest we know. The two apologize to one another and return to New York where Firelord takes his friend’s body for burial. And heads off into the cosmos….

Epilogue: Dr. Donald Blake, now working at a clinic, finds an apartment….

Epilogue II: Firelord buries his friend on an asteroid with a headstone and an eternal flame burning for him….   

“…Till Death Do Us Part!”

Writer: Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio. Pencils: Keith Pollard (breakdowns), Chic Stone. Inks: Chic Stone. Colors: George Roussos.

Synopsis: Karnilla the Norn Queen has finally gotten what she’s wanted: she has forced Balder the Brave to agree to marry her by threatening his true beloved Nanna. But Nanna, magically translated back to Asgard when the matter was settled, suits up, borrows Odin’s eight-footed steed Sleipnir, and rides to Nornhelm, arriving in time to stop the wedding. And since the wedding will cancelled if Karnilla brings harm to Nanna, the young lady draws a knife and stabs herself to death, thus freeing Balder. The enraged hero denounces Karnilla, who is uncharacteristically subdued, leaving him alone to mourn.  

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

George Roussos
Keith Pollard (Cover Penciler)
Keith Pollard (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Rick Leonardi.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

(Norn Queen)


> Thor: Book info and issue index

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