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Thor #316: Review

Feb 1982
Doug Moench, Chic Stone

Story Name:

Of Beasts and Things...

Review & Comments

3 stars

Thor #316 Review by (March 24, 2020)

Review: Man-Thing, Bi-Beast, Man-Beast: sounds like they just decided to move the words around; all we need is Bi-Thing to complete the set. A lot of swampy battles in this issue with a guest appearance by Man-Thing, perhaps Marvel’s most perplexing protagonist. Steve Gerber and others knew how to handle Manny in his own book, a semi-human creature living on pure emotion, easily adapted to mystical and philosophical tales as a catalyst for things to happen. It was a pretty artsy way to go, especially in the 1970s but it (usually) worked. Here, though, Manny doesn’t serve much of a purpose other than to walk around in confusion. He wasn’t an easy character to write for so it’s good that he just wanders around on the fringes of this issue while two heroes fight two bad guys. The climactic battle scene was cool though not very creative and Man-Beast’s backstory was fairly confusing (maybe Man-Thing was thinking too hard about all this?). Iron Man’s plunge from the sky came off a bit silly, and Bi-Beast terrorizing the campers also seemed like a comedy bit. And Bi-Beast couldn’t fit on the cover! All in all not as good an issue as the two surrounding it.

Comments: Part two of three parts. Man-Beast was created by the High Evolutionary in MARVEL PREMIERE #1-2 and previously fought Thor in THOR #134. Bi-Beast returns in QUASAR #14-16. Dave Simons, Chic Stone, and Pablo Marcos shared penciling and inking duties.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #316 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Iron Man arrives at the landing site of the flying city and is filled in on the backstory (last issue). He inspects the largely intact Stark freighter and has a word with Thor. A chained-up Bi-Beast is brought by, carried by a number of police officers. Suddenly, a huge device drops from the ceiling and fires a beam at the Bi-Beast, reviving him to break free but also tuning the nearest cops into violent maniacs. Iron Man takes on the monsters while Thor uses Mjolnir to create a vortex, trapping the violent cops. The device (a small spaceship) uses a tractor beam to pull the monster into the craft and then it melts a hole in the dome and flies off, with Shellhead in hot pursuit. The hero shoots down the craft which fires back at Iron Man, destroying his circuitry. IM plummets toward the ground, jerry-rigging his boot jets and repulsors to give him a (semi-)soft landing. Thor arrives and they set out to search for the mystery ship and its unknown pilot….

Meanwhile, in the swamp by the wrecked spacecraft, Bi-Beast’s rescuer is revealed to be his former partner the Man-Beast, motivated by pure hate, persuading BB that he will help him destroy Earth when Man-Beast’s only goal is to destroy Counter-Earth. Searching for materials with which to repair the broken craft, Bi-Beast encounters Man-Thing and hurls him aside as harmless; the curious Man-Thing follows BB on his mission. Bi-Beast comes upon a trailer camp and with a demonstration of violence scares the people into driving their campers back to the crash site with their tools and spare parts. A few hours later, after dark, Thor and Iron Man discover the villains and their hostages; Thor brings down lightning to strike terror into the baddies’ hearts and the battle is on with the matchups changing minute by minute and Man-Thing watches silently from a distance. Finally, Thor overcomes Bi-Beast and Man-Beast panics and takes off in the newly repaired ship; the two heroes shoot the ship down and it crashes into a quicksand bog. They assume Man-Beast is dead and take Bi-Beast back to civilization…unaware that Man-Beast is still alive and Man-Thing is watching him carefully….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Chic Stone
Chic Stone
George Roussos
Keith Pollard (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Pollard. Letterer: Joe Rosen.


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