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Thor #399: Review

Jan 1989
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

When Asgard Dies

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #399 Review by (February 23, 2021)

Review: A pretty thrilling single combat full of cheating between Balder and Seth occupies most of the issue but it deserves the space it gets. Most of the large cast of characters have nothing much to do in this ish and generic battle scenes fill in the gaps. The opening, a Kirbyesque shot of ordinary people marveling at some omen in the sky, is quite fitting and the final shot of the advent of Surtur promises much for the next issue. Excelsior!

Comments: Part five of six parts. Odin was apparently killed in battle with Surtur in THOR #353. One of the letters in the letter column is by Nick Damon, future writer/artist; another is by Charles S. Novinskie, future executive for Topps Comics.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #399 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The sky over New York City turns dark and troubled—the gods are at war….

The Death Legions of Seth the Serpent God are besieging Asgard; Balder with the strength of Thor leads his troops, side by side with Leir the Celtic God of Lightning. Sif and Tyr, Lorelei and Caber do their part but from the land of the Norns, they are watched by the Queen Karnilla who is concerned for her lover Balder’s sake while all of her magicks are being used to keep her own realm hidden from the invaders….

In the Dimension of Death, Thor and his allies have discovered the All-Father Odin a prisoner in the Black Pyramid. Before they can escape, Grog the God-Crusher arrives with the Demons of Despair, a band of giants….

Amora the Enchantress, having failed in her attempt to destroy Seth, is now his prisoner; Seth challenges Balder to single combat or she dies. Balder agrees and meets Seth on the outskirts of Asgard—but Seth has hidden killers firing darts to weaken his opponent, unseen by the watchers from Asgard. The rules of combat broken, the duel becomes very nasty indeed. But while the Asgardians are distracted, Seth’s troops sneak into the city via a portal….

In the Dimension of Death, Wind Warrior and the former Egyptian gods, led by Horus, invade the Black Pyramid and join up with Thor and his allies against the Death Legions….

In the struggle between Balder and Seth, the Serpent God springs another trap but this time Lorelei throws herself in front of the weapons and is wounded. The Asgardians are surprised by the enemy appearing behind them in the city. Seth delivers the killing blow to Balder but the King’s body vanishes before his eyes….

With Balder’s death, Thor regains his full strength and singlehandedly defeats all of his foes, tearing the top off the pyramid in the process. Odin proceeds to take the others (Hogun, Bes God of Luck, Black Knight, Earth Lord, Skyhawk, Wind Warrior) back to Asgard but he tells Thor he must stay behind. It seems Odin’s battle with Surtur was not over when he was captured by Seth and now Thor, with the Odin Power laid on him, must defeat the fiery monster who arrives to finish the battle….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Romeo Tanghal
Max Scheele
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Ricardo Villagran (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rick Parker.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)
Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)

(Hogun the Grim)

(Norn Queen)


Plus: Bes (God of Luck), Earth Lord (Kyle Brock), Horus, Leir (Lord of Lightning), Seth (Serpent God), Skyhawk (Winston Manchester), Wind Warrior (Pamela Shaw).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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