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Thor #403: Review

May 1989
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

When the Executioner Calls!!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #403 Review by (April 6, 2021)

Review: All of the complicated plot threads from last issue carry over to this one but now they are tied up in a bow as a present for us. Thor’s battle with Quicksand leads to his being robbed of some tissue samples by Mongoose and then he is assaulted by the new Executioner who is a big brute of a loser. Then Odin snatches Thor off to Asgard. The onlookers, including the Mastersons, are confused and overwhelmed. I’m not surprised—we’re overwhelmed and we saw everything going on. Next up: a green cocoon-thing on the bottom of the city; hint: it’s up to no good. The second tale, this one from Thor’s boyhood, is pretty good though kinda simple.

Comments: First story: Part two of two parts. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. First appearance of Detective Marcus Stone who will appear frequently in this title and THUNDERSTRIKE. Quicksand is next seen as part of Superia’s Femizons in CAPTAIN AMERICA #388-391. Second story: Haakun the Hunter’s only other appearance was in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #403 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor is battling Quicksand, caught up in a whirlwind of sand and debris she is causing—and he is able to halt the storm with a single blow of his hammer. Amora the Enchantress appears on the scene, seeking a new champion who will serve her every whim and willingly sacrifice himself for her; she hears the crowd mention Brute Benhurst (from last issue) and decides to look him up….

In Asgard, Odin has had another fainting spell and the Grand Vizier balks at telling him Thor has disobeyed the All-Father’s command to return. Meanwhile, a green cocoon-like object has attached itself to the underside of the floating city….

Amora appears to Benhurst in jail and offers him Executioner’s magic axe; the baddie gladly swears to obey her….

At the construction site, Quicksand is unable to overcome Thor. In a ship overhead, Mongoose and his employer’s armored agent (soon revealed as Tagar) see their chance and use the Vivisector to accomplish their goal of stealing tissue samples from the God of Thunder which knocks Thor for a loop and induces another bout of severe nausea. Quicksand flees, her part of the bargain with Mongoose fulfilled, just as Benhurst, the new Executioner, arrives on the scene to attack Thor. Thor, sick, is also confused as Skurge the Executioner is long dead so he balks at fighting back. Benhurst uses the axe’s powers to freeze Thor in a block of ice. The spectators flee for safety (such spectators as hadn’t fled when Quicksand showed up) and Eric Masterson can’t find his son Kevin. Kevin has gone back to help Thor, which he does by whacking Benhurst with his toy Mjolnir; the villain responds by smacking Kevin out of the way. At this, Thor realizes that this is not Skurge, too noble to harm a child, so he smashes his way out of the ice and puts the beatdown on this new Executioner while lecturing him on true power. Thor thanks Kevin for his help, Amora picks up the axe and vanishes—and an angry Odin summons Thor and snatches him away to Asgard in a flash of Kirby Dots….

“The Wolves of Ravenswood!”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Gary Hartle. Inks: Mike Gustovich. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Mike Heisler.
Synopsis: A shepherd brings word that wolves have invaded Asgard. Haakun the Hunter forms a posse to deal with them. Young Thor wants to go but Haakun tells him he is too inexperienced to join them. Young Loki suggests that he and Thor go out as a posse of their own and he gives Thor a sword he has sabotaged. When they encounter a young shepherdess beset by wolves, Thor attacks but the sword breaks. The girl tosses Thor her staff and the young god puts up a mighty battle. When the staff breaks, Thor protects the girl with his body—but Haakon and his men arrive in the nick of time to destroy the wolves. The girl turns out to be young Sif and Loki is angry at another failed scheme.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Joe Sinnott
Christie Scheele
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Ron Frenz. Letterer: Michael Heisler.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Loki Laufeyson)


Plus: Kevin Masterson, Marcus Stone, Quicksand, Tagar (Count Tagar).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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