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Thor #404: Review

Jun 1989
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

Something Is Killing The Great Gods of Asgard

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #404 Review by (April 21, 2021)

Review: The title is a bit of a cheat as none of the great gods of Asgard are being killed but characters we’ve never seen before, none of whom have names, not even the woman who was flirting with Thor. In fact, we’re not told how many have died or vanished this way as no one has seemed to notice, which casts aspersions on the reliability of the Asgardian police force. Anyway, this subplot has a certain Jack the Ripper tone to it but it quickly morphs into the advent of the giant bug-man Annihilus. So, the insectoid villain, mainly an effective foe of the Fantastic Four, is now horning in on Thor’s territory and, now that we’re in the Negative Zone things should start popping.

Comments: First story: Part one of two parts. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot for the first story. Title is a play on the mystery novel “Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe” (1978) by Nan and Ivan Lyons. First appearance of the Crimson Hawks, Odin’s personal guard. Second story: Part one of three parts. This three-part tale marks the only appearance of Ulagg the Grand Enchanter.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #404 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The disobedient Thor has been brought before Odin who rebukes him for failing to protect Asgard during the recent invasion of Seth (issues #395-400) and he refuses to listen to Thor’s desires to protect Midgard. Odin has another spell of illness but hides it from Thor as he wants Thor to assume his responsibilities out of a sense of duty, not guilt….

Elsewhere in Asgard, two guards discover a citizen dead, his body drained of its life force—and then they are attacked by a winged assailant….

On Earth, the police take the powerless Brute Benhurst away but Jerry Sapristi can’t answer any of their questions. And Kevin Masterson tells his dad Eric he is worried about Thor….

At a party in Asgard, Thor broods while the others, including Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun) make merry—or as merry as Hogun can ever make. A goddess asks Thor why he is so gloomy, he responds with his concern for the people of Midgard, a concern she can’t fathom so she walks off. Thor notices Balder is also brooding and his friend starts to tell him of the guilt he feels over his failure to save Asgard, when a scream interrupts the party. The winged assailant has carried off the goddess whom Thor was talking to and killed her companions. Footprints point to a narrow passage in the walls so Thor and Balder pursue while Volstagg is forced to take the long way around. The heroes walk through a grisly greenish tunnel beneath the city and come upon the missing Asgardians, trapped in cocoons and hanging from the ceiling. They are then confronted by the villain: Annihilus who attacks them with energy bolts from his Cosmic Control Rod; Thor’s hammer counteracts the force and causes the monster to be laid low by feedback. Then all Asgard shakes as it enters the Negative Zone and Thor is buried alive under a collapsing tunnel. Annihilus tells Balder his plan is to destroy all intelligent life after absorbing the life force of Odin himself….

“Ulagg the Grand Enchanter”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Tony DeZuniga. Inks: Tony DeZuniga. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Mike Heisler.
Synopsis: Thor and his companions the Warriors Three are interrupted in the midst of a tavern brawl by Balder, summoning them to Odin’s throne. Odin commands Thor and his pals to go to the land of Always Night and bring back Ulagg the Grand Enchanter to perform a sacred service. The heroes travel to that land and the ground itself rises against them until Thor quells it with a blow from his mighty hammer. A shaft of light comes down from the dark sky and a voice tells them to leave. Thor repeats Odin’s summons but Ulagg refuses and sentences Thor and his companions to death….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Joe Sinnott
Marc Siry
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Mike Heisler.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

(Hogun the Grim)


Plus: Kevin Masterson, Marcus Stone.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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