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Thor #409: Review

Nov 1989
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

Doom Is Only Sixty Seconds Away

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Thor #409 Review by (May 26, 2021)

Review: The mention of sixty seconds in the title and first few pages recalls the classic SPIRIT story “Ten Minutes” but the Thor tale has no thematic resonance, it’s purely utilitarian to remind us of what happens when Thor is without his hammer for sixty seconds. A rather pedestrian story for Dr. Doom to be in: I’m sure there would have been easier ways to get Thor’s hammer without handing out weaponry to minor crooks. We see on his viewscreen that he is monitoring Spider-Man, Captain America, and others and once he’s got Thor, he (and all of Marvel’s writers) forgets about the other heroes and weapons and Doom just moves on. Seems that this could have been minor event with heroes fighting armored criminals and all of them descending on Latveria to pick a bone with Doom. But then we’ve already got a minor event coming up: Acts of Vengeance, so maybe not. Meanwhile, Eric is still getting his Thor secret identity feet wet so it’s okay for him to freak out on the last page. The big question: what’s the point of the time-bot being able to send things into the prehistoric past for a few seconds? We’ll find out next issue (maybe)! And oh, yeah, Mike Mignola gives a cool new look to the second story with his rough Hellboy style and it suits the tale of a giant monster.

Comments: First story: Part one of two parts. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Second story: Part two of two parts. Origin of Uroc, who returns periodically, next in issue #440. Final appearance of Grundor the Greater, despite his wish (cribbed from the ending of CASABLANCA).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #409 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A pair of petty crooks rob a bank using advanced military weaponry; Thor arrives on the scene and destroys their armored wagon and knocks them out in seconds. Thor has another of his recurring dizzy spells then takes off for his new life as Eric Masterson (see last issue). He gets his son ready to be picked up for school by Susan Austin and tries to get the notoriously easy-going Hercules moving to get to their jobs….

Police Lieutenant Marcus Stone is concerned about the amount of high-tech weaponry in the hands of minor crooks and wonders where it is coming from. He doesn’t know he is being watched by Doctor Doom who has delivered the weapons to the criminals as part of a plan to take his kingdom back from a usurper; phase one has succeeded: crooks have reached Thor. Now for phase 2 of his scheme….

Eric and Hercules (using the human name of Harry Cleese) arrive at the construction site where supervisor Jerry Saprisi tells him that the owners are concerned about Eric’s spotty attendance and are threatening to turn the project over to another architect, possibly Eric’s rival, the flirtatious Jackie Lukus….

Phase 2: Doom’s time-bot crashes into the police station and fires a ray at Lt. Stone’s assistant Vinnie Evans who vanishes and then returns seconds later, dazed and mumbling about dinosaurs. At the construction site, Eric hears about the fracas at the station house and transforms into Thor to head over there. He and Herc arrive just as the time-bot leaves the building with the two crooks in tow; Doctor Doom, watching from the Embassy, realizes Hercules is an unforeseen factor and heads over to involve himself personally. The robot withstands Herc’s punching and hurls the demigod through a window. Herc is shocked at a feeling he barely recognizes as fear, an effect programmed into the robot by Doom. Thor is zapped by the time-bot’s ray and transported back to prehistoric Earth for a few seconds and then returns as Doom has arrived. The villain has the time-bot rise to him on a nearby roof, leaving the two crooks to be recaptured by the cops. Thor and Herc try to continue the battle on the rooftop: the Thunder God hurls Mjolnir at the robot, which zaps it with his ray and it vanishes. Having achieved his goal of capturing Thor’s hammer, Doom and the robot depart for Latveria; after sixty seconds without the hammer, Thor transforms back into Eric Masterson and their only course of action is to follow Doom and recover Mjolnir….

“To Fight the Unbeatable Foe”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Mike Mignola. Inks: Bob Wiacek. Colors: Bob Sharen. Letters: Richard Starkings.
Synopsis: Thor fights the giant Uru monster Uroc who can absorb the blows from Mjolnir and fire them back at Thor and Grundor. Grundor gives a hasty recap of Uroc’s origin: he was the weaponsmith for a prior troll king who demanded the ultimate weapon. Uroc made a giant of Uru then used sorcery to transfer his consciousness into it to take revenge against the trolls. Thor soon realizes that Mjolnir cannot harm his foe directly; Uroc uses his power of magnetism to draw Mjolnir to his hand—and then his hand falls to the ground and he cannot raise it since he is not worthy to lift the hammer. Uroc releases the hammer, Thor and Grundor flee and Thor smashes the bridge over the Chasm of Eternal Sorrow and Uroc tumbles in while Thor flies himself and Grundor to safety. Grundor sees this as the start of a beautiful friendship. Thor isn’t so sure….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Joe Sinnott
Bob Sharen
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Ron Frenz.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)


Plus: Jackie Lukus, Kevin Masterson, Marcus Stone, Susan Austin, Uroc.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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