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Thor #436: Review

Sep 1991
Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

Savage Reunion

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #436 Review by (February 2, 2022)

Review: Highly entertaining issue with the always formidable Absorbing Man and his lover Titania as they battle and confuse the newbie Thor. Eric has a lot to learn and it isn’t just fighting but a modicum of wisdom in dealing with Thor-level threats. The end shows he is well on the way to gaining some wisdom, though Hercules shows up as his tutor and “wisdom” is unlikely to be on the syllabus.

Comments: Quasar nabbed the baddie’s ball and chain for the Avengers in QUASAR #5. The Delacorte Theater is a genuine New York City landmark, still in operation after all these years. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #436 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In a sub-basement of Avengers Mansion, the huge ball and chain belonging to the Absorbing Man is trying to escape by bashing the walls. Captain America and some staff members try to stop it but are not successful and it makes its way into the sky. Cap deduces that the Absorbing Man will be seeking revenge against Quasar or Thor….

Meanwhile, Eric Masterson is fired from his current job by Mr. Kosinski for his being absent when needed. He is contacted by Cap, telling him about the Absorbing Man a/k/a Crusher Creel and his grudge against Thor. Eric changes to Thor and flies out, brooding over whether he is responsible for his predecessor’s old enemies. He then has an idea that maybe Mjolnir can track Creel down for him and it does, flipping the hero around in the sky with his cape covering his head….

At a seedy bar, Titania is having a quiet drink and dissuading an amorous patron by picking him up, bar stool and all when she spies on the television Creel’s ball and chain flying through the air. She reveals her costume and heads out into the street on a path of destruction to let her lover Creel know she’s nearby….

The Absorbing Man materializes on a dock just as his ball and chain arrives—and also as Thor arrives, plowing into the bad guy. Thor, his cape covering his face, assumes he killed the dude but Creel lets him know he’s okay by turning into concrete and clobbering him with the ball. Tying Thor up in the chain, Creel discovers that this isn’t the usual Thor so no wonder he was easy to defeat. He hammers Thor into the concrete pier and walks away laughing; Thor hurls Mjolnir but Creel dips a foot into the river and is transformed into water and the hammer passes harmlessly through him and he swims off laughing….

Thor changes back to Eric just in time to pick up his son Kevin from school and he is comforted by the boy’s happiness to see him. Meanwhile, the mystery man (later revealed to be Bobby Steele) watches but chooses not to act while the boy is around….

Crusher Creel steals clothing from a store but is stopped by a television news program showing several cars twisted into the shape of a giant T; he recognizes it as a message from his beloved Titania. At home, Eric sees the same show and wonders what it means. Heading out to search for the bad guy, he runs into Jackie Lukus and dashes off without saying much….

Thor finds the Absorbing Man at the open air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He tells the villain that he is taking him in; Creel hurls the ball at Thor who easily blocks it with Mjolnir. Bad move as the ball, chain, and Creel are changed into Uru and he smacks Thor out of the park. Thor returns and, knowing touching Creel would be a mistake, he calls down lightning on him. Another bad move as Creel becomes living electricity. Thor tries to draw all of the electric charge into Mjolnir and fires it into the sky. Thor is then clobbered from behind by Titania, now arriving at her and Creel’s usual rendezvous. He blindly strikes back and is shocked to find he has hit a woman. Creel rushes to her side and they confess their love for each other. Thor watches and…lets them go….

At home Eric is confused as to what he did or should have done. Strange noises in the next room send him to look and he discovers Hercules is sitting on his sofa and watching television….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Al Milgrom
Al Milgrom
Mike Rockwitz
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Ron Frenz. Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Eric Masterson)

Plus: Bobby Steele, Jackie Lukus, Kevin Masterson, Titania.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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