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Thor #437: Review

Oct 1991
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

Clash With Quasar

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #437 Review by (February 9, 2022)

Review: Exciting battle issue boasts a great deal of humor, as most stories featuring Hercules tend to. Quasar is a pretty amusing hero as well. One of these days I’ve got to read more of his series. For now, new Thor is turning out to be pretty entertaining. 

Comments: The first story has the alternate title, “When Titans Kvetch,” using the Yiddish word meaning “to complain.” First appearance of Dr. Gary Paretsky. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Second story: Part one of five parts. The letters page includes one by future horror novelist Joseph J. Christiano. This issue’s edition of Bullpen Bulletins is crazier than usual.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #437 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

We begin with Hercules punching Thor’s lights out. Herc’s assaults become increasingly savage and the only way Thor can think to stop him…is to turn back into Eric Masterson in hopes that Herc can pull his punch. Eric complains that when Herc offered to train him in the ways of a superhero he didn’t expect it to be by sucker-punch and he walks off to find a sensei elsewhere….

At home, the Enchantress is searching in her crystal ball for the new Thor but as soon as she detects him, he vanishes. She changes into her Leena Moran identity for a job interview with Eric Masterson….

Hercules visits Sersi to ask about a question of honor; Sersi doesn’t care about Herc’s personal problems and suggests he should not get involved in his friend’s troubles. Or he could ask Quasar. Herc thinks that a good idea….

Amora as Leena shows up to talk to Eric about filling in for the comatose Susan Austin while she is ill. She quickly seduces Eric into her power but they are interrupted by Jackie Lukus before a kiss can complete her spell. Leena excuses herself and Jackie is mad at Eric and also walks out….

Hercules summons Quasar, telling him the Thunder God has been brainwashed by aliens and is a threat to the city. Herc also destroys Quasar’s Avengers ID to prevent him from checking with Captain America….

Visiting the comatose Susan Austin in the hospital, Eric learns that only Don Blake can perform the surgery needed to heal her. Knowing Blake no longer exists, a distraught Eric leaves, only to be followed by the mystery man (Bobby Steele). He receives a summons on his Avengers ID and ducks into an alley to change into Thor. Steele enters the alley moments later and is puzzled that Eric is gone. So, Thor answers the call from Hercules, who tells him that Quasar is being mind-controlled by aliens, destroying Thor’s ID as well. The Enchantress has located Thor by her magic and, to test his prowess, captures Quasar, enslaving him with a kiss and sending him to fight Thor….

Quasar attacks Thor and the battle between the two powerful antagonists is amazing, laying waste a deserted neighborhood. Q captures Thor’s hammer in an energy bubble which leads Thor to use his superhuman strength to burst it. The fight is stunning, while both heroes are wondering why Hercules hasn’t come to his aid as Mjolnir goes against Q’s energy constructs including a nunchaku and a scimitar. Herc, surprised at the violence of Quasar’s attacks, spies Amora watching from cover. Eventually, Quasar’s Quantum Bands zap him in the head, freeing him from Amora’s spell. The heroes then spot Herc fighting a concrete duplicate of himself conjured up by the villainess; Amora, spotting Thor and Quasar and having learned what she wanted to, vanishes. Then Thor and Quasar hear Herc mentioning his stratagem for a training exercise….

Thor and Quasar shake hands and part, leaving Hercules, wrapped in a giant yellow bow, hanging from the torch of the Statue of Liberty….

“Sword Quest!”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Patrick Olliffe. Inks: Patrick Olliffe. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Brad K. Joyce.
Synopsis: Sif and Balder contact Karnilla the Norn Queen, hoping she can use her magic to locate the banished Thor but she fails. She does detect traces of the missing Thunder God and gives Sif a sack of Norn Stones to aid her quest. Sif and Balder return to Asgard to ask permission of Heimdall to search for Thor but the temporary ruler denies her, calling it treason. But he, realizing Sif will never deny her heart, relents and allows them to go. They stop off on the Rainbow Bridge, guarded by the Warriors Three, and use a Norn Stone to teleport them to their destination. It turns out to be one of Hela’s realms but they discover the place is now under the control of the Destroyer who commands the legions of the dead, intending to conquer the universe….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

(Norn Queen)

(Wendell Vaughn)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Bobby Steele, Jackie Lukus, Susan Austin.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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