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Thor #442: Review

Jan 1992
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

The Day of His Return!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Thor #442 Review by (March 29, 2022)

Review: Wow! Three stories in one issue! And two of them are all about how Eric Masterson hates being Thor with the one in the middle being about how Beta Ray Bill doesn’t want to be Thor either! The issue is pretty good but that constant theme just makes it depressing; I wonder if Tom DeFalco was considering retirement or something. The revelation that the people Bill protects resent and distrust him is a bit of an eye-opener as we do not often see Bill among his own people. We have heard this a few times from Eric Masterson but it’s weighing more heavily here, leading to the twist with Don Blake being Mephisto, giving a lot more promise to the next issue.

Comments: First story: Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Second story: Beta Ray Bill sought to help Ego the Living Planet in THOR ANNUAL #16. Bill regains his immortal powers in issue #461. Third story: Part one of two parts. Eric’s musings about giving up being Thor on the first page are the words Dargo Ktor saw in Eric’s future last issue. The letters page includes one by Michael J. Barr who may be the future writer of the indie comic ANGEL’S BLOOD but I can’t prove it. Ron Frenz and Patrick Olliffe each penciled half of the cover.






 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #442 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As Thor flies to the hospital, he speculates on whether the return of Don Blake solves the mystery of the exiled Odinson viz that Thor is concealed within Blake and he has once again lost his memory. Eric thinks that a great idea as it means he can give up the superhero life as it has done nothing but wreck his personal life. At the hospital, he returns to his identity as Eric Masterson and enters. There he meets Jerry Sapristi and Leena Moran (whom we know to be the Enchantress in disguise) who are also there in response to the good news about Susan Austin. Then Donald Blake arrives and everything about him seems to confirm Eric’s guess that he is Thor Odinson; Amora concurs, rushing off before Blake recognizes her. As Eric watches Blake operate on Susan he is increasingly convinced that he can soon return Thor’s powers and try to salvage his life….

“The Trial of Beta Ray Bill!”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Patrick Olliffe. Inks: Patrick Olliffe. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Michael Heisler.
Synopsis: In their search for the missing Thor, Sif and Balder arrive on another world courtesy of the Norn Stones. They are taken for demons by the inhabitants, whom Sif recognizes as the Korbinites, the race of Beta Ray Bill having settled a new homeworld. As the people flee in panic, an accident drops a huge weight on some Korbinites but Beta Ray Bill arrives just in time. Bill and Sif are happy to see each other but the Korbinites see it as their champion consorting with their enemies and demands that he kill them to protect his people. He disperses them with a storm whipped up by his hammer. This is reported to the Imperial Leader who calls a meeting of the council….

Bill is brought before the Council to defend his actions. He is accused of having neglected his duty to the people several times in order to adventure on Earth and other places, even lending aid to their enemy Ego the Living Planet. And Bill cannot deny these actions. Sif advises Bill to abandon the Korbinites and join them in their quest for Thor but he declines. Sentence is handed down that Bill is stripped of his duties as the people’s champion and he must relinquish his hammer Stormbreaker. He resumes his mortal form and hands over the staff which the hammer has become. Others strike the staff on the ground in hopes of gaining the power to become the new champion but it fails and soon everyone is lining up to try the staff. Bill confesses to Sif that he has long wanted to lay aside his burden and rest, serving his people in a less heroic fashion….  

“A Hero…No More!”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Plot: DeFalco and Frenz. Pencils: Ron Frenz. Inks: Al Milgrom. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Michael Heisler.
Synopsis: Eric Masterson sits in his ruined apartment brooding over what he considers his being unsuitable for the job of Thor and his failure to live up to the demands of being a superhero. So having procrastinated long enough, he goes to the office of Dr. Donald Blake for an appointment. Eric tells Don that he (Don) is Thor but the doc is skeptical. As proof, Eric gives Blake the cane and tells him to strike it on the floor. Blake does so and transforms—into Mephisto. The villain thanks Eric for falling for his stratagem and handing him Mjolnir; he then takes off for his own realm. Eric stands ashamed and vows not to fail the real Thor….


Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:




Ron Frenz
Al Milgrom
Mike Rockwitz
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Mike Heisler.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Balder
Balder

(Balder the Brave)

Plus: Eric Masterson, Thor (Eric Masterson).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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