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Thor #443: Review

Jan 1992
Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

The Mephisto Waltz

Review & Comments

5 stars

Thor #443 Review by (April 6, 2022)

Review: Eric stops whining about his situation and does something about it, finally getting to be a hero in his own eyes. That’s pretty satisfying but the icing on the cake is the eye-boggling battle between Silver Surfer and Mephisto, though their theological discourses are pretty lame. But as I’ve always said, if you take your theology from a comic book, you deserve what you get. Pretty epic issue, followed by a goofy Christmas tale and two entries in the epic crossover that is Operation: Galactic Storm. Regular Thor stuff resumes in #447 with a guest appearance by Spider-Man.  

Comments: Part two of two parts. The Mephisto Waltz is also a composition by Franz Liszt and the title of a 1971 horror film with no connection to the plot. The Brazier of Bom’Galiath, seen only here in the comics, also appears in DOCTOR STRANGE, the MCU film. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Ron Frenz and Patrick Olliffe collaborated on penciling the cover.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #443 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Doctor Strange sits at home, detecting a ripple in the cosmic ether signaling a shift in the balance between Good and Evil. Wong then admits a frantic Eric Masterson asking for help in recovering Mjolnir which as stolen by Mephisto

...who has returned to his own dark realm and stands before the Soul Shroud containing Thor Odinson and mocking the hero. He plants the cane in the living rock so Thor can see it forever and despair….

Eric insists on journeying alone into the Mephisto’s realm, Strange prepares him for his adventure: he gives him an amulet, a talisman that can change shape, in Eric’s hands it looks like a handgun, and a ring that will enable him to find his way to his goal. Strange also warns him that he can maintain the spell that keeps him in the dark realm only as long as the Brazier of Bom’Galiath burns. The mystic vapors send Eric into the enemy’s realm where he discovers that the amulet renders him invisible to the demons. He crosses a fiery chasm by inching along a rope but loses the amulet, bringing him to the attention of Mephisto. The bad guy expels Strange from the realm so Strange seeks the aid of a powerful ally in space….

Eric runs through the realm pursued by demons. He fires the gun which at times gives forth a stream of ice, at others electric rays. Eric then faces Mephisto and appears doomed but then the Silver Surfer arrives, answering Strange’s summons. As the two immortal enemies clash in epic terms, while discoursing on the nature and fate of mankind, Eric fights off demons and discovers the Soul Shroud. He is overpowered and held down by demons until a glowing indistinct figure attacks the demons with blasts from his hand. Eric wonders if it could be Thor and the figure indicates the cane and vanishes into the Shroud. Eric takes the cane, strikes it on the ground, and becomes Thor. Now feeling confident to tackle Mephisto, his time runs out. As Strange’s spell fails, the Silver Surfer vanishes and Eric, unable to take the Soul Shroud, is transported back to Strange’s home. There, he pleads to go back but Strange is not up to casting the spell again, especially now that Mephisto will be prepared for them this time. Eric asks the Surfer who warns that seeing Thor could have been a product of the enemy’s deception….

Eric, occupied with uncertainly but knowing he was able to act the hero without the Thor powers, returns to his apartment to find an eviction notice….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

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


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