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Thor #457: Review

Jan 1993
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

Final Gauntlet!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #457 Review by (August 3, 2022)

Review: So Eric Thor undergoes the Gauntlet which consist of fighting a handful of baddies for a few pages then being mobbed by women for a page and then engaging in some simplistic psychology where he learns the lesson, With great power comes great responsibility. Just think, had Eric read the right comic books he would have learned that thirty years earlier and stayed home. But the real Thor is back as DeFalco and Frenz’s run is slowly winding down, though not without a few speed bumps on his way to his next adventure.  

Comments: The cover is a homage to THOR #433. First story: Part two of four parts. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. First appearance of Sparky the Lightning Kid whose only later appearance is in THUNDERSTRIKE #24, the final issue. Shatterfist first met Eric Thor in issue #440 when plucked from Eric’s future; he arrives in Eric’s present next issue.



The mighty Thor hath returned! Let the righteous rejoice! Let the wicked cower in the shadows!
The true God of Thunder doth reclaim the power and glory which is his by the devine birth-right of a warrior-born!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #457 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Eric Masterson returns to Asgard to endure the Gauntlet of the Grim Guardian; he is hooked up to a machine which is powered by Mjolnir. Sif questions Odin as to whether this is necessary and Balder wonders whether Sif is in love with Eric. Odin commands that it begin….

The Gauntlet begins in Eric’s mind: he finds himself as Thor in the town he grew up in. He is met by a juvenile avatar to guide him through, calling himself Sparky the Lightning Kid. Then Eric Thor is attacked by a group consisting of Ulik, Absorbing Man, Titania, Thanos, Gladiator and Annihilus. He tussles with them which turns out to be easy as Ulik, Absorbing Man, Titania, and Annihilus get in each other’s way; Thor kills the latter with a blow of Mjolnir and is surprised. He is then in space and Thanos grabs him by the cape and hurls him across the galaxy where he is punched out by Gladiator. He falls onto a New York Street where he is met by Captain America, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel (M. Rambeau), and Black Knight, who salute him with a Bronx cheer….

In Asgard, Sif is brooding over Eric and confides to Balder that when Eric loaned her his jacket in issue #453, he kissed her and now she doesn’t know whether she loves Eric or Thor who was buried in his mind. Balder tells her to have faith in herself. Amora the Enchantress overhears this conversation….

Eric Thor then finds himself in a dark place and he is mobbed by several women from his life: Sif, Stellaris, his ex-wife Marcy, Jackie Lukus, and Susan Austin and he repels them with an outburst. He is then attacked by Shatterfist, whom he met in his future, which presumably means Eric can’t die until he has met him in the present. Presumably. Thor then finds himself facing the crimson-armored Grim Guardian whom Sparky calls the one enemy Eric will never truly defeat. The two battle and Eric knocks the Guardian’s helmet off and he discovers that the Grim Guardian is himself, always wanting to be better and made stronger by anger. Eric hugs the Guardian and holds him until he calms down and vanishes. He enters the citadel and walks around until he finds Thor Odinson imprisoned. A bright, blinding light begins to shine and those outside are affected too until they see Eric emerge from the machine…followed by Thor….

As Thor reunites with his friends, Eric goes off alone…until Thor seeks him out with thanks. They hug and Thor hands Eric Mjolnir, and when he takes it, Eric again transforms into Thor. Thor Odinson announces that he will stay in Asgard to fulfil his royal duties and marry Sif while Eric Thor returns to Midgard as a superhero. Eric wonders whether this really is a happy ending….

“To Love No More”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Geof Isherwood. Inks: Geof Isherwood. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Rick Parker.
Synopsis: Heimdall, recovered from his injuries, has returned to his position as guardian of the Rainbow Bridge when he is attacked by a monster. He strikes at it and it vanishes. It was a trick by Amora the Enchantress who demands to know what her reward will be for saving his life (issue #453). Heimdall offers to marry her but she doesn’t want that as she is by nature polyamorous (look it up). She enters Asgard and spies on Thor and Sif talking over their wedding plans. Eric enters her mind but she puts him out and concentrates on Thor, removing the jacket Eric loaned her (again issue #453) and walking off arm-in-arm with her beloved bridegroom. Amora snatches up the jacket with a mind to spread her unhappiness….

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: Dave Sharpe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


(Eric Masterson)

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