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Thor #194: Review

Dec 1971
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

This Fatal Fury!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #194 Review by (April 28, 2015)
Comments: This issue pretty much wraps up the “Odin-Ring” storyline that started several issues ago, although of course it ends in true serial style with a cliffhanger that will lead to the next big story. It was a good finish, too. One thing I particularly liked was the acknowledgement that Thor had been fighting non-stop for quite awhile, including against the unbeatable powerhouse that was Durok the Demolisher. In fact, when Thor mentioned his fatigue in this issue, I remembered that he had described his aching muscles a couple of times over the course of this multi-issue story, and he continued to say how he could only push himself a little bit more. When he finally got to the point where his body gave out, it read like a well-earned moment that had been foreshadowed thoughtfully. That is the sort of detail that makes reading long runs of these issues rewarding. On the other hand, this issue also included a few “Odin clichés”: Odin awoke from the Odin-Sleep and everything was solved; Odin had a plan along, but kept it to himself for no reason; Odin felt that Thor needed to learn humility, again. Truthfully, I personally don’t mind those clichés because I see them as a charming characteristic of this era in Thor’s history. Objectively, though, they definitely detract a bit from the execution of the story. I give this issue a 4 out of 5, but if I were to rate the past few issues as one big story, I’d give it a 5 out of 5.

Thor #194 Review by (April 28, 2015)
The Tales of Asgard story is reprinted from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #194 Synopsis by Seahammer
Wearing the powerful Odin-Ring, Loki has taken control of Asgard and now plans to take Sif as his bride!  He has separated Thor from Mjolnir, and turned his Storm Giant lackeys on the thunder god.  After sixty seconds in the grip of a giant, Thor transforms back into Donald Blake.  The shock of the transformation causes the giant to drop Blake, who leaps for Mjolnir and is transformed back into Thor.  Seizing the moment, Thor attacks one of the giants, then whisks them all away from Asgard by creating a massive tornado.  His path isn’t clear yet, though; after the giants are gone, a throng of trolls rushes at Thor.  As Thor fights his way through the trolls, the warriors of Asgard look on, lamentably unable to help because they are bound by Asgardian law not to raise a hand against Loki while he wears the Odin-Ring.

            Elsewhere in Asgard, Loki sits on the throne and feels that his power is suddenly draining.  While he contemplates his waning power, the lady Sif arrives dressed in her ornate wedding garments.  Just as Sif pleads for Thor’s life one more time, Thor himself finally bursts into the chamber and challenges Loki to battle.  Loki accepts, while Balder looks on, wishing that he could fight alongside Thor.  Meanwhile, the Warriors Three fight their way through groups of trolls in another part of the palace.  They eventually reach Odin’s chambers, where the rightful king of Asgard rests in the Odin-Sleep.  Not fearing his wrath, Hogun awakens Odin.  Odin wakes with a bellow powerful enough to knock the Warriors Three back, but soon they regain their composure and plead for Odin to intervene on Thor’s side.  To their surprise, Odin refuses!

            At that same moment, Thor and Loki battle hammer-to-axe, with Loki gaining the upper hand.  Thor has been battling non-stop (for several issues at this point, as a matter of fact!), and fatigue overwhelms him.  Before Loki can land the killing blow, however, he is struck with a pang of physical discomfort.  Loki is suddenly withered and in extreme pain.  Blaming the Odin-Ring, Loki pulls off the ring and throws it to the ground.  After a moment, a hand reaches down and recovers the ring.  It is Odin!  Hastily, Odin waves his hand and banishes Loki to a far off realm.  Thor and Sif finally embrace, and Odin tells Thor that it was good for him to fight a battle that he could not win.  Odin then explains that the Odin-Ring takes power from the wearer, and that none but Odin himself can sustain the power required to wield it.  For that reason, he knew that Loki was doomed from the beginning. 

During Odin’s explanation, the alarmed Grand Vizier comes and requests Odin’s presence.  Privately, he reveals to Odin that the “Cosmic Well” has revealed an image of Loki laughing maniacally.  Odin realizes that in his haste, he transported Loki to a “feared” world where an ancient foe of Asgard has been imprisoned beneath the surface.  If Loki finds him, Odin says, Asgard is doomed!


Tales of Asgard: The Golden Apples

Story: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: Vince Colletta
Lettering: Artie Simek

Characters: Iduna, Haakun the Hunter, Fenris


This short story is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood using characters from Norse mythology.

On her way to Asgard with the Golden Apples of Immortality, Iduna passes Haakun the Hunter.  The two exchange a friendly greeting, and Iduna goes on alone.  As she walks through the forest, Iduna thinks about all of the dangers that lurk nearby, but reassures herself that nothing would attack a goddess of Asgard.  However, at that same moment, Iduna is being watched by Fenris the wolf.  When he sees that she carries the Golden Apples, he decides they must be his.  Although he prefers the form of a wolf, Fenris transforms himself into human form and approaches the innocent Idunna.

            Fenris offers to protect Iduna from the dangers of the forest, but his eagerness and demeanor make her suspicious.  When he realizes that he cannot trick her, Fenris transforms back into his wolf-form and poises for attack. Luckily, before Fenris can attack, Haakun appears and throws his axe at the wolf.  Before Haakun’s axe reaches its target, Fenris shrinks down to a tiny size and dodges the weapon.  Unknown to Fenris, however, Haakun’s axe has the ability to cut through “the very fabric of infinity itself.”  The enchanted weapon magically follows Fenris and eventually reaches him.  After he is defeated, Fenris is banished to the shadowy land of “Varinheim,” and Iduna goes on her way to Asgard.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Sal Buscema
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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