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Thor #200: Review

Jun 1972
Stan Lee, John Buscema

Story Name:

Beware! If This Be... Ragnarok!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #200 Review by (June 25, 2015)
Comments: Narratively, this story is like a set of nesting dolls: a story within a story within a story. We have a group of characters outside the main narrative (the main narrative being Thor fighting Pluto, from last issue) watching a vision of someone in either the recent past or near future telling a prophecy of a distant future. It feels like clunky storytelling. That said, it is always great to see elements of actual Norse mythology incorporated into Marvel’s Thor, so I can’t complain too much about this particular telling of Ragnarok—especially knowing that this prophecy will be pretty important in later Thor comics. Also, if someone just wanted to read a single issue to get an idea of Thor and his characters, this is very stand-alone. However, I really dislike that this entire issue took place in what is essentially the time frame of a single panel at the end of the last issue. The art, of course, was great, and I’ve come to expect nothing less from Buscema. The writing was suitably poetic for the telling of a legend, with plenty of Stan Lee’s purple prose to fit the occasion. Overall, a solid 4: a good issue, but not the best.

Thor #200 Review by (June 25, 2015)
The majority of the issue was written by Stan Lee. The prologue and epilogue are by Gerry Conway. This is a different premonition of Ragnarok from Volla than the one seen in the "Tales of Asgard" stories in issues #127-128 which was done by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.



Desist! In Odin's name, lift not thy hands, one against the other!
Not Asgard alone, but all the world hath need of fiery cleansing. A time must come when all shall fall... But only some will rise again. Only those deemed... worthy!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #200 Synopsis by Seahammer

Looking over the Twilight Well, the three Norns watch as Pluto raises his axe over a motionless Thor (as seen at the end of THOR #199).  The Norns know, however, that Thor is not fated to die on this day, and that his death will come as part of the momentous Ragnarok.  Then, in the waters of the Twilight Well, the Norns watch an account of Ragnarok.

            The vision begins with Thor, Balder, and the Warriors Three greeting Heimdall as they cross the Rainbow Bridge.  They have been summoned by Odin, although they do not know the reason.  As Thor and the warriors bow before Odin, they learn that he has also summoned Loki.  Loki arrives late, and Thor notes his irreverence when he addresses Odin.  With everyone finally present, Odin summons forth Volla, a prophetess, who describes Ragnarok to the assembly.  Volla then conjures an image of the future: first, Asgard will be buried by a long, powerful winter.  Then, the people will turn against each other and fight in an endless battle, with friend against friend, brother against brother.  Finally, the survivors will turn to Loki to lead them, believing that Odin has failed them.  Loki is outraged and accuses Volla of defrauding him, but Thor defends Volla.

            When Volla resumes her prophesy, she reveals that Loki will lead a great army, one which includes trolls, giants, and demons, against Asgard itself.  To prevent Loki’s army from invading, Heimdall will destroy the Rainbow Bridge and sound the alarm with his great horn, then die in defense of the realm.  Then, Odin will lead his army into battle, while Thor fights valiantly for Asgard.  Loki will continue to ravage Asgard until it is destroyed.  In the battle, Thor and Loki will fight until the Midgard Serpent rises from the rubble to interrupt them.  Thor will throw himself at the Serpent, while Loki will retreat to a safer distance to attack it with a cannon, but neither brother will be successful.  Thor will eventually defeat the Serpent, but the blow that kills the Serpent will also destroy Asgard.  Then, Surtur will rise from the ashes of the destroyed Asgard, burning what remains to a “smoldering celestial cinder in the fabric of eternity.”

            Centuries later, Volla continues, the world will be born anew and gods will rise again.  Eventually, they too will flourish.  As the vision ends, the Asgardians begin to look scornfully at Loki, who rightly points out that he is not guilty of anything yet.  Odin agrees that Ragnarok is not Loki’s doing, but also warns that not every god will be worthy of rising again after Ragnarok occurs.  Finally, the Norns return to watching the present, with Pluto raising his axe over Thor.  Even though they are worlds away, they realize they must use their power to intervene to save Thor.  Finally, one of the Norns fires a “bolt of cosmic energy” that causes Pluto’s axe to crumble, ensuring that Thor will be able to reach his pre-ordained destiny.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
John Verpoorten
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
John Buscema (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Pluto (Hades), Surtur (Surtur the Fire Demon).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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