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Thor #208: Review

Feb 1973
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

The Fourth-Dimensional Man!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Thor #208 Review by (November 8, 2022)

Review: A new villain is introduced and he is a cool dude. Mercurio has fire and ice powers, making him doubly as effective as baddies who have only one or the other. Mercurio’s worthy goal (saving his homeworld) contrasts with his nasty manner and we’re sure Thor could help him had he just asked but instead he drives Thor to the library to find a way to destroy him. Science geeks should be pleased with the denouement. The most startling bit of the issue is Thor’s snarling at Jarvis and his subsequent apology; heroes don’t do that—or do they? Anyone can have a bad day (see THE KILLING JOKE).

Comments: Karl Sarron was first seen in issue #204; his identity as the alien Mercurio is revealed herein; he returns in issues #214-216. The cover says that Mercurio’s left hand is ice and his right hand, fire; inside the comic it’s the other way around. The letters column includes one by future Starlog writer David McDonnell, one by French comics scholar Mark McKinney, and one by future Marvel and DC comics writer Bob Gale, who is also the co-screenwriter of the BACK TO THE FUTURE films.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #208 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor flies Hildegarde back to Avengers Mansion and they land on the roof. The silent alarms awaken Jarvis who goes to investigate and finds the two Asgardians. Thor, in a dark mood over Sif’s abandonment of him, snarls at Jarvis and chases him off. Hildegarde rebukes Thor for his treatment of Jarvis and goes to bed. Thor broods over the events of the last several issues and when he is finished, he seeks out Jarvis and apologizes to him….

Landlord Karl Sarron goes to Dr. Don Blake’s locked office and enters. We discover he is an alien, Mercurio the Fourth Dimensional Man from the planet Gramos. He has settled in this office because he detected the energies emitted by Blake when he transforms into Thor and draws on them to power a Dimensional Oscillator which he uses to open a communication portal to his home planet. He contacts a leader with a progress report on obtaining Earth’s electromagnetic field to save their dying planet. After he signs off, he tries to use the Oscillator to resume his native form but the device loses power midway through, leaving Mercurio stranded between alien and human….

Thor greets the Warriors Three, returning from their camping trip and they inform him that Balder did not return with them, pining for his lost Karnilla. Thor then sees it as his mission to reunite the two loves as the only way to free Sif from her vow of servitude to the Norn Queen. Thor is drawn to Don Blake’s office where he is attacked by Mercurio, whose left hand is a burning fire and his right, deadly ice—and only by killing Thor and taking his energies can he complete the transformation back to his natural form. The two battle, crashing through the wall and down to the street below. The villain sets the sidewalk on fire with a touch and Thor calls down a rainstorm to quench it. A police officer comes to see what the fuss is about and Mercurio freezes him, threatening to do the same to all the inhabitants of the city unless Thor surrenders to him….

The Warriors Three explore Avengers Mansion and come upon Vision on monitor duty. They have Vision look in on Asgard but the sight of their homeland makes them sad so Vision changes the scene—and they discover Thor battling Mercurio. They dash into action, commandeering a taxi and riding atop it to the scene of mayhem….

When the Warriors Three arrive, Thor leaves them to occupy the villain while he turns back into Don Blake and visits the library. Having learned what he wanted to know, Thor returns to battle carrying an iron girder. He melts it so that it coats Mercurio and the iron conducts his forces and consumes him. He vanishes, accusing Thor of having destroyed him and his world….


Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:




John Buscema
Vince Colletta
Stan Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Charlotte Jetter.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Jarvis
Jarvis

(Edwin Jarvis)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Hildegarde (Hildegarde), Mercurio (Fourth-Dimensional Man).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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