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Thor #217: Review

Nov 1973
Gerry Conway, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

All Swords Against Them!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Thor #217 Review by (January 31, 2023)

Review: A deceptive cover leads to one of the leading clichés of superhero comics: a hero fights a duplicate of himself. And here we learn that multiplying heroes and impostors does not multiply thrills. Tana Nile and Silas Grant, largely forgotten over the past several issues, are suddenly remembered here in a single panel where Thor asks his friends to rescue them; if they had any sense they would have gone back to the ship to hide at the first outbreak of violence. And we don’t learn what happened to the villain who, let’s face it, we forgot five minutes after finishing the issue. And the story ends with a valuable lesson, be careful what gods you believe in, whether religious or otherwise, but the matter does not seem applicable here as the Asgardians thought they were worshipping the same gods they always had. Weak issue feels like a fill-in but no, it ties into the previous issue and leads into the next. So it just looks like someone had a bad month.

Comments: Cover artists uncertain according to the Grand Comics Database, possibly John Romita and/or Rich Buckler. First appearance of Krista. Igron was introduced in issues #177-179, ending with his being imprisoned among the trolls; he escaped when Thor proved a distraction in #210-211 and he will return in issues #246-250.  Karnilla, who was rescued with Sif in the previous issue, seems to have vanished from the Starjammer.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #217 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Synopsis: Thor and the passengers on the Starjammer arrive home in Asgard but something is wrong: the warriors are marching and hailing Odin and Thor but are clearly unaware of the arrival of the ship. They see in the city center Odin, Thor, Heimdall, Sif, Hogun, and Fandral, doubles of those on the ship. The real Odin steps ashore and challenges the impostors; fake Odin and Thor call them the impostors—but real Thor notes that he carries Mjolnir while the phony wields a sword. Battle breaks out with each hero taking on his double. Odin waves a hand and freezes the soldiers in place, preventing them from interfering in the fight….

Far away, the Rigellians have abandoned their homeworld and the Grand Commissioner is troubled in mind over whether to stay in honor or flee to safety. Then he is told the Black Stars will reach Rigel within a fortnight….

Interlude: Hildegarde’s sister Krista, frightened by the sounds of battle, flees the city for the forest where she suddenly discovers a glowing stone on the ground. She picks it up….

Back in Asgard, Thor takes on fake Heimdall and Sif versus faux Hildegarde; Fandral discovers Volstagg cowering in an alley and asks what is going on. Volstagg explains how Balder recovered from his fit and they returned to Asgard to find the place full of impostors. Balder challenged them, was beaten up and imprisoned while Volstagg hid. So they set out to rescue their comrade from the dungeon fighting demon hounds on the way….

Thor fights fake Heimdall and knocks him off the Rainbow Bridge; the impostor panics knowing the wizard’s spell will fail and he fades out before Thor can help him. Thor carries Sif to safety and encounters Balder—who leads them into a trap, magic walls springing up to enclose them. “Balder” reveals himself to be the wizard Igron the Invincible who escaped from imprisonment in the trolls’ land and came to Asgard which he found deserted so he created a phony set of gods and took over. Real Balder arrives and thumps the wizard on the head and Thor’s prison vanishes. Thor orders his friends to rescue Tana Nile and Silas Grant from danger while he confronts false Odin, striking him down with Mjolnir and watching him dissolve without the aid of Igron. The battle ends with Odin defeating fake Thor and speaking a warning against believing in false gods….

Epilogue: Odin gathers the heroes, including Tana Nile and Silas Grant, to inform them that a menace approaches from space, which will first strike Rigel and then all the worlds of men….

Characters appearing who did not make it into the synopsis: Heimdall, Hogun, Hildegarde. The Three-H Club?

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Sal Buscema
Sal Buscema
Petra Goldberg
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


(Hogun the Grim)


Plus: Krista, Rigellians, Silas Grant, Tana Nile.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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