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Thor #218: Review

Dec 1973
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

Where Pass the Black Stars, There Also Passes... Death!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #218 Review by (February 7, 2023)

Review: Another misleading cover as Thor does have Sif and Balder on his side so he doesn’t fight alone but this makes for a more exciting pic. Anyway, every so often this title takes a break from the tales of mythical gods and heroes to present a tale of mind-boggling science fiction and that’s what keeps this series fresh because how many times can Thor kick troll butt? It all began back in the early days—when Jack Kirby was king—with Thor’s encounter with the High Evolutionary, a mad scientist who wanted to turn animals into people. Future issues would see classic tales like the Black Galaxy Saga but every tale threatens the death of the galaxy and that’s where we are this time around. Gigantic galaxy-destroying Black Stars that scare even the Rigellians out of their wits. The Rigellians a/k/a the Colonizers were always a potential source of sci-fi plots but here we learn they have their own underclass, the despised mutants, though it seems there are only four of them—and they have space suits, unlikely to have been provided by their overlords. If there were more, they have perished in the destruction of Rigel. Anyway, this issue is largely a setup for the story arc’s events as next time Thor heads to one of the Black Stars, which seems bigger than any place the God of Thunder is accustomed to (you have no idea). 

Comments: Part one of three parts. Cameos by Heimdall, Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg. Thor’s last visit to Rigel was in issue #132.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #218 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Odin sends Thor to Rigel to investigate the threat of the Black Stars; Tana Nile, a Rigellian, and Silas Grant go with him as does Sif and, a last minute addition, Balder. They set sail on the Starjammer and Odin hopes that the recent conflict between him and Thor is truly resolved so that if Thor dies, Odin can be at peace….

On Rigel, the Colonizers are evacuating the planet and seeking refuge in space; the Grand Commissioner broods over what he sees as an act of futile cowardice as the Black Stars will eventually consume the galaxy….

In Asgard, young Krista returns home, hiding the crystal she found in the field and she seems possessed by it….

The Starjammer lands on Rigel and Thor and company find the place deserted. Then they are attacked by the mutants who dwell underground. Thor hurls Mjolnir and it ricochets off of the mutants, ending the fight. Their leader Jukka fills Thor in on the situation: the mutants are the remnants of a failed genetic experiment and the Rigellians left them behind when they fled the planet. Thor invites the handful of survivors aboard his ship as they pursue the Colonizers….

Then the Rigellians watch as the Black Stars reach Rigel and blow the planet apart then they send out space scoops at the end of long mechanical tendrils, drawing in the wreckage of the planet to be broken down into energy to fuel the Black Stars….

Thor’s party catches up to the Rigellian fleet and the rearmost ship fires a space cannon at the Starjammer; Thor, Balder, and the mutants fight with the soldiers which emerge from the ship until they are halted by a message from the Grand Commissioner that the Asgardians are to be treated as allies. Thor and company come aboard the Rigellian ship but the mutants are ordered to remain on the Starjammer as their presence on the ship would cause a riot among the people; the seven hundred ships of the Colonizer fleet carry nine billion people and the idea of mass hysteria is a serious concern. They colonize to relieve crowding on their homeworld but now they are all jammed together in their ships….

The Rigellian also gives Thor the history of the Black Stars: a huge galactic civilization they called Ry-Leph (Utopia) was wiped out by the Black Stars in a single day and night, absorbing the remains for fuel and now Rigel has been destroyed. They look at the stars: five worlds, each three times the size of Jupiter, around a flaming sun and impossible to defeat….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Jim Mooney
George Roussos
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


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

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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