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Thor #222: Review

Apr 1974
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

Before the Gates of Hell!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #222 Review by (March 14, 2023)

Review: What a pair of boneheads. After spending the bulk of the previous issue fighting over nothing, the two protagonists Thor and Hercules again start battling over nothing. Eventually, Herc’s Dad throws them out and they head off on their quest, fighting baddies, consulting a witch who solves the whodunit for them, and Herc watching Thor whup Ares. The best moment comes with Thor giving a capsule biography of his magic hammer in the middle of an epic fight.

Comments: Part two of three parts. Only appearance of Chaga the witch. Hercules’ friend Kratos may be the same person as Krato in the previous issue; then again, maybe not. This must be a new visi-globe, seeing as Thor smashed it in the previous issue, though there it was called a mystic globe; tech upgrade? And my son just asked, “Why Pluto and Ares? Why mix the Greek and the Latin names? Why not Ares and Hades, as in the Disney movie? Or Mars and Pluto to go with the Latin Hercules?” So I told him, “Because it’s in the script.” Joe Sinnott identified as cover inker by GCD; they also detect alterations to faces by John Romita.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #222 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In a tavern in Asgard, Thor and Hercules are engaged in a strenuous round of arm-wrestling, surrounded by other drinkers betting on the outcome. Eventually, the table breaks and the arm wrestling turns into a fist fight, halted by a testy Zeus. The two combatants explain that it was to determine which of them would get to fight Pluto. Irritable, Zeus suggests they go out as allies rather than enemies and they again shake hands….

Ares, riding through the dark forest near Mount Olympus, stops for a drink of water and he sees a ghastly creature watching him from the pond. He jerks the water troll out of the pond and learns the creature is a messenger of Pluto. The troll tells him that Pluto is awaiting him at the Gates of Hell where they will meet their foes. Angered at being ordered about like a servant, Ares continues his journey, vowing retribution….

Back in Asgard, Odin, with the Grand Vizier, Sif, and Hildegarde, is watching Thor via the visi-globe and they are puzzled by Thor making an alliance with Hercules, whom they still consider a villain. Odin checks things out and finds Krista is still enslaved by Pluto, so Odin counsels the others to have faith in Thor. Privately, Odin confesses to the Vizier that he is having doubts about his son….

Journeying through the forests of Greece, Thor and Herc are attacked by an army of trolls and easily clobber them. Thor sees them at a disadvantage as Pluto can guess their next move but they don’t know what the Lord of the Underworld is planning. They decide to consult a witch of the moors named Chaga. They drop by her hut and she asks for payment in news about the outside world, which she has not seen in years. After an hour of talk, they ask her for answers. She consults the ashes in her bowl and reveals that the bad guy is Ares and he is awaiting them at the Gates of Hell. Herc deduces that it was the God of War who impersonated him in the mystic globe. At the Gate they encounter Ares, as promised. Thor takes him on and discovers that Ares’ strength is triple its normal level. As they fight Herc asks about Mjolnir and Thor gives a brief history while dueling with the enemy. Thor then realizes that Ares is being powered up by Pluto and redoubles his efforts, ending with him smashing Ares through a wall. So, Thor and Hercules enter the cavern called the Gates of Hell to face Pluto….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Joe Sinnott
Petra Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.




Plus: Krista, Pluto (Hades).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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