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Thor #223: Review

May 1974
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

Hellfire Across the World!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #223 Review by (March 22, 2023)

Review: And the action-oriented trilogy ends on a strange note: Hercules has little to do. He is weakened in Hell so that, aside from one literal bit of heavy lifting, Thor does all the fighting. Then in Asgard, after some comical banter over architectural styles, Herc is mainly quiet while Thor interacts with his Father. Then it’s down to Earth where Herc is paralyzed by Pluto’s flaming spear and it’s left to Thor to beat the bad guy. Really, the story wouldn’t be much different if Herc wasn’t there—though without Herc, there wouldn’t be a point to the Asgard scenes while the Hell and Earth bits would be the same. Odd, because Herc was such an integral part of the first two installments of the trilogy. Not to worry, the issue is still fun and presumably to make it up to Herc he will be around for the next several issues.

Comments: Part three of three parts. Cameo by Heimdall. Movie stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford are invoked as celebrities equal to Thor and Hercules.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #223 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor and Hercules enter Hell to confront its lord, Pluto, over the kidnapping of Krista. They are attacked by bat-demons and fight them off, despite Herc’s being weakened in that place….

In his throne room, Pluto chastises the bat-demons for their failure and demands that Krista, silent since she was brought to Hell, speak to him. She declines, so he continues with his plan and transports them both away….

The two heroes come to a chasm; Hercules tears up a huge stalagmite and uses it to bridge the gap. Once on the other side, they are attacked by snake-women. One wraps Thor in her coils but he spins on his axis, hurling her away; he then throws Mjolnir, picking up the rest of the monsters and dumping them into the chasm. Thor and Herc arrive at the throne room to find Pluto and Krista gone. Thor proposes the ask Odin where the Big Bad has gone and transports them to the Rainbow Bridge. As they walk through the city, Herc compares Asgard unfavorably to Mount Olympus. They enter Odin’s throne room, having flipped a couple of zealous guards out of the way. Odin thunders against Thor for having brought an enemy to Asgard; Thor explains the situation and Odin begs his forgiveness. Thor asks where Pluto has gone; the All-Father uses a device similar to a flashlight to locate the villain in Manhattan. Thor wonders at this as Pluto’s powers would be halved in Midgard but Odin reminds him of all the human evil Pluto can draw on. Thor and Herc head down to Earth while Sif prays in despair as Hildegarde comforts her….

The two heroes materialize in Times Square, exciting some comment among the inhabitants. They spy Pluto and his prisoner atop a nearby building. Pluto defies them, creating a spear of fire from the air and hurling it, striking Hercules and leaving him unable to move. Thor hurls Mjolnir and destroys a second flaming spear before it can hit him. Thor flies up to the rooftop where Pluto confesses using Krista’s abduction as a pretext for war between the Greek and Norse gods. Pluto then creates a sword of fire from the air and they duel. After a violent melee, Pluto is hurled off the roof and hits an electric sign, shocking him into teleporting elsewhere. Hercules is freed. They find Krista is dying and Thor proposes to rush her to the hospital where Dr. Don Blake can perhaps save her….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Mike Esposito
Petra Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.




Plus: Krista, Pluto (Hades).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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