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Thor #236: Review

Jun 1975
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

Story Name:

One Life to Give!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #236 Review by (August 16, 2023)

Review: As I said last time, battles with the Absorbing Man are always fun and this issue is no exception. Yeah, there’s a digression to check up on amnesiac Odin but he ends up clobbering a bunch of punks so it matches the tone of the main story. Oh and Sif merges with Jane Foster to set up some odd complications over the next few issues. But Crusher Creel is at his best here, actually defeating Thor before our hero pulls off his big surprise. The big question: How did Thor know the store carried cardboard copies of Mjolnir? Did the God of Thunder sign a licensing agreement with a Japanese toy company? We’ll never know.

Comments: Part five of five parts. Sif is merged with Jane Foster herein; they are separated once more in issues #334-335. The letters page contains only two letters, one by Dean Mullaney, future founder of Eclipse Enterprises and one by Peter Sanderson, future contributor to the Official Handbooks and Marvel editor.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #236 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor and the Absorbing Man battle in the New York streets with Creel being made of Uru, having touched Thor’s hammer. The struggle goes back and forth until Creel swings his ball and chain, nailing Thor in the back and knocking him cold. Exulting in his victory, Creel goes on a rampage of destruction…

…as Hercules looks on helplessly from Jane Foster’s hospital window. But Sif needs him there for the Spell of Revival to save Jane’s life using the Runestaff stolen from Kamo-Tharnn….

In a small California town, Orrin (Odin under a spell of forgetfulness) and his teenaged friend Judith arrive at the general store to pick up supplies for the communal farm. A group of men, misunderstanding the relationship between the old man and the young girl, pick a fight with Orrin. He beats the stuffings out of them, surprised by the power he didn’t know he had….

Back in New York, Thor recovers and immediately attacks the Absorbing Man while Sif employs the Runestaff in the ritual to save Jane. Creel reveals how he survived his last battle with Thor, when he was thrown into a river and nearly died; it was only when he struck a rock that he was able to pull himself together. And now Thor runs away, the villain in pursuit, heading into a department store to the toy section. Creel snatches the hammer out of Thor’s hand, absorbing its power. Creel punches Thor in the face---and his whole arm crumples: Thor had substituted a cardboard toy replica of Mjolnir for the real thing. He punches Creel’s lights out and has the police take him away in a big cardboard box, with Detective Blumkenn showing gratitude. He returns to the hospital room to find Jane alive and well but Sif missing—because Sif used the Runestaff to transfer her own energy into Jane’s body and save her life….  

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Joe Sinnott
Phil Rachelson
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


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