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Thor #272: Review

Jun 1978
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

The Day the Thunder Failed!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #272 Review by (March 4, 2015)
Comments: The story is based on an authentic Norse myth which can be found in MYTHOLOGY by Thomas Bulfinch. The Storm God king goes by the name Skrymir; later the name would be used for the king of the Frost Giants (see THOR (2014)). Reporter Harris Hobbs was first seen in #114-123 and showed up briefly in issue #182. The letters column is replaced with a message from new writer Roy Thomas about his enthusiasm for Thor.

Review: How about that? A real Norse myth in the pages of Thor? Hasn’t happened since the days of the “Tales of Asgard” back-up feature. And it works beautifully as it is set back in the old days when Thor was in need of humbling. This way the blustery and bullying Thor of Norse myth fits into the comic featuring the later more genteel Thunder God. Really nice. And John Buscema works his magic too and will for the foreseeable future.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #272 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

While flying over the city, Thor spies a bunch of kids being picked on by a bully; he descends and chases the punk off.  The kids ask if Thor had even been bullied so he tells them this tale….


Thor and Loki were lost on a journey though a wilderness area; they find shelter in an oddly-shaped cave for the night. In the morning they find themselves next to a sleeping storm giant, and that the “cave” was one of his gloves. On awakening, the giant introduces himself as Skrymir and he informs them that they are in the land of Utgard. He continues on to Utgardhall with the Asgardians following in his wake as their best chance at finding their way home. That night, as Skrymir goes to sleep he invites them to eat of the food in his sack--but not even Thor can open it. Frustrated, Thor clouts the sleeping giant with Mjolnir, but Skrymir barely feels it…..


Arriving at last at Utgardhall, the two heroes manage to crawl under the door and enter. They encounter the giant King Utgard who sets them five tasks to perform; if they succeed, he will show them the way to Asgard, if, not--the dungeons. The first task is an eating contest: Loki versus a small man named Logi; Loki devours quite a bit of the dinner but Logi consumes all, even the dishes and the dining table! Next is a foot race: Loki against Hugi; the fellow reaches the finish line almost instantaneously. Third, Thor is challenged to drink dry a horn full of water; his mighty draught barely lowers the level of water. Fourth, Thor must lift the giant’s (normal sized) cat. Thor struggles but he can only raise one paw off the floor. The final task is for Thor to wrestle the king’s mother--an elderly and bowed human-sized woman. Thor finds he cannot move her but she can hurt him with her strong grip….


King Utgard then reveals the truth: he is Skrymir who they met in the forest; his food bag was magically sealed and Thor was tricked into thrashing a mountain when he thought he was clouting the giant. In the palace they were again enchanted into seeing what Utgard wanted them to see: the all-consuming Logi was a being of Fire; Hugi was Thought than whom nothing is faster; the water horn reached down to the ocean; the cat was really the Midgard Serpent; and the giant’s mother was Old Age, which no man can overcome. The test was to find whether the gods were weak enough for the giants to challenge. With a wave of his hand Utgard/Skrymir causes the castle itself to vanish, leaving Thor and Loki humbled….


The kids thank Thor for the lesson and the bullied kid promises to not worry about tough guys anymore. Thor is then accosted by news reporter Harris Hobbs who wants to film a TV special on the Norse Gods--in Asgard itself….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Tom Palmer
George Roussos
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
John Buscema (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


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