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Thor #274: Review

Aug 1978
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

The Eye -- and the Arrow!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #274 Review by (March 11, 2015)
Comments: Part two of six parts. First appearance of blind Hoder. Issue features a rare appearance of Odin’s wife Frigga (later Freyja) and Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Contemporary references: ROOTS, the TV miniseries, movie producer Dino deLaurentis, interviewer Barbara Walters, the Osmonds musical family. Balder’s brush-off of Red Norvell demonstrates that Thor is quite unique in his regard for ordinary Earth-bound mortals.

Review: A doom-filled tale undercuts itself since this is the third Ragnarok so far in the title so it wouldn’t be taken as seriously as the version that would close out THOR volume 2 in 2004—and even that one didn’t last forever. Meanwhile we discover why Roy Thomas put Harris Hobbs and his news crew in Asgard: so Hobbs could explain the Norse myths to them—and the reader. That’s an easy way to get the needed exposition in there but it doesn’t have quite the epic heft of the Tales of Asgard version in issues #127-128. (On the other hand it also doesn’t nearly collapse under its foreboding and grit like Thor (1998) #80-85.) So wait, why does Harris Hobbs know what’s about to happen to Balder? Are the stories that have been told on Earth histories or prophecies? More could have been done with this since it means humans potentially know more about the Aesir than they should. It’s still quite enjoyable.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #274 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In Asgard, Loki has announced the impending doom of Ragnarok and hinted that newsman Harris Hobbs from Earth is connected to its coming. Thor tries to toss Loki out of Asgard but the trickster turns into a mouse and dashes under a statue of Odin. Thor hoists the statue just as Odin arrives on Sleipnir his eight-legged horse and misinterprets Thor’s action as a sign of disrespect toward his father. Odin, now with a patch over one eye, also spies the news crew from Earth and is displeased; Balder defends Thor, revealing that Loki was the one who smuggled them in. Odin reveals where he has just been. He visited Mimir at the Well of Wisdom to learn if anything could be done to prevent the End of All Things; Mimir exacted a price from the All-Father: his right eye. Mimir then sent him to inquire of the dead prophetess Volla. Odin journeyed to the land of Hel and inquired of Volla’s spirit; she revealed that the death of Balder would signal the Twilight of the Gods. Hela, queen of the dead, approached and told Odin she would look forward to welcoming that brave warrior to her realm. On his way out he was met by Hoder, the blind god, who asked for a ride home….


Now Odin has concluded his tale and Balder greets it with unbelief; Thor offers to kill Loki but they are interrupted by the return of the goddesses to Asgard, led by Lady Sif. Odin greets his queen Frigga. Cameraman Red Norvell is smitten at the sight of Sif and tries to chat her up but Balder sends him off. Balder casually mentions to the other warriors that when he was born, Queen Frigga obtained a promise from all created things not to harm him, making him invulnerable to every weapon. As the gods prepare to test this power, Harris Hobbs recognizes the prophesied doom coming and rushes to warn Thor. The Thunder God returns with him to find the heroes of Asgard hurling weapons at Balder to see them turn away or shatter on his chest. The blind god Hoder wishes he could participate so Loki hands him a bow and arrow and offers to guide his aim. Hoder’s arrow pierces Balder’s chest—signaling the coming of Ragnarok….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Tom Palmer
Bob Sharen
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


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