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Thor #290: Review

Dec 1979
Roy Thomas, Arvell Jones

Story Name:

Ring Around the Red Bull!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #290 Review by (August 5, 2019)

Review: And we take a brief time out from the epic Eternals saga for some lucha libre! It's a pretty entertaining issue if a bit of an oddball chapter in the Eternals epic, especially since these two luchadores do not return. The issue has all the earmarks of a fill-in issue hastily revised to fit in with the surrounding story arc but it appears not to be one of those. This was planned from the start? Apparently so. And the issue is a lot of fun, even if Thor having trouble with a Mexican wrestler (or one from any other country), even if he is a Deviant, is hard to swallow.        

Comments: Part eight of the Eternals Saga which spans issues #283-301. First appearances of El Toro Rojo and El Vampiro. Title is a play on the children's rhyme “Ring Around the Rosy” and has nothing to do with the contemporary energy drink. The story thanks Alice Cooper, Hugh Hefner, and others who contributed to restore the iconic Hollywood sign in 1978. And there's a cameo by Lou Ferrigno.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #290 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor, hurled from the Rainbow Bridge by the Destroyer last issue, falls toward Midgard. Mjolnir springs to life, taking its wielder to Hollywood where Thor spies the filming of an episode of the Incredible Hulk TV series. Thor then sees a man in a bat-like costume flying through the air: rescuing him, Thor learns that this fellow, El Vampiro, is an Eternal pursing the career of a Mexican wrestler. He was very successful until in a recent match he was defeated by a brutal opponent called El Toro Rojo, the Red Bull, who revealed himself to be a Deviant, trying to prevent El Vampiro from answering Zuras' summons to Olympia. As Thor is at Vampiro's home, El Toro Rojo comes crashing in to finish his violent mission. Thor hurls his hammer at the bad guy but El Toro Rojo is able to deflect Mjolnir away from Thor with his invulnerable head. After 60 seconds, Thor transforms into Dr Donald Blake and the bad guy hurls him through the air, only El Vampiro's catching him saves his life. El Toro seizes Don's walking stick and dashes back to the arena for his next match....

Later, El Vampiro's human wife drives Don to the arena and he leaps into the ring where El Toro is brutalizing another opponent. Don grabs on to his stick which the bad guy is wielding so that when El Toro tries to shake him off it hits the ground and Don Blake is Thor once again. The two grapple for several pages until Thor shears off El Toro's horns, halving his power; it is then easy to hurl the Deviant through the roof. Thor is declared the winner of the match and he refuses a lucrative contract, instead hurrying back to Olympia and the Eternals....

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Arvell Jones
Tom Palmer
Carl Gafford
Keith Pollard (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


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