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Thor #304: Review

Feb 1981
?, Chic Stone

Story Name:

Reckless!

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Thor #304 Review by (November 25, 2019)

Review: The Thor story is a nice big battle scene against some fairly formidable foes, framed by Thor’s uplifting message that everyone’s life has meaning. Too bad the writers thought they had to kill the old lady to underline that point. The Balder/Karnilla tale gives us the latest installment in their ongoing rom-com, this time guest-starring a big brutal warrior. Balder’s solemn virtue and Karnilla’s cut-rate craftiness make this endless subplot hard to take seriously.

Comments: Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio co-wrote both stories. Story 1: Wrecker was introduced in THOR #148 and the Wrecking Crew first appeared as a team in DEFENDERS #17-19 and three members of the group meet Thor for the first time here. First appearance of Lionel Jeffries, director of the clinic Don applies to; he is no relation to the Alpha Flight villain Scramble, who has the same name. Story 2: Title comes from a Shakespeare play. Balder “died” in issues #274-275 and was revived in #302. Sole appearance of Barbaric, whose name is an adjective anyway.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #304 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Flying over the city, Thor spies a cabbie running a light and nearly hitting an old woman in the crosswalk; the Thunder God pursues the cab and hoists it up to a roof where he lectures the driver on safety and takes him back to the scene of the crime to apologize to the lady. The lady thanks Thor but believes her old life isn’t worth much; Thor responds that all lives are important and takes off, knowing he has done his job. Returning to the form of Dr. Donald Blake he applies for a job at an inner city clinic….

At Ryker’s Island Prison, a rookie guard is shown to the impounded weapons room; when he touches a crowbar it begins to glow, takes over his mind, and marches him to the cell of the Wrecker. Touching his weapon, the villain regains all his powers and collects his accomplices, Thunderball, Piledriver, and Bulldozer, restoring their powers as well. They crash out of the joint and Wrecker aims to defeat Thor to demonstrate who is the toughest….

The baddies smash their way into a MacDonald’s [sic] for a quick meal while they decide how to find Thor. Their big idea is to wreck Lincoln Center because that will bring the Thunder God running. So they go to work on the sidewalk and fountains outside the Center and Thor does indeed arrive to face them. They fight back and forth for several pages, resulting in Bulldozer and Piledriver being knocked out and Thunderball fleeing in a panic, leaving the Wrecker to face his hated foe. The villain rips out a huge window and showers the broken glass in Thor’s direction but he misses and the glass kills an old lady in the crowd. When Thor learns that it is the same old lady he rescued that morning, he fills with rage and gives the Wrecker a true taste of Asgard’s power, filling him with the power of Mjolnir and burning the bad guy out. Thor takes a moment to mourn the old lady….

“Love’s Labor’s Lost”

Writer: Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio. Pencils: Keith Pollard. Inks: Chic Stone. Colors: George Roussos.

Synopsis: Balder the Brave broods in a garden and Karnilla comes to talk of romance—but Balder balks: his death during Ragnarok has changed him and he also knows that Karnilla is evil under her guise of benevolence. She gets really snitty and summons the warrior Barbaric to kill Balder. But try as he might, the brute cannot hurt the hero. Karnilla knows that Balder can be harmed only by mistletoe and hands her henchman a dagger made from that wood—and immediately sends Barbaric back where he came from. She holds up saving Balder’s life as proof of her love but he doesn’t buy it since she’s the one who put him in danger to begin with. They part and she plots another way to get him back….



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?
Chic Stone
Chic Stone
George Roussos
Keith Pollard (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Pollard. Letterer: Joe Rosen.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Balder (Balder the Brave), Donald Blake, Karnilla (Norn Queen).