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Thor #305: Review

Mar 1981
?, Chic Stone

Story Name:

Hark, the Herald Angel Lives!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #305 Review by (December 2, 2019)

Review: Thor shoots first and asks questions later, not once but twice in his story. Stopping what he thinks is a gang attacking Santa Claus, he ends up rescuing a pusher from street justice and has no more to say to the gang than, “Just say no.” Then he destroys a villainous robot who is a boy’s hero, despite acting like a villainous robot. Thor can be excused for the second incident a little more because, though he didn’t listen to Kevin’s protests that Gabriel was his friend, Gabriel really didn’t give him much time to listen to the boy either. Things will be straightened out, sort of, next issue. The Balder/Karnilla story is unintentionally funny in parts, mainly because we know their complicated relationship will go on forever. Here everyone is so solemn as to be a joke. It gets sadder next issue.  

Comments: Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio co-wrote both stories. Story 1: Part one of two parts. Title comes from the Christmas carol “Hark! The Herald Angel Sings.” Silver Surfer faced and defeated Air Walker in FANTASTIC FOUR #120-123. Captain America defeated Machinesmith in that barn in CAPTAIN AMERICA #249. First appearance of clinic staff Ramon Hernandez (no relation to the Venom villain Lasher, who has the same name), Theresa Cruz, and Dexter Quentin, none of whom does very much in the series. Story 2: Part one of two parts. Karnilla’s palace looks like Castle Grayskull, or in this case, Blueskull.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #305 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At the Christmas season, Thor spies a gang of young men assaulting a sidewalk Santa Claus; the Thunder God rescues the old man and confronts the teens and learns that “Santa” was a drug pusher, responsible for a bad batch of dope that nearly killed the leader’s brother and they were out for some street justice. Thor lectures them on vigilantism, destroys their weapons, and counsels them to avoid drugs in the first place….

Out in the country, in a barn which was once the lair of Machinesmith, Gabriel the Air Walker, former herald of Galactus, awakens. The last thing he remembers is a defeat at the hands of Silver Surfer and now he senses he is a robot which has managed to repair itself. He re-ignites his cosmic cloak (which look like flames) and attracts the attention of a little boy in the nearby farmhouse. Young Kevin Matheson hurries over to investigate and, as a sci-fi buff, he is amazed at the “alien visitor” and offers to be his friend on this strange new world. The two fly off together, which is witnessed by Kevin’s horrified mother….

Dr. Donald Blake starts his new job at the Westside Medical Center, being introduced to the staff and seeing his first patient: a fellow coming down from a drug high….

Meanwhile, Gabriel and Kevin arrive at the Baxter Building and he seals the structure with an impassible shield while he confronts the Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Human Torch), wanting to know where Galactus is. When they tell him his master is long gone, he demands they produce the Silver Surfer in one hour or he will destroy the city. To impress Kevin, Gabriel unleashes a hurricane on the city, though the boy feels sorrier for his anger than anything. When Don Blake hears of the storm, he changes to Thor and brings the hurricane to an end. Thor confronts Gabriel who blasts him out of the sky; Thor, thinking Kevin is a hostage, clobbers his foe, causing him to drop the boy, whom Thor catches. Ignoring the boy’s protests that Air Walker is his friend, Thor battles Gabriel in the skies; the hero hurls Mjolnir and Gabriel catches it, using it to knock Thor out. Kevin pleads with his friend not to kill Thor so Gabriel drops Thor to the ground. Recovering, Thor realizes from his catching Mjolnir that Gabriel is some sort of machine and hurls his hammer through Air Walker’s chest, smashing him to bits. In tears, Kevin runs to the fallen herald and tells Thor he hates him for killing his friend. Thor, sensing he’s done something wrong, makes himself scarce.  

“The Sorceress and the Sacrifice!”

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

Synopsis: Rebuffed last issue, Karnilla has come up with another scheme to win the love of Balder the Brave. She arranges for him to meet a young maiden named Nanna and prompts the two to fall in love. When this is accomplished, she teleports the lovers to Nornhelm, the nasty kingdom she rules over. They travel for hours dodging all sorts of perils until they come to her palace. When they enter, Karnilla claps Nanna in chains and threatens to kill her if Balder doesn’t consent to marry Karnilla. Though Nanna is okay with dying, Balder makes Karnilla change her threat to “if any harm comes to Nanna, the marriage will be dissolved.” Balder agrees and Karnilla lets out a sinister laugh, as all good baddies do….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)

(Norn Queen)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Ben Grimm)


Plus: Air Walker.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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