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Thor #309: Review

Jul 1981
Bill Mantlo, Rick Leonardi

Story Name:

Beware the Bombardiers!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Thor #309 Review by (January 14, 2020)

Review: A different sort of enemy for Thor makes for an entertaining story, if you can overlook the fact that no one—not even the buildings’ occupants—ever sees this turbo-powered rocket car as it zooms down the street, smashes up a place, and then jets off into the night. Or that a fire investigator would miss tire tracks and evidence of explosives at the fire sites. Or that a landlord, no matter how greedy, would hire a gang to burn down all his properties over the space of a week or two. Or that Byrd would be the only cop to notice this. And there’s a cat with a grudge against the baddies. Anyway, the story is entertaining, if you don’t think about it, and the art makes the rocket car look really cool and the battle scenes very spiffy.

Comments: Only appearance of the Bombardiers. Ex-cop/private eye Nathaniel Alexander Byrd a/k/a Blackbyrd was a recurring character in DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU (starting at #12) and then made several appearances in PETER PARKER THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN; with this issue of THOR he’s back on the force for his final appearance (to date). The plot bears a strong resemblance to THE BULLETEERS, one of the Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 1940s.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #309 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A rocket car speeds through Manhattan, crashes into the Savoy Hotel then blasts the inside with cannon fire before flying off into the night. Survivors are taken to the Westside Medical Center where Dr. Donald Blake sees an elderly patient die before his eyes, the man’s cat attaching itself to Don. Don is then called to meet with Police Detective Byrd a/k/a Blackbyrd who tells him that these buildings are being destroyed by a gang who hire themselves out to unscrupulous slumlords seeking to collect the insurance on their ruined properties. Byrd checks out his theory and calls Don to tell him that all the ruined properties were owned by the same man—and there’s one more of his buildings left. Don transforms into Thor and heads to the address, carrying the dead man’s cat with him….

The Bombardiers arrive at the Belnord Arms only to be knocked off course by a hurled Mjolnir; the rocket car tries to run Thor down but he smacks some sense into them; the baddies try shooting at Thor but it doesn’t work. Meanwhile, the cat encourages a resident of the hotel to call the police and Byrd heads to the scene. Thor is then entangled in cables of Adamantium which he can’t break—until he sees the faces of the residents depending on him and then he snaps the cables to take on the gang yet again. The police arrive and engage in a gun battle with the Bombardiers while their leader jumps in the car to face Thor. The cat warns the God of Thunder in time for him to be pinned against the wall by the rocket car which fires its missiles directly into Thor’s body. Byrd fires at the car, smashing its windshield and the cat leaps in to attack the leader, forcing him back into an electrical panel and electrocuting him. Driverless, the car shoots off into the sky and Thor pursues it, res cues the cat, and allows the ship to explode at a safe distance upward. The surviving baddies confess and the cat gets the credit.  

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Rick Leonardi
Chic Stone
George Roussos
Rick Leonardi (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


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