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Thor #320: Review

Jun 1982
Doug Moench, ?

Story Name:

Blake's Menagerie

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #320 Review by (April 28, 2020)

Review: A wacky adventure stuffs an awful lot of plot into its limited page count but it’s also a lot of fun, especially the saucy mermaid. And there’s more to come.

Comments: Part one of three parts. First appearance of Queen Jolena. First appearance of Nurse Stevens who, surprisingly, returns a few times. There’s a reference to the fad for mechanical bull riding, following the release of the film URBAN COWBOY in 1980. Chic Stone, John Tartaglione, and Frank Giacoia shared penciling and inking duties.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #320 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In Asgard, Odin watches as two small armies fight, pondering how to decide which one has the just cause. Further complication: one side is the army of Queen Jolena, Odin’s former lover….

Dr Donald Blake attends a Viking exhibit at a local museum with Dr. Shawna Lynde. He pays no attention to a silver chalice but the chalice pays attention to him….

The next day, Don is setting up his new practice in Chicago with Shawna’s help. As he is interviewing a Nurse Stevens, she is suddenly encased in ice which instantly cracks to reveal Fairgold, a mermaid with a flirty demeanor. Don puts her in the whirlpool bath as Shawna brings in Don’s first patient, Thorne Kirby. Suddenly, Shawna and Kirby are encased in ice, transforming them into Kyrie, a bird-woman, and Grult, a bull-man (i.e. a Minotaur). And then two movers similarly become Borna, a bear-man, and Slithgarn, a snake-man. Borna and Grult start fighting and the racket brings the landlord up to complain about the noise and Don has to make excuses. The five introduce themselves as the Menagerie of Rimthursar who have just been freed from their centuries-long imprisonment and wish to delight in real life once more—so they won’t tell Don how to get rid of them. Kyrie leaps out of a window to force Don to become Thor and save her (the God of Thunder apparently forgetting she’s part bird and can fly); Thor changes back to Don. Deciding to have some fun, they drug Don and take off, all except Fairgold, as the mermaid is confined to the whirlpool bath….

Out in the street Grult gets into a fight with a cabbie which leaves several cars damaged and they enter a country-and-western themed bar. Grult is invited to try the mechanical bull and he takes that as an insult and destroys it, setting off a huge brawl among the customers. Back at the apartment Don wakes up, thanks to Fairgold’s putting him the bathtub, and, learning that the others have gone, becomes Thor and pursues them. Arriving during the brawl, Thor rebukes the animal people and they realize they do not belong in this world. Thor takes them all to the museum where they reveal their origin: they were the menagerie of the mean god Rimthursar who decided to use them to overthrow Odin; when they refused, their master slew them and imprisoned their souls in the silver chalice, hurling it down to Midgard. The sight of Thor, even in his Don Blake guise, was enough to free them and they took on human hosts. Thor tries to return them to the chalice so he can return it to Asgard but the attempt makes Borna go berserk and Thor must knock him out. Has the chalice been sabotaged by another Asgardian god? And Thor knows it’s Loki….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

George Roussos
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Pollard.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



Plus: Shawna Lynde.

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