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Thor #381: Review

Jul 1987
Walt Simonson, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Ye Olde Shelle Game!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #381 Review by (June 18, 2014)
Review: The return of the Destroyer—at a time when it wasn’t being overused! A thrilling encounter between the God of Thunder and his metallic nemesis with spectacular art closing out the issue! And a bunch of ugly giants take a beating as well! The only big flaw is that the reader should have picked up MEPHISTO VS. THE AVENGERS for some needed context but it isn’t a fatal flaw.

Comments: The beginning of this story coincides with the events of MEPHISTO VS. #4. Tigra, present in that issue, is absent here with nary a mention. Destroyer was melted into slag in THOR #300. No explanation is offered as to how the giants could walk from the Lofoten Islands in Norway to the Delaware Water Gap in such a short time—or even at all.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #381 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Frost Giants led by Grundroth arrive at the Delaware Water Gap to find the flame barrier erected by Mephisto. Searching for their enemy Thor, they use their icy powers to pass through the fires unharmed and see Thor’s soul in combat with Mephisto; the two vanish, leaving behind the unconscious Avengers. They also discover Thor, his pulped body held together by his armor but unable to die because of Hela’s curse. They take turns abusing the helpless Thunder God. They flee the barrier just as the Avengers awaken and depart. Loki finds them there and deposits the Destroyer armor, melted by the Celestials but now reconstituted though the magic of the God of Mischief. True to his programming the deadly weapon destroys all of the Frost Giants, as a team of news reporters watch in horror….
Interlude: Back in Asgard, Mick and Kevin have Balder drink from the vial; it contains the last of the Water of Life and he is restored. Volstagg arrives and assumes Kurse was the villain; when matters are explained, he joins Balder in an expedition to Hlidskjalf, Odin’s High Seat, to search for answers. Instead, they see Utgard-Loki planning to lead his giants against Asgard….

The Destroyer detects life inside Thor’s armor and he attacks it—with Loki hoping this will last for all eternity. Instead, the semi-sentient armor realizes it has discovered what it has always wanted: an indestructible life-force. Destroyer demands that this soul come and animate him—but when the armor discovers it is Thor that it is facing, it tries to flee, with Thor now forcing his spirit into the machine. The newly amalgamated being dons Thor’s cape and the Belt of Strength, picks up Mjolnir and departs for another place, leaving the confused news team alone….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Sal Buscema
Sal Buscema
Christie Scheele
Walt Simonson (Cover Penciler)
Walt Simonson (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)
Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Loki Laufeyson)

(Jennifer Walters)


Plus: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Frost Giants, Utgard-Loki.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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