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Thor #408: Review

Oct 1989
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

"The Fateful Decision!"

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Thor #408 Review by (May 18, 2021)

Review: And thus we wrap up the changing of the guard. Only one issue after Thor drops the guise of Sigurd Jarlson, declaring he no longer needs a human disguise, he gets another one, whether he wants it or not. What were they thinking? We really didn’t need a new Thor, especially one that is identical to old Thor; it’s the secret identity stuff that’s different. Well, eventually Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz revealed that Eric Masterson was created to die, in Comic Book Legends Revealed #389 (10/19/2012). So this new character, in hindsight, is on a death march as readers are counting down the days to his demise (in THUNDERSTRIKE #24). For purposes of this site, I will treat the matter the way it originally ran, pretending no knowledge of the dude’s fate, just like it was back in the day. Oh yeah, the paean to Thor’s nobility is a bit overdone but sums up the character nicely. More to come.

Comments: First story: Part three of three parts. Eric Masterson is now Thor’s human alter ego for the foreseeable future; he becomes the new Thor entirely in issue #431-432. Asgard entered the Negative Zone in issue #404. Hercules’ first appearance in the guise of Harry Cleese. Mongoose returns about five years later in THUNDERSTRIKE #13-14. Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Second story: Part one of two parts. First appearance of Uroc. First appearance of Grundor the Greater. Greg Wright and Tom Vincent collaborated on the colors.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #408 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor and Eric Masterson, transported to Earth, return to Wundagore with the rescued High Evolutionary and Hercules, to be welcomed by the former’s people, the New Men. Mongoose watches from the rafters, plotting vengeance against Thor….

In Asgard, still trapped in the Negative Zone, a sickly Odin awaits the return of his son Thor and his “fateful decision” whether to return to Asgard permanently or remain on Midgard (Earth)….

Back in Wundagore, Hercules is scandalized that Thor would shave off his beard but the God of Thunder prefers the clean-cut look. Unbeknownst to him, the barber delivers the bowl containing hair, tissue, and blood samples from Thor to Count Tagar for research and cloning purposes. Thor and Herc are given atomic steeds to take them to civilization and the Thunder God leaves with a warning to the High Evolutionary to stop fooling around with human evolution; H.E. assures him he has many other projects to pursue. Once Thor (with Eric) and Herc are a sufficient distance away, Wundagore, a spaceship, takes off into the sky. Minutes later, the heroes are blasted out of the sky by Mongoose, flying a deadly Asteroid Blaster. With a single blow of Mjolnir, Thor wrecks the villain’s ship. Mongoose uses his superspeed to pummel Thor much faster than he can react to; Thor calls down a rainstorm to make the ground too muddy for the bad guy to retain his footing. Mongoose reveals a laser-like drill which he fires at Thor, unbalancing him; Eric jumps onto the villain’s back and is thrown aside. Eric picks up Mjolnir and attacks Mongoose, only to be shot down. Hercules, who had fallen into a ravine, arrives and Mongoose, realizing he can’t beat two gods together, runs for his life. Thor, cradling the dying Eric Masterson, summons Odin and pleads for his friend’s life. Odin warns him that the cost may be high, the decision irrevocable. Thor agrees and Odin wishes his son farewell. As he explains to the Grand Vizier, Thor’s selfless nature humbles him and his example as the noblest of them all should shine out to the universe….

Eric returns home to his son Kevin and friend Susan Austin; he introduces his pal Hercules as Harry Cleese but he can’t say what happened to Thor. Hours later, after the other have gone to bed, Eric reveals what Odin has done: he has merged body and soul with Thor and now, striking Don Blake’s cane, Eric is transformed into the God of Thunder, ready for adventure….

“There Dwells a Monster!”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Mike Mignola. Inks: Bob Wiacek. Colors: Greg Wright, Tom Vincent. Letters: Mike Heisler.
Synopsis: Thor is captured by a band of marauding trolls who bring him before their king, Grundor the Greater. Thor, having allowed himself to be captured, knowing the trolls would take him back to their king, bursts free and clobbers the trolls. He seizes Grundor and demands to know why they are raiding Asgard. Grundor reveals that a great demon has driven them toward the surface. Thor determines to face this monster and has Grundor lead him across the bridge over the Chasm of Eternal Sorrow and they are confronted by Uroc the Uru Monster, who fears not Thor’s tiny Uru hammer….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Joe Sinnott
Tom Vincent
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Michael Heisler.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



Plus: Kevin Masterson, Marcus Stone, Mongoose, New Men, Susan Austin, Tagar (Count Tagar).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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