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Thor #438: Review

Nov 1991
Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz

Story Name:

Yesterday Must Die! [The Thor War, Part 1 of 4]

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #438 Review by (February 23, 2022)

Review: So…Thor versus Thor starts with a reminder of who Dargo Ktor is, this being only his third appearance. Once we’re caught up, more soap opera for Eric, Stellaris returns, this time, since we already know she’s a woman, she’s drawn like a hot babe from (almost) the beginning. And Eric clearly lacks some of Thor’s nobility in his petty revenge against Bobby Steele which would imply he’s not entirely worthy of wielding Mjolnir. Anyway, a lot happens and some of it is interesting with the promise of an even better battle next time. The backup story has a gritty feel, the art resembling that of Mike Mignola or Klaus Jansen and the return of the Destroyer, in the land of the dead, makes for a pretty cool tale.

Comments: First story: Future Thor Dargo Ktor previously appeared in issues #384 and 400. Zarrko goes all the way back to JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #86. Servitor previously appeared with Zarrko in issues #242-245. Susan Austin has been in a coma since issue #432. Stellaris previously appeared in the Black Galaxy Saga in issues #419-424. Bobby Steele was first seen as a shadowy figure in #435. Zarrko’s time machine is bigger on the inside than on the outside? What an original idea! How did they ever think of it? [Joke.] Ron Frenz and Tom DeFalco collaborated on the plot. Second story: Part two of five parts. The letters page includes one by future horror author Joseph J. Christiano and one by future comic book Instagrammer Jeff Mara.          


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #438 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the future of 2591, Servitor, riding a massive cube hovering over the city, demands that Thor show himself. Servitor easily shoots down the traffic drones that oppose him. Against the pleas of his girlfriend Salla, Dargo Ktor transforms into Thor in time to rescue a police officer falling from a rooftop and then he confronts Servitor. The giant robot tells him its orders are to take him to its master; they descend into the cube which is much larger on the inside than the outside and meet Zarrko the Tomorrow Man….

In today’s Earth, Eric Masterson learns from a doctor that the only hope of saving the comatose Susan Austin is Dr. Don Blake but he can’t be found. Eric says goodbye to his son Kevin who is going home with his mother Marcy Masterson. Eric broods about the Don Blake problem all the way home; there he is met by Bobby Steele, pro quarterback and Marcy’s new husband. Steele tells Eric that he wants to adopt Kevin and give him a father who isn’t disappearing all the time. Eric punches him and hurts his hand. Steele, unharmed, takes his leave, telling Eric to think about it….

Stellaris returns to Earth, seeking vengeance against Thor for stranding her in space (issue #424). Eric changes into Thor and fantasizes about clobbering Bobby Steele but settles for making it rain to ruin the upholstery in Steele’s car. Stellaris then smashes through the wall of Eric’s apartment and challenges him to fight; Thor tries explaining that he thought she was dead but no matter, Stellaris produces her guns and starts blazing away, knocking the God of Thunder for a loop….

In the future, Zarrko tells Dargo Ktor that in the 20th century a criminal named Eric Masterson will gain control of Mjolnir and become a bad guy Thor; if this happens it will create a time virus that will wipe out Dargo’s timeline….

Eric Thor is fighting Stellaris when Dargo Thor appears on his other side and blasts him with lightning. Trapped between two deadly enemies, Eric Thor is stunned….     

“The Hel-Hounds and the Heroes”
Writer: Tom DeFalco. Pencils: Patrick Olliffe. Inks: Patrick Olliffe. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Dave Sharpe.
Synopsis: Searching for the missing Thor Odinson, Sif and Balder have come to Niffleheim to find it ruled by the Destroyer animated by an unknown soul. Balder drops a cliff on the Destroyer and then he and Sif use the Norn Stones to become invisible and get out of there. The two find the armies of the dead turned to stone and Garm the Hel-Hound trapped in rock. Garm explains that Thor had left the Destroyer encased in crystal on his previous adventure there (THOR #382) as a warning to Hela; once Hela removed it from the crystal, an unidentified soul possessed it and put Hela into a crystal. It now rules the land of the dead. Sif and Balder deduce that it can only be Thor inhabiting the armor; Garm tells them they will need Hela’s help to defeat it and to get her out of her crystal prison they will need a special sword that is in the land of Midhogg….

Meanwhile, the Destroyer is in a bad mood and wants to destroy all who are living….  

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Ron Frenz
Al Milgrom
Mike Rockwitz
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Brad Joyce.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Dargo Ktor)

(Eric Masterson)

Plus: Bobby Steele, Kevin Masterson, Marcy Masterson, Servitor, Stellaris, Susan Austin, Zarrko (Tomorrow Man).

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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