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Thor #460: Review

Mar 1993
Jim Starlin, Bruce Zick

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #460 Review by (May 6, 2023)
Lou Harrison painted the cover.

This issue begins the saga of the Madness Of Thor which will continue to #471 through the Infinity Crusade event and the Blood And Thunder crossover, both masterminded by Jim Starlin. Starlin co-writes this issue with Ron Marz, and indeed is given primacy in the credits. He is setting the stage for Thor's involvement in the 2 events mentioned. The issue even has an ad for B&T which is months away.

Ron's work for Marvel was already entangled with Jim. Starlin had been writing Silver Surfer for a while when Marz joined him to co-write the main tale in SS Annual #3 and solo on a backup tale. They then co-wrote SS#42-43 before Ron subbed for Jim in #49 and took over completely from #51. He was writing SS during the whole period of the Infinity events plus the B&T crossover, and Thor here and for Infinity Crusade and Blood & Thunder (in fact that set comprises the whole of his Thor run).

This new Valkyrie will be revealed to be a a figment of Thor's imagination that others can't see. She is an embodiment of the madness/paranoia that will grip him and she will urge him to give in to it.

Thor and Sif will continue their quests next issue. Odin will be back in the following issue, but we'll have to wait for #466 to see Balder again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #460 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Thor and his love Sif are relaxing in an Asgardian glade. She commiserates with his recent long 'imprisonment' within the mind of Eric Masterson (#432-457) when *he* was Thor, but now that all his troubles are over she expects they will be married. But he is angry at the frustration he was forced to endure then, to watch through Eric's eyes but be unable to act. Now he stalks off saying he needs to be alone to work things out. Balder joins her and she confesses to him that she thinks that the engagement is off.

Thor wanders through the grandeur of Asgard city and is accosted by a woman who claims to be a new Valkyrie, arisen from her recent mortal death. Her situation chimes with his own and she seems simpatico. She offers an ear if he ever needs it but then disappears.

He enters an inn and orders a mead. A warrior commends him for saving Odin from Mephisto, but Thor unhappily has to admit it was Eric Masterson who did that. A Rock Troll bumps into Thor while complaining to the barman about a barmaid (he seems to have something poured over his head). It seems everyone has heard about Thor being trapped inside Eric because the Troll accuses him of being a spectator not a true warrior. Thor loses it and hits the Troll. All the other Trolls in the room don't like Glagg (for that's his name) but they still pile on the Thunder God. Who shrugs them off and then proceeds to lay into them, declaring that *this* is what he's made for. But a vision of Odin calls a halt to the brawl and demands his son's presence.

Thor goes to meekly kneel before him, and Odin asks why he's continually getting into these scraps since his return. Thor reviews his life (in the Marvel Age). He thought he was Don Blake who was able to magically transform into Thor (Journey Into Mystery #83) but then discovered (#159) that Blake was a false identity created by Odin to teach his son humility. Thor could still become Blake until Odin transferred the transformation ability to Beta Ray Bill (#340). After that Thor disguised himself as human by donning a pair of Clark Kent's glasses. Even later (#408) Odin merged Thor with Eric Masterson for another human/god duality. And later still (#432) Odin banished Thor for killing Loki, and Eric became Thor. It was only in #457 that it was revealed that Thor's banishment was within Eric's mind, and he was freed (and Eric was given power as Thunderstrike). Thor now claims that all this has left him not knowing who he really is. (He uses phrase 'pieces and bits' which he will often repeat in upcoming issues.)

Odin agrees that it was all hard on his son, and accepts responsibility for it. He suggests he take time off from his duties as Prince Of Asgard and go travel the cosmos to find inner peace. Odin gives him an Asgardian spaceship (which looks just like a Viking longboat), and Thor sets off vowing to return.

Sif watches him go, and Balder commiserates with her. But she determines to find answers for herself.

And on the ship Thor is visited by the Valkyrie.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Bruce Zick
Steve Montano
Tom Vincent
Lou Harrison (Cover Penciler)
Lou Harrison (Cover Inker)
Lou Harrison (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Mike Heisler.
Editor: Mike Rockwitz. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


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