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Thor #488: Review

Jul 1995
Roy Thomas, M. C. Wyman

Story Name:

To Hela and Back

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #488 Review by (March 26, 2024)

Review: The giant monster battle continues with the writer and artist trying to give all of the huge cast of gods, humans, and monsters, enough to do and falling short. That’s okay, Hela’s arrival is impressive enough to freeze everyone in their tracks—as well as take all the attention away from the supporting cast. Thor’s promise and the arrival of Hulk make a nice capper as well as giving the final issue of the story arc a new setting and a new conflict. This should be good.

Comments: Part four of five parts. Title is a pun on “to Hell and back,” signifying a serious ordeal. We started with two Ice Dwarves, went up to three in the next issue, and now we have four; these guys are worse than Shmoos. See the previous issue’s comments for a list of the Godpack members.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #488 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Thor is trapped within the Midgard Serpent, slowly asphyxiating from its deadly breath. Then Beta Ray Bill arrives, having hacked the monster open, but as Bill is helping Thor to his feet, the wound closes up again. The two heroes hit the spot with their special weapons, tearing their way out, causing the serpent to fade away. The sight of Thor’s escape has stunned the rest of Kurse’s dead legion while giving encouragement to Thor’s allies. But Kurse himself, enchanted to believe Thor was Malekith, is enraged that his enemy still lives. Thor is reunited with Sif and as Fafnir the dragon tries to stomp him, Thor tosses the monster to one side. The Godpack continues battling the enemy, with Riger using his solid light projector to melt Zefra who has been frozen by the Ice Dwarves. Thor comes to face Kurse and they grapple, Thor still trying to break the spell confusing Kurse and Kurse insisting that he is fighting Malekith….

Jane Foster watches from what may not be a safe distance, having hidden her boy Jimmy; she spies Lorelei running from the scene and follows out of curiosity. Jane then sees Lorelei transform back into Malekith so she returns to the field of battle to warn them. When she reaches the spot, she can only find Sif so she explains the situation to her. As the battle rages, the Warriors Three are clobbering Ice Dwarves and Beta Ray Bill slugs Fafnir so that the dragon topples a building where Jane is standing. Seeing this, Thor picks up Kurse and hurls him to knock the Ice Giant in the head and rushes to her rescue….

As the army prepares to join the battle, the ground is torn up by the arrival of Hela, Queen of the Dead, whom Kurse claimed to have killed. By Hela’s side is Sif who explains that Jane had told her about Malekith, so she went to inform Hela, who reveals that Malekith had tricked Kurse into thinking he had killed her. Kurse orders the giant monsters to attack what he thinks is a phony Queen but Hela raises a hand and all of the dead monsters halt in her presence. Hela removes the disguise spell and Kurse beholds Thor in his rightful guise. This causes him to crack up and run off in search of the real Malekith. She instructs her monsters to hunt down the evil Dark Elf but Thor stays her hand, asking her to return to Hel with her monsters. She agrees to never bother Midgard again—but only if Thor comes with her to serve as her bond-warrior until Ragnarök. The God of Thunder assents as it would mean Earth is safe from her and her minions forever. His friends and allies are shocked but Thor tells the High Evolutionary and the Godpack to abide by his decision and he exacts a promise from them all not to try to rescue him, biding them all farewell. As he and Hela vanish into the ground, a latecomer arrives, volunteering to do what they can’t: Professor Hulk….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

M. C. Wyman
Mike DeCarlo
Ovi Hondru
Sandu Florea (Cover Penciler)
Charles Barnett III (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Phil Felix.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

(Goddess of Death)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Fafnir, Godpack (Godlings), Midgard Serpent.

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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