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Thor #490: Review

Sep 1995
?, John Buscema

Story Name:

Against the Dying of the Light!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Thor #490 Review by (April 24, 2024)

Review: A nice epitaph for the late Eric Masterson is overshadowed by Thor being a righteous jerk and the obligatory supervillain fight. But Eric’s own series, THUNDERSTRIKE, was its own best memorial to the fallen hero so here the emphasis is on Thor, who learns he is a righteous jerk. The result is that he is now ready to reconcile with Odin and return to the status quo, necessary for the switch to a new writer next issue. Who says character development can’t be motivated by editorial fiat? The best part is that we learn quite a bit about Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man who is a well-rounded character, especially for a baddie who was created to be a formidable enemy with a weird gimmick.

Comments: John Buscema and Ron Frenz shared penciling duties on the cover. Title comes from “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” a poem by Dylan Thomas on not giving up in the face of adversity, especially impending death. Eric Masterson was introduced in issue #391; he was merged with Thor in issue #408 and became Thor in #432; he became Thunderstrike and moved into his own title in #459; he died in THUNDERSTRIKE #24. Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz collaborated on the script.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor #490 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Having learned that his friend and ally Eric Masterson a/k/a Thunderstrike is dead, an enraged Thor fights his way through Asgard, demanding an audience with his father Odin. As the God of Thunder lays waste to score of armed guards, Odin watches from his throne, displeased with his son’s behavior. Thor then encounters his friends, the Warriors Three, and Volstagg tries to turn away his wrath by inviting him for a drink. Out of patience, Odin allows Thor into his presence but only to ask forgiveness. Thor refuses so Odin unleashes a bolt of power that sends Thor crashing down to the Midgard he has chosen over his home. The Warriors Three kneel in Odin’s presence and the usually silent Hogun suggests that mayhap a single word could heal the breach between father and son….

As he lies in a crater on Earth, Thor’s mind rehearses his memories of Eric, an architect who became a friend and ally. Then Eric became the human host of Thor and when Thor Odinson was banished, Eric became the full Thor. When Odinson was returned, Eric was given his own enchanted weapon and renamed Thunderstrike and his commitment to fighting evil eventually cost him his life. Yet Thor questions why Odin allowed him to die, that the All-Father had not warned him. Thor goes to Eric’s grave and finds another mourner there and recognizes the man as Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man. Thor rashly clouts Creel with Mjolnir, which transforms the villain into Uru and Creel fights back, while claiming this fight is unnecessary. Thor strikes back, unwilling to listen to Creel’s claims that he is there to pay his last respects to Eric too….

Interlude: Back in Asgard, Sif and Balder mourn the death of Eric Masterson….

Back at the cemetery, Creel clobbers Thor, paying tribute to Eric who took death like a man. Thor falls on Eric’s grave and sees that the flowers placed there are from Creel. Creel explains that Eric treated him like a human being and always gave him the benefit of the doubt, unlike Thor, who began this encounter by hitting Creel. Thor realizes he is in the wrong and calls off the fight. The baddie walks away out of respect for Eric but next time they meet, things will be different. Thor calls to the All-Father to ask why Eric had to die. Odin responds by pointing out that Eric had free will and chose to be in the situation where he died. And after a few minutes, Thor returns to Asgard with a smile on his face, planning to reconcile with his father.…

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Patrick Olliffe
Ovi Hondru
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Phil Felix.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)

(Balder the Brave)

(Hogun the Grim)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

> Thor: Book info and issue index

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