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Thor Annual #15: Review

Sep 1990
Roy Thomas, Herb Trimpe

Story Name:

Can Terminus Be Far Behind? (Part 3 of The Terminus Factor)

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Thor Annual #15 Review by (April 14, 2014)
Review: Another annual from the era of Marvel history when both writing and art were uninspired and downright mediocre at times, not to mention the muddy printing. 1) Interesting idea for an epic, featuring a monster that constantly grows throughout the series. The execution is entertaining but undistinguished. The chief flaw is that as the story progresses nearly all the heroes prove superfluous, to the point that only Thor and Quasar really contribute anything to the monster’s defeat. Some stories are just a bit too ambitious to work properly. 2) Pointless story adds nothing to the main tale. Why is it here? At least the final two installments of this mini-mini-series offer some comedy, albeit lame. 3) Decent story with Thor battling a giant monster; the only problem with the story is that it is printed too darkly to see the artwork clearly.

Comments: Issue includes full-page pin-ups of Ulik by Mike Mignola and Loki by Charles Vess. 1) The Terminus Factor Part 3; story continued from IRON MAN ANNUAL #11 and continues in AVENGERS WEST COAST ANNUAL #5. Iron Man, Machine Man, and Mr. Fantastic appear in flashback. 3) The Thermal Man was introduced in THOR #168-179 and returns yet again in THUNDERSTRIKE #14-15. Grand Vizier is a Middle Eastern title, not a Norse one, but who would notice? Next annual: 1991.

Correction: The Thermal Man was introduced in THOR #168-170. Apologies for the typo.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor Annual #15 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Story continued from IRON MAN ANNUAL #11

Thor and Hercules arrive in San Francisco, having been called by Iron Man to stop the rampaging animals infected by the Terminus virus. Thor leaves Herc to await the invasion of the Termini while he heads into space to seek out the original Terminus. The marauding metal creatures, however, assault a nuclear plant, slaughter the occupants and begin to feed on the radioactive waste. Hercules, having heard of the incident on a police radio, arrives at the plant to find the Termini are now ten-foot-tall metal monsters (Stage 3). The Prince of Power deals with them in his usual fashion…

In space, Thor discovers the stranded Terminus but it swats him away; angered he crashes into its chest, ending up inside. There he is trapped, and his mind is overwhelmed with the monster’s account of its history. A wicked alien race called the Terminex, under siege by the Celestials who were about to exact vengeance for their misdeeds, took revenge by sending microbes known as the Termini out into space. Landing on a remote planet, the Termini evolved into a monster called Terminus (the one Thor is now in) which went on a mission of rampage throughout the universe. Coming to Earth it encountered the Fantastic Four and Reed Richards was able to trap it at the center of the Earth (FANTASTIC FOUR #269-270). Tunneling toward the surface, Terminus came upon the underground lab of Deviant scientist Jorro; while Jorro fought Quasar and cosmic-powered Spider-Man on Earth (QUASAR #7), Terminus created a new generation of Termini which were disturbed by Tony Stark’s probe in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #9. Thor now battles antibodies but they seize his magic hammer and expel the God of Thunder from the body. Terminus uses the power of Mjolnir to reclaims its lance (sent off into space by Quasar in issue #7 of his book) and it heads to Earth to complete its mission of destruction….

At the power plant, the huge Termini merge into a giant metal monster (Stage 4) which crashes through the roof of the building—just as Terminus arrives on the scene….

Story continues in AVENGERS WEST COAST ANNUAL #5.


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> Thor Annual: Book info and issue index


Story #2

Media Watch

Writer: Gary Barnum. Penciler: Richard Bennett. Inker: Richard Bennett. Colorist: Christie Scheele.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A local news show reports on the events of the main story from a safe (and confused) distance.


Story #3

The Return of the Thermal Man

Writer: Ron Frenz.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Chinese scientists testing a neutron bomb in the Arctic awaken the Thermal Man, dormant since being trapped under the ice by Thor in THOR #170. The monster pursues its original programming and heads for the United States to wreak havoc….

In Asgard, word comes to Odin that the frost giants are planning to invade. The All-Father decides to leave Thor alone in New York and places Balder in command to the warriors….

Thor, standing atop the World Trade Center, spies a burning building in the distance and heads to the rescue. He soon discovers the Thermal Man on a rampage of destruction and engages the giant monster. In China, Communist leaders, hoping to prevent an international incident, summon the Thermal Man’s creator, Professor Chen, from prison and order him to find a way to stop the beast. Chen created the monster for the Mandarin, duped into thinking he was serving the nation’s interest. After the robot was lost in the Arctic, Chen was made the scapegoat and imprisoned. Chen sets to work on a means of regaining control over his creation….

In New York, Odin’s Grand Vizier appears to Thor in a vision, appealing him to come fight the giants; the Thunder God refuses as his hands are quite full here. The army finally blasts the Thermal Man into submission and traps him in a plasma field, but the monster soon breaks out and continues his violent battle with Thor. Professor Chen arrives on the scene and tries to deactivate his creation but the monster kills him. Thor, enraged at this loss of life, creates a vortex which carries the Thermal Man out of Midgard and into Asgard where it is plunked down in the midst of a party of frost giants. As the violent monsters begin fighting each other, Balder and the Warriors Three ride off, grateful to Thor for solving the problem.



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Herb Trimpe
Mark McKenna
Christie Scheele
Ron Frenz (Cover Penciler)
Brett Breeding (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Balder (Balder the Brave), Frost Giants, Terminus, Thermal Man.