THOR #447-459 (1992-1993): The Eric Masterson Years

I’m whipping through these really fast because I dislike them intensely.  Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, along with a bunch of people working on back-up stories, stuffed Thor in a trash bag and gave him to Mephisto.  Meanwhile, Eric Masterson is running around in his place.

These issues establish Masterson as a “hero” and then, by the end, bring back the real Thor and shuffle Masterson off to a new comic, Thunderstrike, which is the name he takes on when Thor gets his own moniker back.  They also give powers to some of his supporting cast, introducing Bloodaxe, who will be revealed as Jackie Lukus, a civilian castmember.

I’ve painted over these issues with a broad brush, but trust me, you should be grateful.  There are some decent moments, like the adventure against Absorbing Man, but overall as you read these issues the constant question is, “Why?  This doesn’t make Thor better, so why did they do this?”

Finally, towards the end, Masterson runs through a gauntlet of illusion-versions of Thor’s biggest villains.  Which feels stale, coming right after Infinity War, which involved “shade” versions of Marvel characters.

And look how hard they’re trying to make you remember the days when Thor was a must-read comic…

Ugh. Bloodaxe is NOT Beta Ray Bill. He’s not even as cool as Beta Ray’s big toe.

Here too:

Even the tag-line on issue #459 recalls Simonson’s “Who Shall Hold This Hammer” tag.

This whole book feels very desperate.  The real Thor is back at the end, so let’s hope it all gets better after this.

Sif ventures to Mephisto’s hell to find Thor.

And much as I want to enjoy Thor coming back, it doesn’t save this book. Because it ends with both Thor and Thunderstrike coexisting, and now Thunderstrike will get his own comic.

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