THOR #497-502 (1996): Series Ends

As we head towards the end of Thor Volume 1, it…gets good??? Yes. It gets good. Issue #497 is largely a very fun and genuinely funny done-in-one where two would-be-heroes (characters we will never see again) think Thor is still powerless so they attack him as an audition to the Avengers.

Thor easily defeats them, on camera. The story ties into an arc, though, because a man sees it all on TV and wants to hire Thor to protect him from some magic hunters who seek an old Odin weapon that the man happens to have.

Also, as shown on the cover, Thor sees his father as a bum in an alley–but Odin disappears before Thor can speak to him.

It turns out, Odin has amnesia.

It looks like his memory loss may be driven by his own regret for being such a horrible dick to Thor.

And of course Loki steals the sword, holds it like a penis, and ties up a civilian.


Of course a big adventure follows with multiple “big reveals” (and Loki tricks), and in the end all of Asgard lays in ruins for the big issue #500.

Issues #501 and #502 are a coda to #500, bringing in guys like Red Norvell again to reward those of us who stuck with this series through the Tom DeFalco years.

The Gods are dead. Asgard is destroyed. Hela comes to Thor and tells him that he, too, is about to die. We all know now, in retrospect, that she’s referring to the Onslaught event.

Red asks Thor if he has any regrets.

And that’s how the series ends. After Onslaught, it returns as Journey Into Mystery.

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