TITLE: The Mighty Thor #365
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
COVER DATE: March 1986
COVER PRICE: $0.75
WHAT I REMEMBER...
My first comic book collecting obsession was with The Avengers, so I have a lot of love for Thor. It took me a while, however, to begin reading his own title on a monthly basis. I started around issue #390, so I unfortunately just missed out on reading one of the best comic book runs of all time as it was coming out.
Or at least that's what I've always heard. I had every intention of picking up those back issues, but for some reason I never did. I blogged earlier about a collection from a friend of one of my in-laws that was given to me, and in that collection was about a dozen issues of Walt Simonson's run of Thor. I still haven't gotten around to reading any of them yet, but rest assured the Walter Simonson Thor Omnibus will be mine once it's released.
So long story short...The issue we're reading today is from that collection and I haven't read it yet, nor do I know what happens in it. I guess the only thing to do now is to read it!
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner or It's Not Easy Being Green!
- Art & Story by Walter Simonson
- Lettering by John Workman
- Colors by Max Scheele
- Editing by Ralph Macchio
- Editor in Chief Jim Shooter
Did that name ever catch on? If the Clone Thor from Civil War got a cool nickname (Clor, obviously), I think it's only fair that Thor Frog should get one too.
Since it's a special occasion and all, let's break format and live a little. Download "Ain't Got No Home" by Clarence Brown and put it on your iPod and let's live blog this frog!
10:03 pm (page 1 panel 1) As the issue opens up, Thor is already a frog and is hopping through the sewers of New York being inexorably drawn to a pied piper and his soothing tunes.
10:06 pm (page 2 panel 2) Through the magic of thought balloons (take that, modern comics) we find out that Loki has transformed Thor into a frog, but he has nothing to do with the fellow playing flute.
Thor being Thor, he takes matters into his own hands and frog smacks the piper in the face and runs off with his flute!
10:09pm (page 3 panel 4) I think Walter Simonson is some sort of mad genius. I submit as proof this shot of a frog holding a magic flute in his mouth while kicking a dead rat into the gaping jaws of an alligator!
10:14pm (page 5 panel 1) So back in the surface world, it appears that we're in the middle of a battle between a pack of rats and a reservoir of frogs? And it appears to be played rather straight...seriously.
10:17pm (page 5 panel 3) The lead rats name is Ratso!
10:20pm (page 6 panel 1) Back up in Asgard, another altogether different battle wages as the citizens of Asgard gather to pick who will lead them during Odin's absence. To Loki's surprise, in walks Thor! After all, didn't he just turn him into a frog on Midgard?
10:22pm (page 6 panel 3) Loki manages to get the althing delayed for a week, enough time for him to investigate this fake Thor and to use his arrival to his advantage.
10:26pm (page 8 panel 1) Loki follows Thor and Heimdall to their private chambers, where he turns himself into a fly to better spy on them unseen.
10:27pm (page 8 panel 5) Am I the only one seeing a problem with Loki turning himself into a fly while Thor is currently in the body of a frog? Granted, they're on two different planes of reality, but I still question your judgement Loki.
10:31pm (page 9 panel 2) Back on Earth, the rats are on the offensive against the frogs for the control of Central Park.
And there's another rat named Rizzo...I should've seen that coming.
10:33pm (page 10 panel 2) They're in for a surprise however, as the alligators from the alley have followed Thor to the surface and have decided to feast on the rats.
10:36pm (page 11 panel 5) While currently trapped in the body of frog, Thor is still the hero and now he must find a way to alert the authorities that there are a bunch of alligators in Central Park before any innocents get hurt.
Unfortunately for him, the piper has found him and soon has his flute back and Thor on the run (or hop, so to speak).
10:42pm (page 13 panel 2) Back in Asgard, Loki has discovered the true identity of the impostor Thor. It is Harokin, working in concert with Heimdall, trying to stall the meeting until they can find the real Thor and bring him back to Asgard.
10:45pm (page 14 panel 5) On Earth, Thor catches a break as the Piper recognizes in this wild frog a kindred spirit. Taking his flute, he begins to play and leads the alligators back into the sewers, leaving the frogs in control of Central Park.
Is it me, or does the Piper look a little like a certain writer/artist named Walter Simonson?
10:51pm (page 17 panel 1) The council of frogs soon gather and unanimously elect Thor to be their king after his successful guidance helped them defeat the rats.
Unfortunately for them, Thor is destined to lead a different species.
10:56pm (page 18 panel 3) Thor soon finds his way back to his two faithful goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, who have stood watch over might Mjolnir during his absence.
10:59pm (page 19 panel 7) Urged on by Toothgnasher, he hops over to his hammer, determined to lift it and reclaim his birthright.
At just the same time, two of the wayward rats return seeking revenge on the frog who bested them.
11:01pm (page 21 panel 2) And here's the money shot we were all waiting for...
The Mighty Throg in all his resplendent glory!
11:03pm (page 22 panel 2) Did I mention that Simonson was a mad genius? Who else could get away with a shot of a frog dressed in Thor's armor while driving a chariot pulled by two flying goats?
SO, WHAT DID WE LEARN...
The big thing we learned from this issue is that I was fool for letting this run stay unread for so long. I've always loved Walter Simonson's work, and this issue was the work of a man at the top of his game.
His Thor, while trapped in the body of a frog, was both majestic and heroic while his Loki was conniving and deceitful. What more could you want in a Thor comic?
It took twenty-some pages to get the return of Thor, so to speak, and the visual payoff was worth the whole price of admission. I wonder how easy of a sell it was for him to convince the editors to let him turn Thor into a frog, much less do it in a straight-faced manner that is remembered fondly by the readers, not jokingly.
Like I said, the man's a mad genius as he was also the same creator that replaced the members of the Fantastic Four with the likes of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Ghost Rider...and it worked just as well.
Unfortunately, this is the last issue of his Thor run that I have. To say that reading this issue has increased my anticipation of the upcoming Walter Simonson Thor Omnibus is a bit of an understatement.
All characters and artwork reproduced are (c) Marvel Comics