Sunday, 14 February 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Strange as it may seem, I always preferred the original "star-
kissed human" concept of THOR The MIGHTY over the idea
of Dr. DON BLAKE being a construct of all-wise ODIN.  Maybe
that's why I enjoyed Thor's Earth-based escapades more than his ad-
ventures in ASGARD (on the whole), because I could relate to them
more.  After all, I could never have been born a Norse god, but there
was always a chance (however slim) that I might find an ancient and
enchanted gnarled cane in a cave that would transform me into
even more of a walking powerhouse than I already am!

However, enough of levity.  Here, not before time, is the second
in our series of cover galleries starring ol' Goldilocks from the dawn
of his career.  Ten JACK KIRBY masterpieces to astound you!


baab said...

He ages pretty quickly after the first cover.
All that adventure takes it out of you 
I really like the younger more slender Thor.
Lovely Covers.

Kid said...

I suppose he was skinny because he'd been in limbo for a while. On his return, once he'd got back into the habit of quaffing all that Asgardian Ale, he filled out a bit.

TC said...

I still have mixed feelings about the revelation that Blake was the "real" Thor all along. As you say, the original premise made it possible to identify with the character.

You had to be an alien from another planet to be Superman. You had to be a princess from the Amazons' island to be Wonder Woman. You had to be a millionaire to be Iron Man or Batman.

But if you were a good person, maybe you could find the magic hammer and be deemed "worthy" to wield it. Or maybe the wizard Shazam would choose you to inherit the Captain Marvel powers. Or maybe the Guardians of the Universe would choose you to receive a power ring.

The retcon did open up possibilities for cosmic stories involving Asgard, but it also removed the element of wish-fulfillment.

Kid said...

Also, TC, if he was turned into a human until he learned humility, then presumably he must have acquired the trait for Odin to allow him to find the cane and transform back into Thor. That surely made Blake redundant, so why did Odin allow Thor to continue changing into Blake for so long? And the retcon also made nonsense of the inscription on the hammer. Plus, it was a bit rich of Odin to want Thor to be humble; it was hardly a characteristic he ever displayed himself.

Unknown said...

I never really thought that kids associated with superheroes etc like that by thinking that it would be possible to be the hero no matter how slim the options were - I think for the most part I just read the books knowing I would never be Thor or Superman etc (maybe only thinking I could be the Scottish “Roy of the Rovers” but that would just mean being a footballer). Anyhoo I got the Epic Thor collection as a wee Valentines gift which has some really nice fun stories but the art was not great (even for the time) but it was still (largely) more entertaining than the recent Thor comics (a wummin is now Thor!!!!! – what’s the world coming too ?!?!!!!)

Kid said...

It's not that kids really think that, McS - at least not on a conscious level. Kids wish they could BE the hero (and perhaps even dream of being), but the more able they are to relate to the hero in some way, the wish doesn't seem quite so impossible (at least on a theoretical level). That's my explanation anyway.

McS, look again at the origin story - Kirby & Sinnott. Drink it in. I think that story in particular is wonderfully drawn.

Anonymous said...

Kid, I never wished I could be the hero - I just enjoyed the stories. Nor did I ever "relate" to any of the characters.

Kid said...

Maybe that's because you lacked ambition, CJ, or were only all too aware of your limitations. As for me, I aspired to higher things.

Unknown said...

Oh I agree the Thor origin story is a classiC and well drawn etc it was the others that were not great (good, just not great imho) but they all had a charm (simialr to the Giant Man tales ). I seem to recall reading that sidekicks like Robin etc were intoduced so kids could relate to them (if anything I related to the adult character more)

Kid said...

The Al Hartley-drawn strip is a bit weird-looking, but I think the Kirby ones stand up well. Kid sidekicks were introduced for two reasons, McS. One of them, as you say, was so that the young readers had someone to identify with, and the other was so that the hero wasn't talking to himself all the time while explaining the plot.

Anonymous said...

I certainly never related to the sidekicks. I don't believe children need a character to relate to - adults just think that. Some of my earliest memories are of watching Scooby Doo which I absolutely loved but years later they introduced that idiotic Scrappy Doo character so kids could "relate to him" - what utter bullsh*t, I didn't need him when I was watching Scooby. At the age of 4 I also loved Doctor Who and Star Trek - so who was I supposed to relate to on those shows ? Neither of them had kiddie-friendly characters created just for the 4 year-old me but I still watched.

Kid said...

Of course you did, CJ, you just don't remember, because it worked at a subconscious level. Like Robin, you yearned for Batman to take you in his manly arms, hold on a minute, I don't like the turn this has taken. (I've been reading too much Wertham.) I suppose it depended what age you were; older kids would want to be the main hero (at least for the purposes of play), and younger kids would want to be the sidekick (with a view to growing up into the main hero's role when they were older). I'm living proof - when I was 8, I played at Batman, and my pal John (who was 6, I think) was Robin. (Although I seem to remember him asking why he couldn't be Batman sometimes. "Because my costumes too big for you, you little tit!" was the answer.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...