Thursday, February 02, 2017

Thorsday : Whosoever holds this hammer !

As promised Yesterday here is the very first appearance of Eric Masterson as the new Thor from THE MIGHTY THOR issue 433 penciled by Ron Frenz.

Since I already explained why I chose this issue from Ron Frenz´ epic run on Thor I will only address a few misconceptions that people might have.

Most of them have to do with the newest female version of Thor. Which is neither a very good idea - at least in my opinion - nor a very novel one. Right from the start the idea of somebody else becoming the mighty Thor has always been around. In fact a lot of people might not realize it but it is the origin story of Marvel´s Thor in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY issue 83 from August 1962. Before it has been retroactively changed that Doctor Donald Blake was just the earthly disguise Odin made for the thunder god to teach him some much needed humility Doctor Blake was just a lowly earthling who found a stick and when he struck it on the ground he was imbued with the power of Thor. But he was not Thor. He was a citizen of Midgard who got his power because as the inscription says Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

In the current incarnation of the THOR book they make a big deal about the fact that the inscription says he and not she but as anybody with a bit of learning can tell you these old inscriptions are not always meant to be taken literal. They are written according to the times in which they are written and all notions of implied male chauvinism aside you can´t expect them so write Whosoever holds this hammer, if he / she / it or any mix / combination thereof be worthy / struck with an incurable illness or be passable as a temporary replacement in a time of crisis, shall posses the power of Thor on the hammer. After all there is only so much room on that hammer or they would have to write it so tiny nobody could really read it.

Because what all those social justice warriors who are fighting so strongly for the new female Thor don´t know - aside from comics obviously - is that the inscription is just the short version and there are many clauses and a lot of fine print that comes with it. And which is not always spilled out. There have been many times somebody else has been able to lift the hammer. Even Superman once managed to do it. Until he didn´t. For all those who have not read the brilliant JLA / AVENGERS four issue mini series by Kurt Busiek and George Perez ( I´m not commenting on this, you deprive yourself of one of the best comics ever ) in issue four Superman sports Captain America´s mighty shield and manages to employ Mjolnir. 

But once the crisis has passed and the main villain has been defeated Superman tries to pick up Mjolnir and is not able to lift it anymore.

According to Kurt Busiek part of the enchantment Odin placed on the hammer is a kind of fail safe that enables suitable candidates to lift the hammer in times of need going so far as replacing the god of thunder for lengthy times if he should be missing, incapacitated or even dead. And to tell the truth I find it a bit hard to swallow that the inscription should be so adaptable and open to interpretation in this case and so inflexible and literal where gender is concerned. So the whole thing with the inscription changing itself so a woman can claim the power of Thor is clearly a case of somebody having no idea about how these things work. As well as comic books since Jane Foster has become the mighty Thor once before and without having to change anything - which I wrote about in this post .

Coming back to Ron Frenz´ run on THOR, there are various replacement Thors including a Thor from a future where the real Thor has disappeared.

The main one is Eric Masterson who first becomes Thor´s secret identity after he is mortally injured and Thor melds his life force with him to safe his life. Which Sif once did with Jane Foster to save her life when she was struck with an incurable disease in a story nobody seems to remember.

Probably because either it doesn´t work with the story ( grrr, darn that annoying continuity ) or having Jane Foster as Sif´s secret identity would not generate the news media buzz Disney aims for now or maybe it´s that as open and gender bending as Marvel claims to be they are not ready to have a woman as Thor´s secret identity. Although that would certainly be a much more interesting story than what they got going on right now.

Now Eric Masterson was a callback to the original Thor series - as you might say was the entire THOR run by Tom DeFalco - in that at first you had two different personas trading places with each other like Rick Jones and Captain Marvel before or even Billy Batson and the original Captain Marvel from Fawcett Comics. Both were separate individuals and when one appeared the other vanished. Like it had been the case with Doctor Donald Blake and Thor in the earliest issues of THOR. The original part came when Thor disappeared to parts unknown ( this mystery unfolded in the what I like to call The Soul Shroud Saga as nobody else has cared to put a name on it ) and Eric Masterson had to fill in for Thor full time. This was really the first time somebody from Midgard had to learn the ropes of wielding the power of Thor while struggling with trying to lead a normal life. Which in the case of Eric Masterson meant working as an architect and having a semi normal relationship with his son while sharing custody with his ex - wife and her new husband who was a rich football player.

It was really the first time we saw a mere mortal struggling with having to live up to the standards of a god ( even when Donald Blake had no idea that he was the original Thor he was on autopilot when he became the god of thunder ) so it´s no wonder I got hooked. Plus, he went back to the bearded look Simonson brought into the comics. I was so disappointed when the clean shaven girly man Thor made a comeback and Eric stayed true to the beard through his short lived career from replacement Thor to Thunderstrike. Which I also followed religiously. Even though Eric had not to wrestle with having to fill Thor´s boots anymore now he had to find a place for himself in the world and prove to the hero community that he was a hero in his own rights and not only a cheap Thor knockoff whom the Avengers would call when Thor was busy. The story sure had potential but the writers never got the right handle on him and finally decided to take the easy way out and kill him off. With all the reality changing / bending / melding all - new, all - different Marvel NOW stuff I was hoping they would bring Thunderstrike back but I guess it´s too much to expect that even one single good thing comes out of all of this crap rehashing old stories.

Anyway, what should have been a short introduction has once again become much too long so let´s finally get to Eric Masterson´s first adventure as the real Thor. Hammers high, buddy, we miss you.

As a bonus - and because I think a letters page is an integral part of a comic book - here is the letters page from THE MIGHTY THOR issue 433 which has a sidebar on the retirement of Joe Sinnott who was the regular inker on this series from issues 400 to 429 ( which was the second issue guest - starring Ghost Rider which brought me back to reading THOR ).

Al Milgrom took over with issue 430 of THOR and later followed Ron Frenz to THUNDERSTRIKE where he became the regular inker until its demise.

Thankfully we have no links for this post since I am not sure if I can post Tomorrow. I have posted three days in a row now ( with the last one not even finished ) and I have to sleep some day. And even if I don´t spend Tomorrow in bed there is some stuff I have to take care of. In fact I should have done it Today but I woke up too late. So even though the material for the next FLASH FRIDAY has been ready for weeks I might not get to do one. I was thinking about doing a Ron Frenz special because I found a page from FLASH ANNUAL 3 but I found out it is from the NEW 52 so I nixed it.

I´m also trying the keep the entertainment block short where we start with colombian superstar Shakira who celebrates her 40th anniversary as one of my few remaining newsletters informed me just this afternoon.

So far I haven´t done a proper post on Shakira which might be for the better of everyone involved since I had to cut her part in my Casting The Justice League Of America alternates post several times because it got out of hand and became way too sexual. Anyway, since I hadn´t a special Shakira performance bookmarked I looked on YouTube but most videos about Shakira were those stupid fap challenge ones. Which I have used on occassion if I didn´t find a good mix but since I wanted something with actual footage and not just a random selection of pictures those fell through too. So I had no other choice than to go through all the videos from The Voice where she was a judge and finally found a good one.

Now this is the reason why you use tags : I´m pretty sure I have written about Bürger Lars Dietrich who turns 44 before and since I couldn´t find the bookmark for his video Sexy Eis I´m pretty sure I already posted it. But I can´t for the life of me find it. I thought I had to skip his anniversary when I remembered that I had bookmarked several clips from the german game show Extreme Activity with mega MILF Verona Pooth where Bürger Lars was one of the obstacles because of his break dance background.

Originally scheduled to be seven episodes during the silly season the show was so successful ( a big part of that were many appearances by Verona and other well endowed celebrities in skimpy outfits with generous cleavages like the one above ) that it was announced after episode 3 that the show would be extended until fall coming to a total of 38 episodes.

It´s time for another round of the ever so popular Six Degrees Of Erotic Separations as Brent Spiner celebrates his 68th birthday. He is of course famous for his appearances on Star Trek : The Next Generaton as Lt. Cmdr. Data and Dr. Noonien Soong whose ancestor Dr. Arik Soong he played on Star Trek : Enterprise with cult siren Jolene Blalock as vulcan babe T´Pol.

He was however never in an episode of Star Trek : Voyager sexborg Seven of Nine played by Jeri Ryan who celebrates her 49th birthday on the 28th of this month. She tried her best to make viewers forget the shortcomings of the writing but couldn´t compensate for a plethora of always darker bodysuits that tried to hide her porn star physique and Kate Mulgrew.

But coming back to Brent Spiner, as I have mentioned before he gave his acting debut as Bob Wheeler on Night Court with 80s Power Girl Markie Post and since I already posted that clip and there are almost no good clips from Night Court available on YouTube I wanted to post an episode of the other successful show with Markie Post The Fall Guy where Lee Majors played the lead role of stuntman Colt Seavers ( more about him later ).

Sadly Brent Spiner was never on The Fall Guy but to my surprise I found an episode with one of his old co stars from Star Trek : The Next Generation.

Today would also have been the 70th birthday of Farrah Fawcett who is best known as the quintessential Charlie´s Angel although she left the show after the first season. She also starred in the first Cannonball Run movie and was - drum roll - married to Lee Majors from 1973 to 1982.

Though she never appeared on The Fall Guy she was in several episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man so here is his origin story with art by Irv Novick.

I want to end this post with a cartoon video I have wanted to post for a very long time : the first episode of Battle Of The Planets a.k.a. G - Force.

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I´m not trapped in here with you. You´re trapped in here with me.


Kid said...

Remember when Odin told Don Blake that he'd always been Thor and been transformed into Blake to teach Thor humility? He lied. Odin told Blake he couldn't marry Jane Foster (originally called Jane Nelson in her first appearance in JIM #84) because he was an immortal and she was merely a human. However, having a truly mortal heritage (as well as an immortal one), Blake had every right to marry Jane if he so wished - which is why Odin lied. But how could Thor/Blake be human and immortal at the same time? Ah, that's a tale for another time. The details are all worked out in my head and have been for years.

SUBZERO said...

Yes, all this stuff has become so complicated over time that it´s no wonder even Marvel said : Screw all that, Thor is a woman now and we´ll never talk about this again.