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Thor #344
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December 29th, 2013 by Rusty

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Thor #344 cover

Thor #344

Date: June 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page.
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Balder is summoned by Odin!

Alpha Mail?

I love wolves, and always have. In this issue we get to see a very cool messenger for Odin: Geri the wolf – which delivers a personal invitation to Balder. How cool would that be? Having a wolf summon you to an audience with the king – very awesome indeed!

Synopsis:

“Whatever Happened to Balder The Brave?” The last issue of Thor ended with Sigurd Jarlson returning to his NYC apartment to be greeted by Melodi – the woman he recently saved, and the woman who is also secretly Lorelei! We’ll get to them, but first let’s talk about the wolf who traveled to the Norn Queen’s home to summon Balder to meet with the all-father Odin. Well, who could refuse such a summons? Not Balder, and he soon learns that Odin has discovered a great evil which threatens the entire universe. Balder is to deliver a letter to Loki asking for help, so he rides off on his magical horse Twinkle-toes Silverhoof to deliver the mail. But before he ever gets to Loki he must overcome a dangerous boulder valley, the Forbidden Forest, the Deadly Desert, a horde of demons and the dark elf Malekith. Whew! Hopefully the out-of-shape, recently deceased hero is up to the challenge even though he has vowed never to kill again. Oh well, his vow goes down the drain in the face of Loki’s nonchalance and Balder hacks his way through many a body to finally deliver the message – but Loki has no interest in joining with Odin. Enraged, Balder cuts off Loki’s head and rides through Karnilla’s realm seeking the release of sweet, sweet death! (Loki is fine, by the way – he just picks up his head and puts it back on!)

Which of the other mini-story-lines are advanced in this issue? I’ll tell you: Odin discusses the galactic travels of his raven Muninn, Melodi gives Sigurd a back rub and he falls asleep (!), the Doom-Forger’s sword is finally tempered and a construction worker thinks Sigurd is really Spider-man!

My 2 Cents:

  • Story: 4 stars – These were fun stories to read – and we finally got to see what Balder’s little plot was leading up to! Hooray!
  • Art: 3 stars – Overall the art was pretty good, but there were the signature odd scenes: like the weird perspective on the cover, and an inconsistently drawn Balder. Hello? Editor? Anyone?
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars – It was cool reading Balder’s story, and seeing some of the other lines get advanced finally. Of course, this opens up more possible story lines… go figure!

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