“The Thunder God and the Thug”
Cover Date: February 1963
Plotter: Stan Lee
Scripter: Larry Lieber
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Dick Ayers
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
What’s Going On?
When local mobster Thug Thatcher’s gang tries to hijack the truck that is taking Thatcher to jail, a firefight ensues. In the battle, Thug is hurt. His men go to the nearest doctor’s office for help, and it turns out to be the practice of Doctor Donald Blake! Normally, Blake would transform into Thor and easily defeat the mob henchmen, but Jane Foster is in the office, and Blake doesn’t want to reveal his secret identity. Will Blake be able to keep both Jane and his secret identity safe while healing Thug Thatcher?
Is It Good?
Donald Blake is one of the least interesting alter-egos in Marvel’s Silver Age, so an issue where maintaining his secret identity is at the forefront makes for a dull issue. On the bright side, if you like bizarre logic, this issue may have enough chuckles to keep you interested.
- Despite acknowledging that she doesn’t even know Thor, Jane Foster spends a lot of time fantasizing about him.
- After treating Thug Thatcher for his wounds, Thatcher tries to have Doctor Blake killed. Blake transforms into Thor and easily defeats the gang.
- Thug Thatcher escaped Thor long enough to threaten the safety of Jane Foster and some random citizens. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t last long against Thor.
- Thug correctly deduces that there is a connection between Thor and Doctor Blake. He doesn’t draw the right conclusions, but still…
- This is the first time Thor has been portrayed with short hair (even if it is in a daydream). I believe that won’t happen again until Secret Wars (2015), at the earliest.
- Donald Blake can apparently mentally communicate with Odin — an ability even Thor has not displayed before.
- Odin can send “force waves” from Asgard to Earth, with precision.
- Thor uses his “super-breath” again.
- Thor is still tapping his hammer to access certain powers. This is the first time he has tapped it four times to creat lightning, though.
- Thor debuts his “super ventriloquism” power here.
Comics Are Goofy:
- All of Jane’s Thor-based fantasies have her nitpicking his appearance.
- The main takeaway here is that Thor is good at arts and crafts. And probably sewing.
- This issue could have been five pages long if Blake had transformed into Thor and stopped Thatcher’s crew when they were fighting the police in the streets. Instead, he maintained his secret identity and we got an extra ten pages of Thor easily defeating mobsters.
- Curb the venom, Blake! Don’t blame the woman for being at work during normal office hours!
- “I refuse to change into Thor if Jane, my trusted coworker and romantic crush, is around! Criminals, though? I don’t see a problem changing in front of them. “
- Odin does what now? Why does he care about a mortal’s broken heart? Why does Thor? This is just bizarre.