Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who's the Best...Thor Villain?





35 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Although I only recently discovered him (like 2 days ago when you reviewed those Tales of Asgard stories), I have to say I really like that armored, hammer-wielding warthog, Gullin. Lee, Kirby, and pretty much every creative team working on Thor since really missed the boat by not making him a fixture in Thor's rogue gallery.

Doug said...

I loved the Mangog story from Thor #s154-157 that was reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition #10. There was a real sense of evil, and of destruction in that tale. I was somewhat new to the Thor mythos as a 10-year old, and I just recall that big book being a real page-turner!

Although not a villain, any tussle between the God of Thunder and the Prince of Power was a treat.

Doug

William said...

The Absorbing Man is not just my favorite Thor villain, but one of my favorite villains period. He's got a really cool power that makes him a good match up for a lot of different heroes.

I think the first story I ever read with the Absorbing Man was Avengers #183-184. I loved that story at the time, and it remains one of my Top 10 Avengers tales ever. After that, Crusher Creel became one of the few villains that could get me to buy a comic just because he was the antagonist.

In fact, the only Thor Marvel Masterworks volumes I own are the ones that contain the first appearance and early issues featuring Absorby.

david_b said...

I'd say Mr. Hyde and the Cobra..

No kidding.., the 'two-fer of 3rd string villains' always spells doom and despair for our Asgard hero.

But I'll put my taxpayer-provided paycheck on Loki, Loki, Loki. It's never truely raw strength that wins ~ It's the cunning of a crafty jealous brother against his at times insipidly-naive sibling.

Hmm, Doug, I may have to pick up that Treasury Edition. The only Silver issues I have of Thor are with Galactus.

Anonymous said...

Man, Thor has a rogue's gallery I wouldn't wish on any superhero. The Absorbing Man, the Midgard Serpent, the Destroyer, Thanos, Super-skrull, Mr. Hyde...I'd have to go with Mangog or Surtur. Yikes. Then maybe Ymir, the Celestials or Loki. (I don't really consider Loki an enemy because, hey, they're brothers.)
But sheesh, that guy's got a heavy rogues gallery. Superman's got it easy compared to him.
Okay, Surtur. According to Norse mythology, he's destined to destroy the universe at some point.

Anonymous said...

...also the Hulk, Mephisto, Dr. Doom...okay, Surtur.

J.A. Morris said...

I'll go with Creel too,I prefer Thor stories that take place on Earth, rather than on Asgard. Ulik is in 2nd place.

Speaking of Thor,here's a little "PSA" for Bronze Age fans:
I planned to buy this recently-published Thor by Walt Simonson collection:
http://www.amazon.com/Thor-Walter-Simonson-Graphic-Novels/dp/0785184600/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383749115&sr=1-5&keywords=thor

But I did a side-by-side comparison yesterday with back issues and found that they re-colored the art (yes,I know I think too much about these things. So I won't be picking it up, just letting folks here know in case you thinking of ordering it.

Doug said...

The coolest thing about the Destroyer is that it needs a lifeforce, and the writers have gotten some good mileage through the years with putting Thor's friends and loved ones in that engine of destruction.

Loved the FF/Galactus story when Ben fought the Destroyer on an asteroid.

And, I hope we'll see Big D again in the Thor films!

Doug

Doug said...

Oh, and to J.A.'s comment --

There was a time when reprints billed "remastered" coloring. I fear that simply "recolored" is the new norm.

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Man, J.A.-- I'm with you. They'd really re-color those issues? This was at the time when the artists/colorists were beginning to pay much, much closer attention to the nuances of the coloring craft, am I right? Seems terribly disrespectful, to say the least.

One of the "Reprints I'm Glad I Own" that I almost mentioned was a Thor Annual/Special that reprinted a TERRIFIC early Absorbing Man arc-- probably JiM? It opens w/ a wonderful Kirby photo/illustration of Thor mending Mjolnir at a foundry in Pittsburgh(!). . .

Jeesh-- I think you can't go with anyone BUT Loki for best Thor Villain/Nemesis-- but I for one wasn't sorry to see the Trickster's "final" demise back issue #400 or 500 or whatever he was at in the late 80's/early 90's. The problem, of course, is that- like Doom- the Loki problem can never be resolved. But, unlike Doom, the fact that Thor (and Asgard in general) seem to have perpetual amnesia regarding the atrocities he's committed upon all of them over the course of time seriously weakens Thor's character and plausibility. It actually makes this impossible, fantastical hero LESS relatable to us common folks, not moreso.

Still, yeah--- Loki.

And then good old 'Sorby. Man, that clown should be the most powerful being on the planet, but is so HOPELESSLY hindered by his own shallow, ignorant thuggery. And yet-- he's managed to build a relationship w/ Titania over the years, and we often see glimpses of the human being under that brutal persona.

HB

Anonymous said...

Like Doug, even though he's not a villain, I love it whenever he and ol' Herc tangle.

And I also like the Absorbing Man. It does seem like he should be awesome but I seem to remember a story where at the end he was imprisoned in a cardboard box - literally the villain who couldn't punch his way out of a paper bag.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Hey, Doug, I thought I was the only guy that remembered that comic! F.F. issue something or other, drawn by George Perez, featuring the High Evolutionary, some golden ape and a battle royale between Ben Grimm and the Destroyer on some asteroid! That was a great cosmic battle. One of my favorite comics of all time! And one hell of a cover by Kirby, no less! M.P.

Anonymous said...

I still go with Surtur, but Kirby and Simonson both made the Absorbing Man pretty scary. But, Humanbelly does have a point. If Crusher Creel wasn't such a knucklehead he could probably clobber anybody. It makes me wonder why Loki gave him that much power instead of using it himself. And that reminds me...what about the Wrecker?

Edo Bosnar said...

J.A., I think I've mentioned on several threads here before that I chose the tpbs collecting Simonson's run over the omnibus, primarily due to the coloring. I was in fact all set to buy the omni until I had the opportunity to hold it in my hands just over a year ago: I thought the recoloring really damaged the art. Also, as much as I like the idea of that entire run in a single book, that thing is really bulky - I imagine it's uncomfortable to read on anything besides a table- or desktop.

Greg said...

I have to go with Loki as the arch nemesis, but yeah what a rogues gallery. The Destroyer, Mangog and Surtur are all up there, but for a pure beat down where Thor gave it all he had and just got beat, I'd say the Celestials. Loved his tangle with them in Thor 300 and later, after Simonson left.

I'm a big fan of Absorbing Man though, and the Wrecking Crew. Love those guys! And the Enchantress too...

themiddlespaces said...

I too will go with Crusher Creel - one of the first Marvel villains I came across when I first got into comics that wasn't one of the well-known outside of comics ones that really made me go WOW.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably have to say Loki, although I think he was overused.

I liked Mr. Hyde too, but he kinda went from being a Thor baddie to a Spidey/DD/Avengers foe.

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit embarrassed, I posted this comment on the Zorro article first by mistake. oops.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the Defalco-Frenz run on Thor. I figured the title was gonna go south after Simonson, and eventually it did. But I think they put out some pretty good comics in the interim. They introduced a few new interesting characters like Quicksand, brought Hercules back, let him beat up on the Wrecking Crew, gave Ulik a flashy suit and some shades, and threw a couple Celestials in there for good measure. A pretty good run.
Also, I'd like to put a vote in for Ego...the living planet! I think everybody's gotta admit, not many heroes can count a whole planet in their rogue's gallery. Only Lee and Kirby can come up with something that weird.

Garett said...

I always like when Herc appears in a Thor story. For coloring, while I did like the recoloring in the Tales of Asgard story recently posted, I'm glad the Thor Omnibus by Kirby has the original colors.

Greg said...

I'll second the thoughts on the DeFalco/ Frenz run. I didn't like it at the time, after Simonson it was hard for me to get into and I thought Frenz was just trying to be Kirby, who I didn't really appreciate back then. Now years later I have a newfound appreciation for it... still not my favorite but compared to today's stuff, it almost seems like the good ole days. :)

And those old tales with Herc and Firelord against Ego... yeah good stuff.

William said...

FYI, the issue where the Thing battled the Destroyer on an asteroid was FF #172.

MattComix said...

Best is a hard one to decide. I can tell you my least favorite Thor villain is whoever it was that decided he can't wear his helmet in the movies.

..and don't give me that "gotta see the actors face" line because if you do Thor's helmet right you have no trouble seeing his face at all.

EvilDoctor1 said...

The Rock Men from Saturn...

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is a little goofy, but I had this issue of Smash magazine when I was kid (anybody remember that one? A Schoolastic magazine for kids from the 70's?)
Anyway, it had an article featuring Thor's rogues gallery! If anybody recalls the issue, post it here, will ya? I'd like to get my greedy little hands on it! Please help...I'm a desperate man. Much thanks.

Anonymous said...

Doug, I came home early that day because of local elections! That's why my blog was up early that day!

Hmm on a cosmic level I'd go with the Destroyer. Great design, awesome destructive power and the irony is that it wad designed by Odin himself!
Surtur is a close second but somehow I always think of him as an Odin foe instead. Maybe it's because I always remember Walt Simonson's run when Surtur became a real menace.

Doug & David_b, I have that Mangog Treasury edition right now. While Mangog was immeasurably powerful, I kinda felt cheated at the end of that story. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt that the ending was too neat and convenient for my taste.

On a more earthly level, Thor's best foe has to be Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man. While ol' Goldilocks has fought more powerful foes I don't think he has had a more persistent adversary. It's also amusing that Thor always defeats Creel by tricking him or outsmarting him rather than overpowering him. Guess Loki didn't confer the genius power on him. Yeah, I love it when Hercules shows up; things always get interesting when the Lion of Olympus shows up!


-Mike 'should do a post about Herc's best foes' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Y'know. . .
Y'know . . . who has CONSISTENTLY and almost predictably been the cause of the bulk of Thor's woes over the course of his long, long life-- indirectly (and sometimes very directly) becoming the author of the Thunder God's troubles?

ODIN!

Seems like every turning point or major arc in Thor's history involves some sort of banishment or machination or personal health crisis or tempermental outburst on the all-father's part. Heck, the MU version of Thor was completely based on the fact that Odin was "teaching" his rather arrogant son "a Lesson". (So he mind-wipes him, banishes him to earth, de-powers him, and stands back as the lad learns humility-- thanks, Dad. . . )

HB

Anonymous said...

Y'know, he has a point. That Odin is a real mean S.O.B.

MikeS said...

I vote for Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime :D

Rip Jagger said...

Thor has his share of better than average foes, but I vote for The Destroyer!

The implacable unspeaking enemy, the silent death that comes and comes and comes until you are no more. That's scary stuff!

And it was years and years before Jason clambered out of Crystal Lake .

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Dang, Rip, that's a bit harsh, even for you! Have you been reading Lovecraft and drinking Jack Daniels at the same time? My insurance company told me they'd drop my coverage if I kept that up.

Humanbelly said...

Oo-- and reinforces my point! Since, as cited above, the Destroyer was indeed created by Odin!

"Son, I've used the very essence of my being to create an unstoppable bully to keep you in line-- enjoy!"

(Actually, I don't remember what the Destroyer's original purpose was, but cripes, Odin, maybe you'd want to decommission that sucker after the first five or six times it nearly kills your immortal son-??)

". . . uh. . . thanks, Dad. . . ?"

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

Bah! Nobody else likes the warthog ... grumble, grumble, grumble ...

Anyway, wouldn't say she's the best, but Hela, as drawn by Big John Buscema especially, is certainly the hottest - sorry, not even Enchantress can compete with her.

Karen said...

Aloha friends! Many thoughtful remarks. Odin has indeed caused no end of grief for his son, although at times he has seemed somewhat oblivious in his actions. Regarding the Destroyer, it was shown in Thor 299 that it was intended to be a vessel for Odin to use to battle the returning Celestials. Although the All-Father did a poor job guarding it before that!
I love battles with the Destroyer. I thought he was dispatched way too quickly in the first Thor film.

Humanbelly said...

Oh Karen, you're reading my mind-- I just never quite got around to making that point. In fact, the relatively off-hand, anti-climactic dispatch of the Destroyer in the film rather ruined it for HBSon. He's not a Thor fan at all, but even he recognized that this construct has always been regarded as a first-tier "unstoppable" foe-- and possibly could have been the crux of a main storyline on his (its?) own. By raising the stakes too high too fast, it simply reduced the inherent worth of those stakes. (If that even makes sense-- kinda going stream-of-thought before work, here. . . )

HB

Matt Celis said...

Obviously the stupendous Stilt-Man. I mean, he gets really tall!

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