Friday, May 27, 2016

This Cover Made Me Buy This Comic Book

Thor #275 (September 1978)(cover by John Buscema, Tom Palmer, and Gaspar Saladino)

Doug: Action in the Mighty Marvel Manner, indeed! You know John Buscema had a blast drawing this cover, replete with those ugly trolls and a quite serious battle axe being wielded by Loki. This cover just exudes energy. Gaspar Saladino's letters don't hurt, either. I have to wonder, though, if the call-out to the television cameraman wasn't in some way a form of base trickery toward readers of the day -- after all, one could find similar call-outs on Spider-Man and Hulk comments at around the same time advertising their own TV shows.


Redartz said...

That cover made me buy this comic, too! Tom Palmer was always a(and which you can still find in use even today, in the digital age- maybe they should update it to "As Seen on Your Smartphone") perfect embellishment for Big John's pencils, and this example helps show why.

And the blurb regarding the tv coverage struck me as odd, even back then. Those "Marvel's TV Sensation" captions on covers at the time reminded me of the little red tv-shaped blurbs on all those K-Tel products : " As Seen on TV" (and which you can still find in use even today, in the digital age- maybe they should update it to "As Seen on Your Smartphone"). As if seeing something advertised on television somehow made it more desirable...

Martinex1 said...

It always amazes me that with all my knowledge of Marvel that I still run into covers that I don't recall ever seeing. This is one of them. And it is from a period that was at the height of my collecting - the 35c era.

Buscema was just great. So much action and characterization here. At first glance I missed the cameraman and had to look more closely. I agree that TV blurb is a bit odd. Maybe it worked two-fold ... Because the character is a little hidden in the chaos, it explains the story a bit AND it mimics the Spidey and Hulk buttons to get a feel for the prospects. Weird though.

I wonder how many covers are out there that I haven't laid eyes on before.

Karen said...

I remember the cover, but I don't really recall the story. I do remember feeling that this was a period when Thor (the title) was sort of coasting along. But not long after this the whole Celestials/Ring of the Nibelung storyline would get going. I didn't care much for the whole Ring cycle being retold via Thor -it was tedious -but having Thor get involved with the Eternals was exciting.

Edo Bosnar said...

That is indeed a nice cover - you can't go wrong with Big John drawing the heck out of Thor and the other Asgardians. At this point, though, I was only sporadically reading Thor, although I do remember having a bunch (but not all) of those issues with the Eternals story arc that Karen mentioned. Those were pretty solid as I recall.

The Prowler said...

Guys, guys.......I have this run of comics. 268-278. During this part of the story, Odin summons Thor back to Asgard and somehow a TV crew comes back with Thor. The camera guy is a red head by the name of Red Norvell. I think that's his real name!?! Somehow Red gets tricked into putting on Thor's old guantlets and his belt of power and then BOOM, he becomes Thor. Even gets Mjolnir. I know! Right?

So anyhow, Hela and the dark forces attack and the Midgard Serpent attacks Thor, but not blond Thor who has a sword, and I'm sure is just using the flat of his blade, but red haired Thor. Drags him down to the depths. Then Thor, blond Thor, gets Mjolnir back and goes awhaling on the Midgard Serpent and it turns out Odin tried to create a fake Thor to fool the prophecies and stave off Ragnorak which happens when the Midgard Serpent slays Thor, I don't know which haired one. That's why it has the blurb on the cover because the TV crew was filming everything.

I could have some of the details wrong. There are some many I'm unclear on. Like how many hectacres in an acre? Is the Metric System the same if it's meters or metres? Why can you tune a piano but you can't tuna fish?

So...... long weekend for some?

(Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago
About a Kingdom on a mountain
And a valley folk down below

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath a stone
And the valley people swore
They'd have it for their very own

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You can justify it in the end

But there won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away).

Martinex1 said...

Red Norvell was the star of the book when the Thor title reverted back to Journey Into Mystery in the '90s. That was a good run as we discussed recently. But I had no idea where Red Norvell's powers came from. Thanks for the info Prowler.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved the Ring Of The Nibelung issues in Thor :)

J.A. Morris said...

This cover did NOT make me buy this issue. However, I recently picked up the 'Ragnarok' tpb which includes a reprint of this issue. I'm looking forward to reading about it and reviewing it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah if my hazy memory serves me right it was the red haired Thor (Red Norvell) who gets killed by the Midgard Serpent in these issues, thus fulfilling Ragnarok, admittedly not for our blond haired Thor.

As for the cover, I can't recall seeing this one, but Big John always did like drawing those hideous trolls!

- Mike 'until Volstagg joins Weight Watchers' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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