Thursday, April 6, 2017


As you all know, I'm a Thor guy. I came onto the character with Walt Simonson, but I stayed for quite awhile. One of the periods that I was there for was the Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz run, which introduced the character of Eric Masterson.

Masterson was to become the new "Donald Blake" in that he was an alter ego for Thor, but his time it was due to Thor and Masterson being merged in order to save Masterson's life. This led to some really great stories, and eventually Masterson took over the role of Thor when the original was banished.

Once Thor came back, and the two were separated again, Odin gave Masterson a cane of his own. This transformed into the enchanted mace named Thunderstrike, and gave Masterson some measure of Thor's power. That was something I was all about. This wasn't someone else usurping Thor's place, but an ally that could be called upon to help out the Thunder God, or the occasional Protector of the Universe.

It was also, quite frankly, wish fulfillment. No one could be Don Blake, since that was a creation of Odin. Someone could, however, prove themselves worthy of an enchanted weapon of their own. Much like Billy Batson saying "Shazam!" and being changed into Captain Marvel, Thunderstrike showed that anyone could obtain fabulous power, if they showed that they could wield it.

In addition to the solid writing, by Mr. DeFalco, was the great art by Mr. Frenz. Again, as you all know, I like comic art that is clean and doesn't go all wonky with the anatomy. Ron Frenz has that in spades. He, like John Romita, Sr., John & Sal Buscema, John Byrne, George Pérez, and José Luis García-López (pbhn), has a great sense of figure and storytelling. Plus, his characters all look like they're in the middle of doing something rather than standing around posing. Not to mention his wonderful facial expressions, which give you a glimpse of what the character is thinking. It's just great stuff.

At one point I had the entire run of Thunderstrike but, sadly, that went as part of the Great College Comics Purge. Unfortunately it looks like the series hasn't been collected, so I might just have to hunt down some issues.

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