Thursday, February 08, 2018

Don't "Lay Down and Die!" for anyone, but especially not this guy.

The worst hangover I ever had in my life was like Blastaar the Living Bomb-Burst farting in my skull, and I remember it because I was trying to think of this cover while trying to keep myself together: if Thor could stand up, I thought maybe I could to. In fact, that's all I recall now: not the party or the aftermath, just this classic: from 1978, Thor #270, "Minute of Madness--Dark Day of Doom!" Written and edited by Len Wein, breakdowns by Walt Simonson, finishes by Tony DeZuniga.

Blastaar is giving Thor the business from page one of this sucker, with Thor already separated from Mjolnir after a fight with Stilt-Man: Blastaar may not have known about the sixty-second countdown until Thor would turn back into Dr. Donald Blake, but he saw what that hammer had done to Stilt-Man and wanted no part of that. Thor sprays Blastaar down with a water main, but then gets blasted into an alley, where he changes, then tells Blastaar Thor took off out the back. Blastaar doesn't give chase, instead leaving to "fulfill the master's mission," leaving Donald to have to retrieve his walking stick from a street gang.

Thor questions Stilt-Man, then heads over to see Tony Stark: Stilt-Man had stolen a chest full of radioactive isotopes, which Blastaar then took, for his "master," who apparently had a lair in upstate New York, an abandoned factory made out of adamantium alloy? Curiouser and curiouser...especially since Blastaar is at said factory now, which he had tried to destroy before, but was now working for? This tied-into a Hulk/Human Torch issue of Marvel Team-Up, but the factory's computer, code-named F.A.U.S.T, had promised Blastaar a triumphant return to the Negative Zone.

When Thor approaches, though, Blastaar is distracted by the prospect of revenge; leaving F.A.U.S.T. clear to move its own scheme forward. As they fight, the computer's core launches itself into space; but it does leave Blastaar a portal...

...that seemingly dooms Blastaar to death in the Negative Zone! Thor is left to wonder, what the mysterious, and possibly indestructible, F.A.U.S.T. has planned next; but while I've had this comic since I was a kid, it would be years before I read the next issue! Well, maybe we'll get to it sooner. I've mentioned before that Thor's sixty-second timer would become woefully overused, although sometimes it worked; and that Simonson would get rid of it early on his next run on the title, as writer and artist!

More comics would probably sell better, with little heads imploring you to "Be here!" for the next issue...


SallyP said...

I was SO glad that they finally got rid of the 60 second rule that turned Thor into Donald...because it was stupid. Boy Howdy, but Odin really had some dumb ideas!

Dale Bagwell said...

Ditto @SallyP. Good thing it was only 60 seconds though, could've been longer. I mean time is measured differently with beings like Gods, what's 60 seconds to Odin? A being that's lived for millions and millions of years?

But yeah, good thing they did away with like they did Aquaman not being allowed to stay out of water for more than a minute. Just dumb and begging to be overused ad nauseaum.