Monday, July 26, 2010

The Classics - The Mighty Thor #157

(Chuck's on the road today, so here's a "Classic" review to tide you over.)

I grew up in a rural area, so the chances to fill in those gaps in my collection were few and far between.

And since distribution was often tricky - and I couldn't always get to a local newsstand or drug store (the usual places I bought comics), sometimes I'd miss vital issues.

This is the one that hurt the most. In The Mighty Thor, writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby spent several issues building up the threat of the Mangog, a creature that contained the power of a billion people.

Even Thor couldn't stand up to his power, and as the previous issue ended, the good guys were about to make their final stand against Mangog.

How anxiously I waited for the next issue! When I finally saw a new issue of Thor on the stands, I anxiously opened it - but instead of a showdown with Mangog, it featured a splash page of Thor flying back to Earth, having survived his final battle with Mangog!

Stunned, I looked again at the issue number, and I realized that I had missed issue #157!

Years later, I saw an ad in a comic from a company selling back issues. I sent off for a catalog, and was stunned to see that I could order issues I'd missed at reasonable prices.

I don't remember how reasonable, but it couldn't have been more than a dollar an issue. I sent in a big order (I was flush with cash because I had started a newspaper delivery route), and a couple of weeks later a large box arrived, containing about 25 comics - all of which I was thrilled to see, but none more so than this issue!

Finally, I'd see how Thor and Asgard managed to survive the final assault!

I wish I could say it was the greatest comic I'd ever read, but it wasn't. There were some great moments, terrific dialogue and amazing artwork, but the final solution (which I won't reveal here) was a bit of a cheat.

Still, I was delighted to finally get the rest of the story!

Sadly, I wasn't savvy enough to realize the potential of that early catalog - I remember being disgusted by the prices they were charging for the first issues of Spider-Man, The Avengers and the Fantastic Four - they wanted 20 dollars each! No way was I going to spend that much money for a single comic book!

If only I had spent every cent buying up those issues and squirreling them away...

Who knew?

Grade: B


Anonymous said...

Chuck, you don't have the squirrel away mindset of an investor. How many of us thought to spend large amounts of cash on old comics, carefully put them away in a safe place, and wait for them to go up in value? HA!
Like you, I sought out those comics
I missed for one reason and one reason alone; I just HAD TO read them!
My comic collection: Worth a lot, I guess.
Finally finishing reading that comic story you started years ago:

Sam Kujava

Dwayne said...

That is an AWESOME cover!

Chuck said...

Sam, you're right - I only cared about reading them, and rarely thought about their resale value. Of course, if that had been my concern, I probably would have sold them all long ago - and now I'd be kicking myself because I didn't hold on to them!

Dwayne, I agree - Kirby was the master of the powerful cover!