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review 2020-06-07 13:37
Thor - Wayne Smith

by Wayne Smith


This is an original take on a werewolf story. It's told partly from the pov of a German Shepherd dog who belongs to a typicaltm American family. The father is a lawyer, the mother appears to be a housewife and there are three children. They all love their dog and he loves them and instinctively protects them, referring to them as "The Pack".


Sometimes he protects too well and gets in trouble with Dad. It's interesting looking at things through his eyes. The author seems to know a lot about dogs and his perspectives come over as fairly realistic. The first few chapters of this would make a nice, wholesome dog story if it weren't for the intimate moments between Mom and Dad getting a bit too graphic for very young readers.


When Thor senses an unknown danger coming and starts to catch the scent of an unidentified wild animal in places and on belongings associated with a relative of The Pack, we see his confusion as he tries to work out where the threat is coming from and how to protect his family.


Some dramatic werewolf action happens in the last quarter that had me breathless. It was very well done! Though a couple of challenges to belief (besides, you know, werewolf) kept it from quite reaching that fourth star.


Still, a worthwhile story and watching the change in consciousness in one transition to werewolf was more than intriguing.

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review 2019-07-16 18:20
mixed bag
Thor Vol. 1: God of Thunder Reborn (Thor... Thor Vol. 1: God of Thunder Reborn (Thor by Jason Aaron & Mike del Mundo) - Jason Aaron,Christian Ward,Mike Del Mundo

This reads like a series of shorts.


Thor fights Juggernaut and then he's in Hel to fight with Balder to defeat the queen of cinders and then he's in the future with his descendants on earth and Old Man Phoenix and fighting Dr Doom at the end of time.


Basically Thor Fights a lot.

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review 2019-07-04 23:04
Backlash by Brad Thor
Backlash - Brad Thor

When I got into reading one of the first espionage series that I got into was the Scot Harvath series by Brad Thor.  Backlash is the 19th book in the series and if the bro-mance spy thriller type books are your bag, as Austin Power's would say, then "this should be in your bag, baby".


Without getting into the story, this is your typical Scot Harvath story, told by Armand Schultz.  Backlash picks up where Spymaster ends, and finds Scot in hot water in a very cold place.  The story is good, and every Scot Harvath fan should be happy when finished.


Picking up the picture, and his glass, he headed outside. The sun was almost low enough to touch the water. He wanted to watch it disappear. Then he wanted to start thinking about what he was going to do next.


Cue the contemplating music. 

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review 2019-06-16 00:00
Essential Thor, Vol. 7
Essential Thor, Vol. 7 - Len Wein,David Anthony Kraft,Steve Englehart,Roger Stern,John Buscema,Pablo Marcos,Walter Simonson,Sal Buscema ‘Essential Thor volume 7’ collects, in glorious black and white, The Mighty Thor # 248-271 and The Mighty Thor Annuals # 5-6. It opens with Annual # 5, scripted by Steve Englehart, in which the Asgardians have a war with the gods of Mount Olympus. It’s well done and Odin the All-Wise actually demonstrates some sagacity for once. Usually, he behaves like a spoiled six-year-old.

Len Wein was scripter on the closing issues of ‘Essential Thor volume 6’ and he carries on in this collection. Ray gun Mjolnir puts in an early appearance on page three of issue # 248 but is thankfully absent thereafter. Captain Kirk doesn’t hit people with his phaser and Thor shouldn’t shoot rays from his hammer. It’s most unsuitable.

There’s nothing new in the stories but old plots are given a fresh outing. At first, it seems that Odin has gone mad. Then there’s a long quest through space to find the real Odin. Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three, Fandral, Hogan and Volstagg, ride around the stars in their little sailing ship meeting bad aliens. They are accompanied by the Recorder of Coloniser fame, who precedes his statements with the word ‘statement’ and his observations with the word ‘observation’ but is a loveable chap really. While they’re away, Loki plots against Asgard.

The appeal of quests as stories is lost on me as I usually find them very dull. This one’s not too bad and when the good guys return to Asgard, the action picks up. Len Wein was either a fan of the older ‘Thor’ comics or did some diligent research because he revives a couple of old villains. Artist Walt Simonson adds to this by reintroducing the old costumes, including the more decorative look that the Destroyer sported in his first appearance.

The pencils on issues The Mighty Thor # 248-259 and The Mighty Thor Annual # 5 are by John Buscema, so obviously they’re great. On # 260-271, the graphite is wielded by Walter Simonson and it’s a different look but nearly as good. It’s all inked by Tony De Zuniga, a perfectly good artist in his own right. This gives the volume a sort of unity but also makes all the pages look a bit like Tony De Zuniga’s work, which is not the worst thing I guess.

There’s a pleasant interlude with The Mighty Thor Annual # 6, pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Klaus Janson. Perhaps because of brother John’s towering reputation, Sal is often underrated but I think he’s very good, especially with a skilled inker like Klaus Janson. Thor teams up with the Guardians Of The Galaxy for an epic adventure in the stars where their starship, it must be said, looks more at home than his Viking sailing boat.

In the last few issues of the regular title, Thor goes back to Earth and resumes his identity as Doctor Don Blake. This, too, harks back to those halcyon days of yore on this title. Lee and Kirby used to alternate a big Asgardian epic with a few Earth adventures and it’s a good pattern to follow. You can’t have the imminent end of the universe every other issue and even Odin can only sleep so much.

These stories first appeared in the very different era of 1976-1978. All in all, it’s a satisfactory slice of past Marvel at a bargain price which will give hours of mild, low-level pleasure to old fans and perhaps some new ones, too.

Eamonn Murphy
This review first appeared at https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/
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