Thor vs. The United Nations! Kind of! (Not really!) – Thor #181
To help us all get ginned up for this weekend’s U.S release of Age of Ultron (review forthcoming), let’s delve into one of the goofier (mis)adventures for the Asgardian component of the Avengers superteam: Thor, the Goldilocks lunk. And just to be clear, when you’re talking about a character who’s spent time as the Frog of Thunder, “goofy” is really saying something. Granted, nothing can top Thor’s sojourn as a tiny Central Park amphibian, or its What If? permutations, but this earlier comic, from back in the misty 15 cent cover price days of yore, makes a game effort.
Thor against the United Nations! It’s a John Birch Society dream!
Falling not too long after Jack Kirby’s lamented departure from the title, this comic finds a young Neal Adams penciling the Stan Lee script, backed by Joe Sinnott’s able inks. And, surprise, the cover is a bit misleading, as it’s not actually the God of Thunder laying the smack down at the U.N. HQ, but Loki. (The United Nations building seems to be a frequent stop on the tights and cape circuit — perhaps Loki-Thor crossed paths with the Christopher Reeve Superman on his way in.) Thanks to a helping hand from Mephisto, Marvel’s Satan proxy, the old body switcheroo has been pulled, and it’s now the God of Mischief who wields Mjolnir — which doesn’t really make sense, considering the whole “worthy of the power of Thor” requirement for hoisting that mystical weapon, but whatever. So it’s Asgard’s worst foster-brother menacing the diplomats, including a Vincent Price lookalike:
Throw some shrunken apple heads at him, Vince!
Meanwhile Thor is trapped not only in Loki’s lanky frame, but in Mephisto’s clutches. How does he break free from that fiendish grip? Why, using magic and a little trickeration cribbed from Ant-Man, of course:
So the size of one’s body has an inverse relationship to the magnificence of one’s soul. Huh. You learn something everyday, right? Comics!
All this sets up the inevitable construction site showdown between the ever-feuding brothers. For all two of you out there who’ve craved an Asgard/Killdozer mashup, this is about as close as you’re ever going to get:
How does it all end? With Loki back in his own body and looking like Rocky Balboa at the end of a movie. Adrian!:
While this comic has the archeological interest of featuring early art from the creator of such legendary characters as Skateman (in fairness, Loki’s mushed mush is pretty great), it’s the classic body switch bit that made the kids plop down their dime and nickel on the drugstore counter back in the day. That and the cover’s use of “enow” — we really don’t use “enow” enough in our everyday parlance. Anyway, this is a fun, if rather forgettable, episode in the long career of Marvel’s great Norse deity. Will AofU incorporate heavy construction site equipment in its dazzling FX throwdowns? Stay tuned.