What hides in the Black Galaxy? They call him Ego… Your Major Spoilers Retro Review of Thor #133 awaits!
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Editor: Stan Lee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: 12 Cents
Current Near-Mint Pricing: $140.00
Release Date: June 30, 1966
Previously in Thor: Though initially believing himself to be a mild-mannered doctor with a magic cane, Donald Black slowly came to discover that he was, in truth, the Norse god Thor. After discovering the city of Asgard and his extended family and friends, he slowly moved from super-guy to godly being. Then, things started getting really weird, when an alien named Tana Nile arrived on Earth to colonize it for her people, exiling the God of Thunder into outer space. Warning of a threat that could destroy her world, Tana and Thor traveled to The Black Galaxy, where they met that threat.
And it has a human face.
1966 was an experimental year for Marvel Comics, and for Jack Kirby especially. This issue’s title banner features the eerie, incredibly memorable photocollage from the previous issue, the first appearance of The Living Planet, Ego. As this story opens, Thor and The Recorder, Tana’s robot stenographer, face Ego himself, and even Thor is taken aback at the planet’s big rubbery face and ability to reshape itself at will. Ego even creates an avatar of himself to communicate with Thor, proving that its power is as vast as it is bizarre. But when it comes to his personality, centuries spent in the Black Galaxy have left Ego somewhat stunted.
The God of Thunder watches as Ego uses his own form as the template for what he calls his Anti-Body. Then does it again… and again. Ego then teleports Thor away, declaring him beneath Ego’s notice. Thor, for his part, responds the way you’d expect him to: With swift and blinding violence. The Recorder, being a great hype man, exclaims how important this moment is, the first battle between a god and a “bio-versal entity” in the whole of recorded history.
It’s a moment that Jack Kirby goes out of his way to deliver on.
Thor battles against Ego’s army, slapping them away with ease, only for Ego to once again change the playing field to maintain his own supremacy. A hail of boulders is followed by mighty storms while back on Earth, Tana Nile decides to take over, beginning with kindly Officer Krupke, who doesn’t understand.
As for Thor, his patience with Ego reaches its end when the Living Planet raises its core temperature, threatening the existence of The Recorder. Like a certain sailor, he’s had all he can stands, and unleashes the power of a Thunder God!
The moral of the story is probably “Don’t pick a fight with a guy who can control the atmosphere when you, yourself, are a guy with an atmosphere.” If it all feels a little abrupt, that’s actually how it reads, as well, since every issue of this era of Thor features a backup story, “Tales of Asgard,” which means that it’s a sixteen-page story instead of twenty-two. Despite that formatting short-coming, Thor #132 ends up giving us the definitive take on one of the Elders of the Universe, establishing the pattern that they’re unimaginably powerful, but also unimaginably stupid, rounding out to a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. This issue is worth reading just to see Kirby’s creative layouts and design work.
Just don’t look at that picture of Ego right before bed.
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One of Marvel's weirdest recurring foes makes his debut, while Thor is embroiled in one of his most bizarre eras, but it doesn't quite live up to the splash page of last issue.