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Essential Thor, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – September 17, 2008

16 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Essential Thor Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; New edition (September 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078513381X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785133810
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,753,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. Nevertheless: Having begun his career with wartime Timely Comics and staying the course throughout the Atlas era, Stan the Man made comic-book history with Fantastic Four #1, harbinger of a bold new perspective in story writing that endures to this day. With some of the industry's greatest artists, he introduced hero after hero in Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men and more -- forming a shared universe for rival publishers to measure themselves against. After an almost literal lifetime of writing and editing, Lee entered new entertainment fields and earned Marvel one opportunity after another. He remains one of Marvel's best-known public representatives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kp Roegele on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This review refers to Essential Thor Volume 2.

The problem with Thor is that he's simply so powerful, it's not only hard for the reader to empathise with him, but it's hard to create a sense of threat towards him. Thor is a Norse God and his father is Odin, even more powerful. As such, there is never any real excitement when Thor is attacked by hordes of monsters or soldiers - no matter how energetic Jack Kirny's pencils - because they are like ants to him in terms of power.

Also, it's never stated exactly how powerful Thor is, or how he can be harmed or killed. Of course, popular fictional heroes never truly die, but the enjoyment comes from the suspension of disbelief and a truly menacing opponent (be it man, monster or challenge) which truly jepordize the hero.

Throughout this entire (huge) book, I can remember few instances of Thor even been scratched, let alone genuinely opposed. The Destroyer and Loki are the only two worthy foes for the Viking deity.

As for the book's other qualities, the artwork is, as previously stated, superb. But the lack of colour in the Essential books, whilst highlighting the pencils, forces the reader to concentrate on the story more and the visuals less. With Kirby's fantastic, epic creations bestowed in vivid colour, Thor comics look wonderful and add so much granduer and epic-scale to the stories. The perfect case in point is the rainbow bridge, Bifrost. It simply is colour, therefore doesn't work without colour. Many of the Marvel Essential function well without colour, but this book truly suffers.

Stan Lee's sense-shattering, exclamation-mark packed writing is as enthusiatic and character-oriented as ever. The stories draw heavily on actual Norse mythology, and then fuse it with Superman-like superheroics.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Dreamer on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
reprints "Journey Into Mystery" #113-125, annual #1, "Thor" #126-136, & annual #2.

writer: Stan Lee
penciler: Jack Kirby
Don Blake reveals his secret to her(Jane Foster). Don is Thor. Jane does not believes him.

The Grey Gargoyle makes an appearance!

The Grey Gargoyle is a very good villain. He has a good style, power, looks, etc.

writer: Stan Lee
penciler: Jack Kirby
The Absorbing Man makes his first appearance! Loki finds someone to destroys Thor. He turns Crusher Creel to a supervillain(Absorbing Man).

The Absorbing Man tells too much of his powers. He has too many expositionary dialogues. There fights are not good at all(I thought it was). They do not look good together.

writer: Stan Lee
penciler: Jack Kirby
Thor & Loki undergo "the trial of the Gods" test(on Skornheim). Skornheim is a place of dangers, traps, monsters, etc. The first to be back is the winner.

Loki wins the test(by treachery).

This is the famous "The Trial Of The Gods" arc. It is good, but it could be better.

writer: Stan Lee
penciler: Jack Kirby
The Destroyer makes his first appearance! Loki brings the Destroyer to life.

Odin creates the Destroyer to protects Asgard in time of crisis. The Destroyer is an automaton(robot).

The Destroyer easily defeats Thor because of his invulnerability & strenght. His face visor is a dangerous weapon.

writer: Stan Lee
penciler: Jack Kirby
This is an allegorical issue(actionless).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Inkstained Wretch on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had created the character of Thor in 1962 and then handed him off to other creative teams for a while before returning to the title full-time. One suspects that they realized the character had a lot of unrealized potential in him. By the time of these stories Lee and Kirby had begun crafting one of the greatest comics series of the decade, if not all time.

You'd think a comic being about a Norse deity would limit the kind of stories the crreators could tell to fantasy-based stuff but that's not the case here. Lee and Kirby let anything go, creating a series equally at home with standard costumed heroics, fantasy/mythological stories and cosmic sci-fi tales. The result is outrageous fun, maybe the best vehicle Lee and Kirby ever found for their unique talents.

Kirby's art in particular is outstanding here. His earlier Silver Age stuff could tend towards the crude, if only because he was doing something like 6-7 comics a month, a killer schedule that made it impressive that any of it was any good. By this time, Marvel had cut back on his workload and Kirby was able to put more into the work he did do. The result was one of the best periods of his career. His drawings retained their trademark energy and boldness but also grew much more elaborate and imaginative. His visions of other worlds and the strange creatures, machines and architecture that inhabit them are consistently dazzling.

In these pages you'll find Thor not only dealing with the ever-treacherous Loki but also his first encounters with the Absorbing Man, The Destroyer, the Greek God Hades and Ego the Living Planet. It also includes Marvel's first tales featuring the High Evolutionary and the rascally Hercules. Fans of comics owe to themselves to buy it.
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