We return to Midgard (Earth to mere mortals) as we kick off the second story arc with Mighty Thor 341. He is happy to be back to his second home, but laments the loss of the magic that transforms him in to Donald Blake (now passed on to Beta Ray Bill). Without it, he feels out of place in the modern world of man.
At the same time as Thor’s return, Lorelei has also made her way to New York. She quickly sets up a meeting with the dragon Fafnir.
Thor takes his troubles to Nick Fury, who helps set up the mighty one with a new secret identity, but someone of Thor’s build tends to be a little conspicous:
The bespectacled Sigurd Jarlson visits a local construction site in search of a day job. His interview is cut short by a woman hanging high over the construction site. He quickly rescues her, only to be threatened by the dread presence of Fafnir, a beast he thought vanquished ages ago.
The DOOM continues, growing ever closer to a reveal of some kind (or so I suspect).
The battle rages between the now costumed Thor and Fafnir. Fafnir beats Thor around a bit before the son of Odin fights his way back.
In the aftermath of their battle, Fafnir escapes in to the ocean. Thor returns to his identity as Sigurd and rescues the young lady (Lorelei). He comforts her and receives a job offer from the construction foreman. But as the issue closes, he hears a whispered voice from a bygone era, speaking the language of the vikings. What it means, Thor doesn’t know, but he plans to soon find out.
Another good solid done in one story here that continues to build plot structures for future issues on the side. After destroying Thor’s status quo over the last several issues, Walt works hard to put together a new life in this issue and couples it with a few bits of humor. All that and we get an epic battle with a dragon-like beast (whose Kirby-designed origins are very clear in Simonson’s art). The mixture of several great elements in to one cohesive whole is an example of just how much energy Walt Simonson put in to each issue of Thor. This issue stands as a great example of how to do a really good comic with a compelling storyline without driving the reader to the point of depression like so many modern tales.
Next: “The Last Viking”.