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Overlooked Comics: Thor #239
May 27, 2013, 7:48 pm

Thor #239Thor #239 - Marvel Comics

Writer: Roy Thomas

Pencils: Sal Buscema

Inks: Joe Sinnot

Colorist: Phil Rache

Letterer: John Costanza

Cover: Gil Kane and Dan Adkins

Editor: Roy Thomas

Marvel Comics

The first half of 1975 was an exciting time for the God of Thunder as Gerry Conway and John Buscema continued their run on Thor. They dropped him in a war between Midgard and Asgard, pitted him against his brother Loki and Ulik the Troll made his return with a plot to take over as leader of the king of the Troll Netherworld.

Thor #239 picks up with new writer Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema contributing pencils to finish off the story just as Ulik has claimed the throne. Ulik’s time on the throne is short as Thor and Jane Foster dispose of Ulik (not to be seen again until issue #252) and escape to the surface. The second half of the book continues the subplot involving Odin’s amnesia-ridden time on Earth and his encounter with the Egyptian gods Horus, Osiris and Isis.

What I really want to focus on is how the editorial events of this issue parallel some recent events at DC Comics. As mentioned earlier, issue #239 marks the debut of Roy Thomas as the new regular writer of Thor. In a special note on the letters page, which at the time was printed about two-thirds of the way through the book, informed readers that the original intent was to announce Thomas as the new regular writer. However, due to his other commitments on Fantastic Four, Conan, Invaders and a Treasury Edition of The Wizard of Oz, Thomas would only be plotting issues #239 and #240. Len Wein would take over the writing duties with issue #241. I assume this decision was made so quickly that there was no time to remove the item announcing Thomas’ tenure on Thor in the Bullpen Bulletins which appeared just eight pages later.

Now, I’m not saying that the reported reasons for this incident are similar to what was reported or rumored around the recent sudden creative changes on a few DC books; but this does provide some historically precedent for sudden creator changes after a short time working on a book. It’s a nice bit of symmetry and adds to the enjoyment of comic book history and revisiting old comics. So don’t forget to read those letters pages when you pick up back issues – there’s some fun stuff in there.

Favorite ad in this issue: Kung-Fu and Karate Lessons – includes a 12” 33 1/3 RPM record and a 10-day guarantee that if you can’t kick someone’s ass, you get your money back.

June 1975 Fact: Fred Silverman usher’s in the era of “Jiggle television” on ABC including such shows as Wonder Woman and Three’s Company. A true seminal moment for all teenage boys.

Next: One of my favorite cartoon characters comes to comics.

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