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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Thor Encounters Ragnarok

by  in Comic News Comment
Drawing Crazy Patterns – Thor Encounters Ragnarok

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

This time around, based on a suggestion by Jeff S. (I believe he actually intended it as a question for Comic Book Questions Answered, but I think it works better here), in honor of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok film, let us take a look at all the times that Ragnarok has shown up in Thor comics…

NOTE: There are so many images in this column that I’m splitting it over two pages.

Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, as it were, was first depicted in the Tales of Asgard back-ups in Thor #127-128 by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Vince Colletta…

After that, the gods were reborn. As I noted in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed, I believe Kirby intended for the New Gods to be born out of Ragnarok.

The next appearance of Ragnarok is a curious one. I suspect that it was a bit of a case of Lee and Kirby working at cross purposes. In Thor #154, Lee, Kirby and Colletta introduced a great new villain known as Mangog…

And at the end of the issue, we learn Mangog’s purpose…

That’s where I’m a BIT curious as to whether the whole Ragnarok reference here was a matter of Lee just bringing it up in his script, as it does not necessarily match Kirby’s plot, which might just be a general “Oh crap, this Mangog guy is really tough.” The Ragnarok references seem to all be dialogue only (as seen here in the following issue)…

In any event, they mention Ragnarok far too many times for it not to count. The Mangog arc, by the way, is possibly the most underrated Thor epic of all-time. Well worth a read!

Ragnarok was the backdrop of an epic storyline that ran from roughly Thor #274-278 (probably a little bit earlier than #274 but #274 is where things kick into high gear) by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Tom Palmer and Chic Stone where Ragnarok is coming but there is a brand-new Thor to meet it! In Thor #275, a cameraman named Red, who was in Asgard taping a TV special, ends up becoming the NEW Thor (through Loki’s manipulations)….

In #278, Ragnarok appears to go down, but Red ends up sacrificing himself to help stop the Midgard Serpent…

We learn that this was actually all a plot by Odin to STOP Ragnarok. You see, in order for Ragnarok to be forestalled, Thor had to die. So Odin figured, “Why not create a NEW Thor, and let THAT one die?” And that’s what happened. Odin can be a manipulative dude sometimes.

On the next page, see Walter Simonson’s take on Ragnarok!

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