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Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson, Vol. 1

(Thor (1966) #337-348)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,114 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Thor was always one of the toughest assignments at Marvel. Producing the adventures of the Norse thunder god was an intimidating task; making the travails of Asgardian heroes interesting to a comic book audience was a staggering chore. It didn't help that any creator who leant his skills to the title would inevitably draw comparisons to the Wagnerian power of the character ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Marvel Comics
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Dan Schwent
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-comics, 2018
Who is the monster called Beta Ray Bill and why has he come to earth? What is the mysterious dragon rising from the waters of the Atlantic? And who is forging a sword in the heart of an alien sun? That's up to Thor to find out...

Thor has never been my favorite Marvel character but I've read a couple dozen issues of his comic, mostly from the Ron Frenz-Tom DeFalco run, and a handful of Walter Simonson issues. I stumbled upon this at the 2016 Planet City Comicon in Kansas City and couldn't resist.
Winter of 1983. I was a full-grown and mature thirteen (13) year old. That is what I believed anyway. By this point, I had put all the things of childhood behind me - even my beloved D&D mostly - to focus on grown up things: sports, music, girls, and cars. Not necessarily in that order. This meant the days of me sitting around reading comics was over. Forever! Sure, I still ran an eye over the comic rack at the local gas station or the bookstore at the mall, but other than just looking at th ...more
Over the years I've heard time and again about Walt Simonson's legendarily regarded Thor run - held up so often as among the best work ever committed for this bigger-than-life character. And I'm about to shit on the first collected volume of it. Let's begin.

Hey, comic book nerd here. Hate to break it to ya Walt but you've left a gaping logic hole in your storytelling here. To wit: when Thor is approaching Earth on Beta Ray Bill's spaceship and "without my hammer in my hand, I've reverted to my B
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thor, 4-stars, marvel, comics
It is honestly astounding how different the writing is straight from the first issue. Before, it wasn’t even noticeable if a writer had changed, the issues always followed the same formula and similar storylines. But I mean...the quality and just the type of plots involved are so much better than ever before, they really weren’t lying when they called Simonson a visionary.
That said, some issues in this are pretty weak/average. But there were also a few that were amazing and I’m sure it will onl
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this as part of an attempt to learn more about Thor, since I've liked him so much in the Marvel movies. I'd read something like a few pages with Thor beforehand, and I don't know terribly much about Norse mythology, so I don't really have any preconceived notions. So I'm happy to report that this was really good reading.

If there's one thing I expected going into Thor, it was that the language would be intentionally and archaically formal. It's what one does with Thor, after all. And here'
Thor Visionaries Volume One covers one of the greatest periods in Thor’s little corner of the Marvel Universe, issues #337-#348. I read them when they first came out, and they are all packed away in mylar bags and comic boxes in my office. I was pretty stoked to have them all in this Graphic Omnibus edition, and for the most part they didn’t disappoint. Here are my highs, mediums and lows.

Thor Visionaries: Top Ten -- The Awesomeness

1. Balder the Brave – The best story arc of the Omnibus, we se
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thor meets noble alien Beta Ray Bill, loses his Donald Blake persona permanently, fights Fafnir the dragon, meets an old Viking, is seduced by Lorelei, and uncovers a plot by Malekith to use the Casket of Ancient Winters to release his master.

This was more interesting than the collection that follows (which I read first) due to the issues introducing Beta Ray Bill and the showdown with Malekith, who I'm familiar with from Thor: The Dark World. I'm pretty curious to know what was going through Si
And a mighty "meh" was heard throughout the land.

So apparently this is a famous run of Thor by Walter Simonson, considered iconic and etc. etc.

It . . . seemed fine. The '80's fashions sported in the Midgard scenes were pretty great. I was super distracted by the first storyline, though, which should have been the most dynamic. Another warrior, from a distant galaxy, defeats Thor (by some weird loophole that shouldn't actually work), and lifts Mjolnir. GASP! And what is thy name, O warrior? Bet
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, superheroes
DAS ist Thor!

Wer chronologisch die Abenteuer Thors miterlebt hat, oder sich beispielsweise vor diesem Band die Essentials von Marvel gelesen hat (was sehr empfehlenswert ist!), wird hier sein blaues Wunder erleben. Simonson hat Thor praktisch neu erfunden - weg ist die Pseudoidentität Don Blake, die eh nur für melodramatische Herzschmerz-Seitenstories diente, weg ist dieses schmierige Pathos, das den 70er-Jahre-Thor teilweise unlesbar machte. Simonsons Thor ist nicht mehr in erster Linie ein Mit
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Comic Afficionados
Shelves: graphic_novels
So many a reviewer will agree in saying that Walt Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor contained epic arcs that rival those of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Other reviews may suggest that Simonson's attention to detail and the ready hybrid of actual Norse with the classic Marvel contemporary super hero mythology made for a mix that surpassed the Lee/Kirby originals.

Whereas that may be a cyclical, unending debate, what is non-debatable is the fact that this collection of Simonson's initial run on The Mi
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Δεν είχα διαβάσει Thor στη ζωή μου, πέρα από τα Thor, Vol. 1 του J. Michael Straczynski. Θυμάμαι βέβαια, ως παιδί, να βλέπω την animated σειρά Τhor που, όποτε τη θυμόμουν ως μεγάλος, μου φαινόταν πάντα λίγο αφελής. Θυμάμαι όμως να διαβάζω καλλιτέχνηες που μου άρεσαν (όπως πχ τον Erik Larsen) να μιλούν με θαυμασμό για τον Thor του Walter Simonson.

Όταν λοιπόν πέτυχα τον πρώτο τόμο με τις ιστορίες του Thor από τον Simonson τον σήκωσα δίχως δεύτερη σκέψη.

Πρόκειται για τεύχη από τη χρονιά που γεννήθη
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Let's just make one thing clear: I DO NOT rate/think barely any comics warrant a 5-star rating. And this did.

Walter Simonson is a fabulous writer - each character's voice was unique (loved the Nick Fury/Thor foil of language especially), and the humor was perfectly placed. What I appreciated most about this volume and Simonson's narrative was how minor characters- who are initially narrated as weak or flawed- become an important piece of the story, and although weak, he is able to show the true
Doctor Doom
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having recently suffered through stories containing unworthy Thor and bat-crazy Odin it is refreshing to once more embrace the concept of noble Odin and worthy Thor. One unworthy reviewing the book called himself a comic nerd but didn't even know of the 60 second rule [from the earliest days of Marvel's Thor] concerning Thor's contact with Mjolnir and said he couldn't even finish the book... really? Wonder if he missed the wonderful cameo of a certain reporter from Metropolis delightfully given ...more
While this feels a bit dated now, Simonson's run on Thor was, at the time, revolutionary. Simonson took a staid and typical superhero comic and revitalized it. He not only took the myths and legends of Norse mythology and wove threads into the series, but he also brought a new visual aesthetic to the series that energized the characters in ways that had not been seen since Jack Kirby left the series.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
The beginning of the Simonson Saga. Not as strong as other volumes, but a great start nonetheless, in setting up all the action to follow. Great art, storytelling, and classic pacing add up to a winner, and a great place to start Thor.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
My dad kept telling me how awesome these comics were, so I gave it a try. Dad was actually right. This was a really cool Thor story.
Alex Sarll
Because when a great storm approaches, it is only sensible to seek audience with its lord.
Geppis Baltimore
In the early eighties, Walter Simonson delivered one of the finest Thor runs in the character's history. With all the action, drama, and dynamic visuals of the Jack Kirby & Stan Lee stories, The Mighty Thor is a great way to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to the Asgardian God of Thunder and Heir to the Throne of Asgard!!!

The trade collects issues #337-345 (1983). We start with Thor in his mortal shell of Doctor Donald Blake, being asked by Nick Fury to investigate a star ship of unknow
Pedro Souza
I've read issues 337 - 353, through the MU app. This is a review of all this issues, also known as The Surtur Saga.

Simonson's Thor starts off explosive, with the introduction of Beta Ray Bill right in the first issue. It's nice to see Thor's insecurity with the arrival of someone who's also worthy and Bill is a great character himself. However, after he is gone (Issue #340), the book really goes downhill. Thor becomes completely unidimensional and his new civil identity (Simonson gets rid of Don
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I've rarely read any Thor comics, but when the "definitive" run of Thor went on sale like this, I nabbed a couple of volumes to read. And man, they are really really fun. The art is fantastic, made more palatable to the modern sensibilities by having the coloring entirely redone. Some might call this disrespectful, but given the age of some of these comics, I think I personally would find the original more distracting and would detract from the art. These are some classic stories and adventures ...more
Ralph Wark
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite good and fun

I grew up with comics like Thor, indeed in a place populated by many of Scandinavian descent (my high school mascot was a Viking) and have always been fascinated by Norse mythology.

So masculine (although their society was quite equilateral I believe, the women also fought and there are many strong females). You fight with your mates, and if you die honorably, you are picked by the Valkyries to go to Valhalla, where, as a battle all day and then feast and boast a
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection of Walter Simonson's work covers a variety of stories; the introduction of Beta Ray Bill, Thor's new secret identity Jarlson, the saga of the Casket of Ancient Winters, and several adventures revolving around Malekith. At the same time, there are stories touching on Balder, the Warriors Three, and more. Loki is a minor player in this collection, but Malekith serves as a strong villain, and Lorelei is off on a side story that merges with Thor's story. The art is well done, timeles ...more
Douglas Beagley
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thor allows comic books to explore old school, mythological story-telling in a way that no other superhero could. The run of Thor by Simonson purportedly changed all the rules, but that key idea is what makes the comic shine, no matter who the writer is.

What's astonishing about this volume is how well it holds up-- the art and story are good, the character moments are vital and satisfying, and it was written and drawn in 1983. Are there campy moments back in the "real" world? Yup. Big 80s hair?
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now this is how you make comics! Walt Simonson hits the ground running with his landmark run on "The Mighty Thor" from the 1980's. From the introduction of Beta Ray Bill to the first appearance of Malekith the Dark Elf these are top-notch tales of Nordic adventure. Simonson packs so much into each issue, a fully satisfying tale of Thor masterfully interwoven with subplots involving Balder the Brave and a growing menace whose sound effects portend "DOOM!" Incredible comics that I can't believe it ...more
I’ve heard a lot about Simonson’s run on Thor, Miles of the podcast Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is a particularly vocal fan, and these first nine issues don’t disappoint. Secondary characters Beta Ray Bill and Balder the Brave are particularly fabulous. But why on earth does this collection include nine issues, two complete stories of four issues each and then number 345 which begins a whole new story? The collection ends with ‘Confused? Bewildered? Afraid to eat a McBurger again?’ Yes! And ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simonson jumps into The Mighty Thor with both feet, instilling Norse mythology first and foremost into the comic, and then adds many subplots to keep the pace; not without faults - characters narrating their own actions quickly becomes infuriating, and Simonson's art (full of epic and grandeur in the pencils) loses much when inked by others who lack the loose elegance Simonson brings to his own art) - but otherwise strong and compelling comic book storytelling.
Al Gritten
Simonson and company breathe new life into one of the classic Marvel characters giving Thor not just a face lift but a new direction with a compelling story and great artwork. Beta Ray Bill, the return of Malekith, Loki, Lorelei, Balder, Lady Sif, and of course Odin and a mysterious character from another dimension offer plot complexities as well as side stories and plot twists that make the reader want more. This one ends way too soon - on to volume 2!
Tom Malinowski
In 1983, Walt Simonson took over the writing and art chores of Thor. I remember my brother collecting these issues and noticing the art looked 'different' and 'edgier.' This collects Thor #337-345. What a run. We see someone else who is worthy to wield Thor's hammer and thus a contest to see who has the right to wield it. New heroes, epic battles, and Thor gets a new secret identity that just makes sense. Good stuff.
Edward Vanbuskirk
The quickest way to a god's heart...

Although still using far too much expositional dialogue, the characters and story lines are starting to become somewhat more complex.

This book has a lot of issues. That is to say, it has a lot of pages, and has been the longest comic compilation I've read to date.

Probably the biggest gripe I had was the cookies.
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Awesome art. Not-so-awesome writing. Simonson’s Thor is loaded with unnecessary thought bubbles, useless narration, and stupid self-talk. Sure, Beta Ray Bill is introduced here and he’s a great character. Unfortunately, the way he obtains the hammer is plum stupid. Recommended as a flip book for art fans and Marvel historians only.
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Walter "Walt" Simonson is an American comic book writer and artist. After studying geology at Amherst College, he transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1972. His thesis project there was The Star Slammers, which was published as a black and white promotional comic book for the 1974 World Science Fiction Convention in Washington, D.C. (DisCon II). Some years later, he prod ...more

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