The Mighty Thor #384 - “Who Shall Be Worthy?”
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Ron Frenz/Brett Breeding
I felt I had to follow up my last blog post with a look at the second fill-in issue by DeFalco and Frenz. Issues #383 and #385 would convince editor Ralph Macchio that this team would be worthy indeed to take the reins of the Mighty Thor on a permanent basis.
What’s so good about it? It’s a self-contained, one issue story with an impressive scope. I wish Marvel’s fill-ins were half as good as this one! The inking skills of Brett Breedings are a pleasure to behold and give Frenz’s art that much more of a smooth John Buscema feel. And cleaver, solid story telling.
The story idea plays upon the magic spell on Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, as only someone who could be worthy could wield it, as the side of the hammer carries the inscription: "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”. Leveraging the idea by Stan Lee, obviously based on the Arthurian Legend (Sword in the Stone, not to mention Mjolnir is made of a mystical stone), DeFalco tells this tale of The Once and Future Thor.
In the future, an underground cult forms around believing in the eventual return of Thor to help free them from the oppression of the Corporation. When Loki takes an interest in stamping out the cult, one of its members, Dargo, reaches for Mjolnir and proves to be worthy. The fun twist is that Dargo plays the reluctant hero, but is uninterested in being worshiped and is frustrated by the people’s blind faith and their inaction. He chooses to return Mjolnir to its rightful owner, as Thor seems to be trapped somewhere having fallen pray to Loki’s machinations, and hopes that his actions as Thor prove to inspire people to take action, to prove themselves worthy.