I’ve got a piece percolating on the assorted roads to Marvel’s Thor–but before I get to that (and because it would be too unwieldy to post the whole of this story amidst a whole other article) I thought I would whet your appetite by posting the first Thor story done in comic books.
When the super hero boom hit in the late 1930s, turning to mythology for inspiration in creating one’s own super-powered wonder was a bit of a no-brainer. Those ancient myths were taught regularly in school, and would have been familiar to most young readers. So it was that when Victor Fox, the self-styled King of the Comics, was readying the first issue of WEIRD COMICS, he and his creators turned to those myths for the opening story.
Exactly who wrote this first THOR story in WEIRD COMICS has been lost to time (Wright Lincoln, the name signed to it, was a house name, a pseudonym), but the artwork was apparently penciled by Pierce Rice. The series lasted for five installments. In issue #6, it was replaced by the similarly-named DYNAMITE THOR, which was about a guy named Peter Thor who donned a costume and solved most of his problems by throwing dynamite at them. It didn’t fare any better, and came to an end after five outings.
While I don’t believe there were any particular connections between this story and what Lee & Kirby did decades later, there are some fascinating parallels. Like Donald Blake, here Thor’s mortal identity, Grant Farrel is a wimpy blond guy who is imbued with the power of Thor through the Thunder God’s hammer and who becomes a long-haired winged-helmet-wearing blond version of the hero of myth.
Like many of these early golden age story, there’s only the merest hint of a plot. Stuff just happens because it as to. Fox Publications in particular were notable for being among te worst of the schlock publishers of the era.
Some rough coloring in that final panel there–don’t forget to color Thor’s briefs!