A surprising version of Thor just made a raw comeback
In Strange #1, Marvel’s new Sorcerer Supreme prepares to go to war with a version of Thor who has returned in the most gruesome way possible.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Strange #1, available now from Marvel Comics.
While Doctor Strange’s death left the Marvel Universe reeling, it also opened the door for a new Sorcerer Supreme to step into the spotlight. The powerful witch of the Dark Dimension, Clea, has taken up the mantle in light of her former husband’s demise, and it turns out she’s not the only classic character to make a comeback. Thanks to the power of his last nemesis, a heroic figure who once replaced Thor as Marvel’s God of Thunder has also returned, albeit in one of the most nefarious and gruesome ways possible.
Clea has done her best to adjust to her new life on Earth, as well as her new role as Sorceress Supreme. In Strange #1, by the VC’s Jed MacKay, Marcelo Ferreira, Don Ho, Roberto Poggi, Java Tartaglia, Felipe Sobreiro, and Cory Petit, the Witch proves her effectiveness in the role by defeating both the Blasphemy Cartel and Doctor Doom. However, what she really wants is to find a way to bring her beloved Strange back to the land of the living. When she discovers an unknown soul breaking the veil between the afterlife and the living, Clea races to find her predecessor. However, the mighty witch comes face to face with the deceased hero Thunderstrike, who has never looked so bad.
First introduced in 1988 Thor #391 (by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz), Eric Masterson was an architect whose life was torn apart after being unwittingly the victim of multiple villain attacks. These devastating encounters led Eric to develop a friendship with Thor, with one of their ensuing adventures merging the two into one. This led to Masterson taking the name Thunderstrike and functioning as his own version of the God of Thunder until he ultimately sacrificed his life in 1995. Thunderbolt #24 (by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz).
Although Thunderstrike had already been armed once since his death as part of the Grim Reaper’s Legion of the Unliving, he was nowhere near as gruesome as he appears now. This version of the hero is used as a puppet by the Harvestman, which itself is almost a complete mystery. This makes it difficult to discern whether this zombified creature is actually Eric Masterson or just a grotesque facsimile of the ancient hero. Either way, Clea seems certain of her ability to resurrect Strange, indicating that there’s a strong likelihood that the creature she’s now facing is truly a resurrected Masterson, however gruesome he may now appear.
Thunderstrike’s return as a zombie could be the start of something far worse than just a super-powered ghoul. Assuming the Harvestman is really the one pulling the strings, Masterson may just be the first of many deceased heroes the villain plans to resurrect for his own ends.
While there’s no doubt that Clea will be able to hold her own against the undead hero, she might not have such a hard time defeating an all-new Legion of the Unliving. His real goal at this point should be to stop whatever the Harvestman is up to, with the understanding that the villain’s new lackey won’t prove capable of hindering him.
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