Marvel Treasury Edition #10 features the mighty Thor in a four-issue saga by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. The original issues reprinted in this gloriously oversized edition are Thor #154, #155, #156, and #157. Considering any one of these original issues will run you from $15 in a VG condition to $200 in a CGC-graded 8.0 VF condition, a $15-$30 copy of this treasury edition will leave some cash in your pocket and deliver the goods in a superior format.
And it truly is superior. Just look at these gorgeously reproduced pages and that mind-stunning back cover! Jack Kirby’s artwork at this size never fails to crank the awesome-meter into the red.
The story itself starts off well, with a big bad monster foolishly released by some power-mad moron. Guess what? It presages the end of the universe! Oops!
The monster – called the Mangog – begins an unstoppable march towards Thor’s home in Asgard. Its ineluctable progress drives just about all the action in this story, as hero after Asgardian hero fails to stop Mangog’s tenacious travels. It’s very dramatic, true, but essentially you get one long fight scene bathed in delicious Kirby Krackle.
Normally we would hate spoiling the ending, but this story spoils it on its own. After all this cosmic-level struggle, the pay-off kind of sucks. Odin steps in at the end, waves his hand, and puts a stop to the whole thing in deus ex machina fashion. This cheapens the epic struggle that comes before it by suggesting that, well, we had nothing to really worry about the whole time.
Despite this let-down of an ending, one can have some great fun with Thor and his friends along the way, valiantly struggling to overcome their implacable foe. Readers who may have looked forward to Ragnarok (end of the universe, basically) would have to wait until Thor #200, some pages of which we have in our archives.
Whether you collect Jack Kirby art or classic Thor issues, Marvel Treasury Edition #10 probably deserves a place on your shelf. We recently sold ours on eBay, but you can usually find it in stock. It’s big, it’s bold, and the lame ending does little to detract from Kirby’s masterful visual approach leading up to it.
Readers who don’t mind black and white reprints will find this story in the Essential Thor paperback #3. Let’s have a look at some more interior pages from this titanic tome!