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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Mighty Thor
Complete 1966 series


Starring (voice): Chris Wiggins
Clear Vision
RRP: £6.99
Certificate: U
Available 18 April 2011

From the prolific vaults of Marvel, via Clear vision, comes yet another animated series, this time in the form of the complete 1966 The Mighty Thor. For anyone who doesn’t know, this features the superhero adventures, on Earth and beyond, of the Norse God of Thunder - the son of the all-powerful Odin of Asgaard - and his war hammer. In this version of the myth, Thor has a human alta ego, Doctor Don Blake, who has fallen in love with his nurse but fears to tell her. There are 13 episodes over 2 discs, with a total running time of 3 hours and 55 minutes.

In Trapped By Loki, Thor’s treacherous half-brother seeks his revenge; in Chained Evil, Loki attempts to separate Thor from his hammer; in The Enchantress and the Executioner, Odin is unhappy that Thor has lost his heart to a mortal and - through Loki - sends the Enchantress to deal with the woman; in The Absorbing Man, Loki gives a powerful convict powers of absorbing strength in order to combat Thor; in To Kill a Thunder God, the Destroyer is released by Loki’s treachery, leaving Thor to rely on his wits rather than brute strength; in The Grey Gargoyle, a chemical accident enables a scientist to turn people to stone.

In Mysterious Mister Hyde, Thor combats the strength and villainy of the dark Hyde; in Every Hand Against Him, Loki combines Thor’s foes against him to kidnap Jane, his mortal love; in The Tomorrow Man, a man from the future steals a present day bomb, but is followed to another time by Thor; in Enter Hercules, while Thor is in trouble with Odin, Hercules attempts to win the heart of Jane; in The Mighty Pluto, Hercules accepts a role in the movies, but it is trap by the Nether World God, pluto - only Thor can help him; and in, Molto the Lava Man, Thor and the superhero Avengers prevent a destructive invasion by subterranean creatures.

As with the 1960s Incredible Hulk animated series, Thor opens with an incredibly twee theme song, which seems totally unsuited to the character. The storylines are in complete contrast to the accompanying pictures in terms of attention to detail. Aside from the frankly annoying diminishing returns fact that Loki is responsible for practically everything detrimental to Thor (and that the all-wise, all-knowing Odin forgets his treachery every episode and wipes the slate clean), much of the recurring themes are straight out of the Viking sagas, which lends the concept a great deal of weight. Even his mystic hammer is periodically referred to by its Nordic name, Mjolnir. However, the animation is very basic and, like Hulk and the Original Spider-Man from the same period, are simple depictions of the classic Jack Kirby comic illustrations. Furthermore, as much of the artwork is reused, it means that inconsistencies arise which conflict with the plot - such as seeing Thor with his hammer even when the plot suggests he doesn’t have it.

These are enjoyable nostalgic cartoons, which are entertaining without being particularly spectacular.


Ty Power

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