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The Mighty Thor: Volume 1
voice cast: Chris Wiggins, Peg Dixon, and Bernard Cowan

creator: Larry Lieber

84 minutes (U) 1966
Maximum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Thor, God of Thunder, leads a double life, divided between Asgard and contemporary New York, where he masquerades as Dr Don Drake and is in love with the practice nurse, Jane. Unfortunately, his evil half-brother Loki is determined to destroy him, and keeps coming up with ever more fiendish plans to do so (achieved mainly because of the lax monitoring of his 'community service' punishment in Asgard. Obviously the gods need a better prisons policy). And that's before you've taken into account all the usual weirdos who turn up to attack any good superhero - and the fact that grumpy dad Odin refuses to make Jane immortal so that Thor can marry her...

This collection comprises five episodes of vintage Marvel super-heroing, pitting Thor against enemies such as Mr Hyde, the undefeatable Destroyer, and Absorbing Man - who sounds like he ought to be made of kitchen towelling, but in fact absorbs 'molecular energy' from anything he touches. Loki lurks behind a lot of this, cackling and spouting pseudoscience: Jane needs rescuing every five minutes, Thor hurls his hammer and, for some reason, shows a good deal of plucky British stiff-upper-lip in the face of peril. Norse mythology it ain't, but then it's not supposed to be. It is, however, jolly good fun.

The animation hardly qualifies as animation at all, consisting of static drawings with narration and voices, enlivened by an occasional swivelling eye or moving arm. Somehow, this faithfulness to the original comics just makes it more enjoyable - though I suspect kids raised on slick Pixar and Dreamworks fare will find it rather disappointing.

As a newcomer to Marvel's take on Thor, I would have liked a bit more Norse weirdness - bring on the eight-legged horse! - but, viewed as a piece of creaky but endearing nostalgia, it's extremely enjoyable heroic nonsense. Recommended for all comic book fans, and kids who still have a glimmer of imagination.

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