Thursday, May 27, 2010

Golden Age Action Figures - Thor

Similar to Pyroman (see earlier post) this superhero was created through being struck by electricity. In this case the actual Norse god of thunder Thor was seeking a modern replacement and singled out Grant Farrel, a scientist who was working on an electrical conductor. During a thunderstorm a bolt of lightning strikes Grant and, instead of frying him to a crisp as it would most anyone else, it endows him with all the powers of Thor, including great strength and the ability to manipulate lightning. He also gets a hammer and helmet in the bargain, but little else in the way of a costume. In fact I believe that in his first adventure (which I have not actually seen) he fights crime barefoot. He went through a number of costume variations but the one depicted was my personal favorite. Although there were a number of characters during the Golden Age who were named Hercules after the Greek/Roman hero, this was the only one I can think of who borrowed from Norse Myths. He was published by Fox Features Syndicate, first appearing in their Weird Comics #1 in 1940, but had returned to the halls of Valhalla by issue #6. Comic fans will probably be aware that Marvel Comics created their own version of the Norse god in 1962, who continues to appear in their comics through today and who I understand will be the subject of a movie in the near future. The figure was created from a Kenner Atom figure and the head of a Superman when he was going through his long hair period. The helmet and hammer were made from items out of the parts box and the cape from T-shirt material.
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