The Hammer Horror

Before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby turned Thor into a comic-book icon, the Norse thunder god spent many years as a bit player for various publishers.

There was Fox Publication’s Thor, a Clark Kent-type who used the God of Thunder’s powers to combat evil and get a little emotional pay-back from an excessively shallow girlfriend.

(The same company also produced a hero called Dynamite Thor, who propelled himself through the sky by sitting on, then igniting, explosives. For some reason, that character didn’t last all that long … )

Yet another incarnation of Thor fought Batman and Robin while a self-styled “son” of the mythological figure racked up a pretty impressive body count in a sort-of-true-crime mag published by Atlas Comics, the fly-by-night predecessor to Marvel.

That particular tale, which appeared in Justice # 19 (January, 1951), recounted a notorious murder spree that was ultimately halted by the same detective who cracked the “Black Daisy” case of 1947.

(“Black Daisy” was a thinly disguised reference to the infamous – and unsolved – Black Dahlia murder, which was still undoubtedly fresh in the minds of many. It’s important to note the comic’s disclaimer that the “names and persons in these true-to-life stories are fictitious.” “True-to-life” is a lot different than “true,” when you think about it a bit.)

At any rate, it’s interesting to see an earlier treatment of Thor – well, more or less – from the same company that later made the mythological hero a star of page and screen.

The story is entitled “Hammer Horror.” Creator credits are, sadly, unknown.


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