Sunday, February 17, 2013

The God and the Getaways

Wow--looks like Thor's in a heated battle on Earth!

What could he be trying to stop?

The Wrecking Crew? A troll invasion? Evil mutants? Skrulls?

Actually, would you believe...


After looking at how the Fantastic Four handle heavily armed hoods, I felt compelled to ask: How would Thor, the mighty God of Thunder, mix it up with gun-toting robbers? I mean, talk about using a cannon to get rid of a fly. But as you'll see, Thor is very adept at bringing such a lethal threat (lethal to mortals, at least) to a prompt end--and quite efficiently, at that. And that's mostly because the crooks that he stops are so pissed off at him that they make the mistake of trying to take him out.

From what I've seen, a Thor/crook engagement usually happens in three stages. First, as with our friends above, Thor announces his involvement as only he can--his first priority seeming to be to stop the immediate violence and thereafter get the surly criminals to focus on him by making his threat level clear:

Then, predictably, the crooks answer that threat with a hail of bullets (er, assuming they still have their guns). Whether or not Thor is bulletproof, I couldn't tell you for sure. As with Hercules, the Sub-Mariner and the Thing, I think it's always been a given that he is, for the most part; but it's probably no accident that stories featuring any of these characters rarely if ever show them shrugging off high-caliber weapons fire, perhaps in an effort not to have them all cut from the same cloth. In Thor's case, a more distinctive method of foiling gunfire turned out to be right at his fingertips:

Which, to my knowledge, always worked for him. The reason I put it that way is that, well, Thor is a pretty big guy, and a spinning hammer is only going to provide so much cover for him to duck behind. Fortunately, our Marvel crooks haven't figured out that they can still shoot at the parts of Thor that the hammer's swing isn't able to shield.

At any rate, the mortal gun-wielders then move on to tackling Thor by force. And that usually doesn't end well even for super-powered foes, does it?

And apparently the word hasn't come down the pipe that Thor really, really doesn't like getaway cars:

Of course, sometimes Thor gets a kick from hanging around for a few minutes afterward so that he can watch the local law enforcement personnel be suitably astonished:

In short, Thor is virtually invincible when fighting Earth criminals--overwhelmingly so. That wasn't always the case, when Thor would have extended stays on Earth and mortal foes would be able to resist his might or otherwise get the drop on him--which was mostly out of necessity, the only other choice being to have his power notched down just like the Silver Surfer. Eventually, though, we got this odd diversion in The Avengers when Moondragon convinced him that he was with the Avengers mostly out of vanity:

Despite the result, this self-discipline was a reasonable explanation for why Thor would have trouble with the likes of the Cobra or Mr. Hyde or, lord help us, the Stilt-Man. But he certainly seems to have no problem using his might to quickly deal with armed groups of petty crooks. Sure looks like that message is taking awhile to sink in with the opposition, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Murray said...

Alien robots fire crackling ray blasts that rip armoured tanks apart like soggy newsprint. Our hero goes "OOF!" but lurches back to his feet, ready for another round.

Watching the Hulk in action, we can only speculate that the impact power of his fists exceeds any artillery shell's power. Thor takes those on the chin and gets angry.

But, OH NO! The goon has a .38 special! With bullets! Whirl the hammer!