Way back in the 1960s, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced Thor, the Norse god of thunder, as a superhero.?
Thor was a little different in the comics than in the Norse myths. He was blond instead of a red head, for one thing.
He also had a secret identity – mild-mannered and frail Dr. Don Blake who used a cane.?
During a vacation, and a coincidental alien invasion, Blake loses his cane and is trapped behind a rock slide. He finds a gnarled walking stick and uses it to move and try to escape.?
When he taps the cane on the rocks, Blake is transformed into Thor. The cane becomes Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. The hammer bears the phrase: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
When Thor tapped Mjolnir on the ground, he became Blake again and the hammer was again the cane/stick.
For several years, Thor and Donald Blake traded places like this in the comics. The reason? Odin had banished his arrogant son, Thor, to earth to learn humility. As decades passed, new creators explained that Dr. Donald Blake was a construct created by Odin – that even Blake’s memories of childhood, etc., were simply a past imagined for him by Odin.
Finally, a few decades ago, Blake disappeared entirely from the pages of Thor. The first Thor movie gave a small shout out to Donald Blake when the film version of Thor pretended to be a doctor named Donald Blake for a scene.
But for the most part, Donald Blake disappeared.
Current Thor writer Donny Cates wondered whatever happened to the good doctor? And wrote a powerful story arc titled “Prey,” now collected in the latest collection of Cates’ run on “Thor.”
In “Prey,” Blake was living what was supposed to be a mindless forever existence in the pleasant neighborhood of another dimension.?
Now king of Asgard, Thor is haunted by visions from Cates’ initial “Thor” story arc where the thunder god becomes the herald for the world-devouring Galactus. The weary Thor decides he needs a break from the crown. He taps Mjolnir to switch places with Blake for the first time in years.
In the other dimension, Thor discovers that Blake has gone mad. And now the crazed and powerful Donald Blake is on earth and in Asgard. He has destroyed his cane and Thor is trapped.
Cates and artist Nic Klein create a genius story that should thrill longtime “Thor” fans and even captivate newer readers.?
Anyone wondering how Cates would top the Galactus storyline, “Prey” is the answer. And the visions haunting Thor? Well, they are still there … a story yet to be told.