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Superficial Saturdays #16 – THE MIGHTY THOR #337 by Walt Simonson

Comic: THE MIGHTY THOR #337 Artist: Walt Simonson

I was hanging out with Matt Wang today [okay yesterday now] and told him I wanted to do something old school for Superficial Saturdays; he suggested this high impact cover from Walt Simonson.

Forget for a moment the look and execution of this cover and instead just look at what is being depicted.

This is a monster swinging Thor’s magic hammer!

Do you remember this scene from Joss Whedon’s blockbuster movie?

The Hulk — the strongest one there is — can’t budge Mjolnir.

A defining piece of the Thor mythos, Mjolnir can only be lifted by those of particular strength and especial moral worth. Captain America has been able to pick it up on occasion (and most recently led an Odin-powered Avengers team with Mjolnir when Thor was down during Fear Itself)… But almost no one else.

This guy, sure; good AND strong.

So seeing a monster not just swinging Mjolnir — but busting the Thor logo — was a big, big game. This was, if memory serves, the first issue of Walt Simonson’s defining run on THE MIGHTY THOR. Simonson wanted to do something different, really put hit stake in the ground, and the idea of someone else picking up the magic hammer to challenge Thor was the way he went.

The cover was shocking… And memorable enough that we are talking about it three decades later!

Plus, I think it’s pretty cool looking!

Simonson can be an acquired taste; his art isn’t for everyone (in particular comics dilettantes), but there is no mistaking him for anyone else, or anyone else for him. The cartoon lightning bolt. The flat color. The exaggerated motion. The audacity around the logo. So many things to love.