Tales From The Longbox – Jason Shayer’s Favourite 10 Thor Covers from the 1980s

I could have easily picked 10 Thor covers by Walt Simonson alone, but I wanted to insert a bit of diversity and spotlight a few of the wonderful artists that created some amazing covers during the 1980s.

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The Mighty Thor #337 – The cover that changed everything. As a 12 year-old kid, this cover blew my mind. I remember picking it up from a spinner rack. Never had I seen a comic book logo destroyed. And who was that on the cover of The Mighty Thor. By Odin, an amazing cover for probably the greatest single issue of the 1980s!

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The Mighty Thor #356 – I loved Bob Layton’s Hercules Prince of Power limited series from 1982 and 1983. This memorable fill-in issue carried over that fun spirit that was a great break from the tension and climax of the Surtur Saga. This cover captures that spirit and lets you know exactly what you’re in for!

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Bizarre Adventures #32 – I only recently discovered this lovely cover by Joe Jusko, who is a renown fantasy artist. I love the feel of the storm in this cover and the raging seas and the power of Thor and Mjolnir.

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The Mighty Thor #332 – This haunting Bill Sienkiewicz cover is stunning in so many ways and immediately demands that you grab it and read it.

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The Mighty Thor #338 – Another Simonson classic cover, modelled after Jack Kirby’s famous Journey Into Mystery #126. That Kirby masterwork has been reproduced by many artists, by this version by Simonson is worthy of being called a Kirby-esque work of art.

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The Mighty Thor #334 – A very simple, yet effective cover by Bob Layton that captures the power and the majesty of The Mighty Thor.

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The Mighty Thor #391 – Ron Frenz’ tenure as artist on The Mighty Thor introduced a retro-Kirby feel to his art and this cover is a throw back to the Silver Age with its appeal yet outrageous cover captions.

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The Mighty Thor #353 – The climax of the Surtur Saga exploded off the comic book racks with this cover by Walt Simonson.

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The Mighty Thor #296 – An underrated Keith Pollard delivered this beautiful Thor cover that highlighted this chapter of Roy Thomas’ creative retelling of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

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The Mighty Thor Annual #13 – Another Simonson cover that grabbed my attention from the moment I saw it. Another simply concept executed so masterfully. Mephisto the manipulator, orchestrating the conflict between Ulik and Thor. There was no way my 14 year-old self was leaving the comic book store without this double-sized gem.

And here are a few more worthy of an honourable mention.

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The Mighty Thor #354.

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The Mighty Thor #388.

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The Mighty Thor #301.

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The Mighty Thor #342.

Jason Shayer has been trying his best not to grow up for that last 30 years and comics books are one of the best ways to keep him young at heart. He’s also known as the Marvel 1980s guy and has probably forgotten more than you’d ever want to know about that wonderfully creative era. Check out his blog at: marvel1980s.blogspot.com.

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