Happy Easter!

§ April 11th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Happy Easter!

Thor #303 (Marvel Comics, Jan 1981) – cover by Mike Zeck

The story (“The Miracle of Storms” by Doug Moench, Rick Leonardi, and Chic Stone) opens with Thor witnessing an apparent mugging in process…he quickly moves into action, chasing off the assailants:

Thor tends to the victim, and discovers that said victim is a priest, in dire need of medical attention. Thor takes him to the priest’s own church (presumably just nearby), whereupon he transforms back into his mortal identity, Dr. Don Blake. As Blake, he gives the priest the medical attention he needs…and when the priest revives, he tells Blake that those weren’t muggers at all. In fact, they were enforcers for a local mobster — Angelo Simoni…there’s a joke in that last name somewhere — trying to drive the priest out so that the church can be torn down and the land developed for Simoni’s financial benefit.

The priest’s faith is shaken, by the threats and by the church’s own dwindling attendance, and believes that it would be better just to sell out to the mobster. He then tells Blake that, as he was reviving, he had believed the doctor to be a divine vision, to which Blake says:

Uh, right, Don, way to win the man’s confidence. Anyhow, Blake splits, turns back into Thor, and tracks down the mobster that’s been giving the good father such grief. Long story short, Thor trashes Simoni’s place, extracting a promise from the mobster that he’ll leave the priest alone. However, there’s a complication…Simoni reveals “I already sent some guys to — firebomb [the church]!”

Back at the church in question, the priest is giving some council in his office to a pregnant woman, apparently trying to talk her out of an abortion (really, I’m not kidding), when he hears some activity elsewhere in the building. As he investigates the bombs go off, enveloping the church in a raging conflagration. Driven outside by the flames, the priest realizes that he has left the pregnant woman behind, locked in his office…and he hasn’t the courage to go back to rescue her. He kneels and begs God for strength, whereupon Thor arrives to work up a storm to squelch the fire. The priest looks up, sees Thor silhouetted by lightning and fire, and takes that for the divine sign he needed to get his butt back in the building to save that poor woman.

However, even with the flames now subdued by the rainstorm Thor created, the building begins to collapse upon itself. Trying to bring the woman to safety, a task made even more difficult by the injuries he sustained from his attack earlier, the priest finds himself threatened by the imminent collapse of a wall. Luckily, Thor arrives just in the nick of time:

Bracing the wall with the giant cross, the priest begins to wonder if he was worshipping the wrong god…to which Thor has this very politic reply:

Still bracing the wall, Thor extolls the priest to “save yourself, and the woman! You can! You have the faith! You have the strength! Go! Do it!” Despite his injuries, the priest finds the inner strength to lift up the woman and escape the ruined church.

Encouraged by his rediscovered faith, the priest swears to rebuild his church, though as the clean-up begins the next day he realizes it will take a miracle to obtain the sufficient funds for the repairs. Even as he ponders this, he receives a surprise visitor. It’s the very mobster that tried to drive him out…Angelo Simoni!

Holding the bag of loot, which I’m sure the Feds wouldn’t be interested in at all, the priest is left to wonder what could have caused this man to turn from his wicked ways. He then notices Thor on a nearby building overlooking the scene…and for the second time in this story, the priest takes a Norse god as a sign from his own Christian God that everything will be just fine.

And that, my friends, is your just slightly confusing religious message for the day. Happy Easter!

Comments are closed.