Thor Annual 16 was on sale April 1991, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #666, Alpha Flight #97, Flash #51, Mighty Thor #433, New Titans #76 and Sleepwalker #1.
The Future dies now: Korvac Quest Part 2 was plotted by Tom DeFalco, scripted by Len Kaminski, Layouts were by Alex Trimpe and pencils were by Herb Trimpe with Fred Fredericks on inks. The story opens with a hijacking happening April 23, 2591 where a vibranium isotope is being stolen from North American Urban Centre #5. The robbery from the flying armoured tank is stopped by a hammer, wielded by Dargo Ktor, the Thor of this future Earth.
I should point out that just before this, there is a 3 page origin of Dargo Ktor as the new Thor in this corporate owned future. He wielded the hammer Mjolnir, it gave him the power of Thor as it does to those worthy and when the corporation that was in charge was overthrown, Dargo threw the hammer into the sky, but it came back, so he has carried on in the name of Thor.
After stopping the robbery and handing the thieves over to the corporate police, Dargo returns to work, losing some money for lost time. Here we meet Varley a mid-level bureaucrat within the company, overseeing the mail and bemoaning all the staff who are not as hardworking as he, which based on his near-obsessive compulsive love of his work, is nearly everyone. The difference here is that he is an ancestor of Michael Korvac and the power of Korvac joins up with him.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are traversing time in Drydock and are aware that the power of Korvac is due to appear in 2591 and arrive their looking for its latest host. They are too late and Varley enters the office of the company’s chief executive, and as a result, leader of the planet and declare that he’s taking over. The Guardians arrive and there is a brief battle where Varley quickly takes care of the Guardians.
In the home of Dargo Ktor, he and his wife Salla see Varley’s pronouncement of leadership on a hologram beamed into the tri-vision, this era’s mass entertainment system. Seeing the Guardians and Varley, Dargo grabs the walking stick that the hammer changes to and leaves after a kiss from his wife.
He arrives at the centre of the city and engages Varley, freeing the Guardians at the same time. The battle is joined, but the Guardians seem to be doing no better and withdraw. While licking their wounds Starhawk chides Charlie-27 for being defeatist after he mentions that they may have met their match. Starhawk points out that the Guardians have tracked this power through space, time and dimensional space. Dargo takes notice of that fact.
Varley finds them, grows to massive size and holds them, the Guardians attack anew, giving Varley no time to react. When he gets a second, Varley fires energy beams at Dargo, who uses Mjolnir to open a portal to send them back to their source. Varley is consumed by this power, which leaves local space. The Guardians have failed to stop this power and it now grows nearer to the time of Korvac’s birth. They decide to go on, Dargo offers to join them, but the Guardians point out that he is where he is needed, but are proud to consider him a friend.
Notes: This was a better issue than the Fantastic Four part and feels like a better paced story.
The idea of corporations running the planet and not governments feels more on the nose now that it ever has, not a great thought.
Dargo is a character that was introduced in Thor #384, introducing that future and another mortal to wield the power of Thor.
Tom DeFalco’s plot is serviceable enough, I really did enjoy his run on Thor around this time as well as a decent Fantastic Four run and Kaminski’s script helps. I’m not usually a Herb Trimpe fan, but here his pencils work very well.
Varley is a forgettable one note villain and exists only to forward the plot, so it’s a weaker issue.
But they are getting better, sadly not many notes.
Next time: Silver Surfer Annual 4