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COMIC LEGEND: There was nearly a Thor spin-off in the mid-1970s.
It’s weird how things can sort of become conflated in your mind. Steve Englehart left Marvel Comics in the middle of 1976, so when I think back to his departure, I always think of that as the time he left all his major works of the era, namely Avengers, Captain America and Doctor Strange. However, Englehart actually left Cap a year before the other two. As it turns out, it was because he was going to write a Thor spin-off!
Yes, buoyed by the success of their black and white Conan magazine…
Marvel was going to launch a Thor black and white magazine called Thor the Mighty. Englehart was to write it and John Buscema was going to draw it.
Things, though, as they are wont to do, fell apart.
Englehart wrote about the proposed title on his website:
I had dropped CAPTAIN AMERICA with great reluctance because I was offered a monthly, black & white magazine chronicling the mythological adventures of Thor, with John Buscema art. Unfortunately, in one of those things that just happen in life, publishing plans changed and THOR THE MIGHTY was shelved.
Englehart’s story instead appeared in 1976’s Thor Annual #5…
It was AWESOME.
And for years, folks have wondered A. Why that Annual seemed a bit out of continuity and B. Why the heck was that the only Thor comic Englehart wrote?
That is why.
Another story seemingly intended for Thor the Mighty by Len Wein and Jim Starlin eventually appeared in Marvel Preview #10, with a cover that certainly seems like it was meant for this Thor the Mighty magazine we never saw….
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On the next page, has Charlie Brown EVER won a baseball game?