February 21, 2007

Marvel Milestone Edition - Tales of Suspense No. 39 [1993]

This is a full issue reprint of TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 [1963], the book with the first Iron Man story, so includes the 5-page short story "Gundar" that appeared in the original. A sailor finds himself shipwrecked on an island with a bunch of vikings who have been there for hundreds of years and explain that they been cursed by their captain, Gundar, to remain until he had set them free. Bonus points for a little Odin cameo, not long after he started showing up in Thor stories in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY. Anyway, they'd long since given up on being released of the curse, since Gundar is long dead, but then start to fade away. Of course the sailor turned out to be a Gundar himself, a descendant of the original. Odin works in mysterious ways.

Pretty neat little story from towards the end of the era of the short fantasy stories, and an interesting earthier view of vikings than the slicker Kirby designs that had started a few months earlier. I especially like how he captures the weariness in the faces of the long trapped vikings, and there's a neat storytelling bit, where Gundar's departure echoes on the first three panels the arrival of what he later find out is Gundar the junior two pages earlier.

"Gundar" - X-53

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