Comic: "Tor"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Joe Kubert
Artist: Joe Kubert

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 1/26/2009

Plot: A caveman named Tor seeks revenge against the men who killed his father and usurped his tribe. Along the way, he picks up a topless cavewoman who initially seems like a burden, but who later turns out to be quite useful.

Review: If ever there was a demand for the epic tale of a cave boy becoming a cave man, Tor would be your best bet.

Being a caveman is tough enough as it is, but Tor winds up having to deal not only with brutish Neanderthals, but with strange monsters and misshapen humanoids as well. Even so, Tor manages to withstand a substantial amount of punishment and walk away with little more than a few small cuts for his trouble.

Torís backstory unfolds during a long flashback. The gist of it is that his dad was the leader of a tribe of cavemen, but he was killed by a group of suspiciously hair and naked men whom he invited into the tribe without question. Meanwhile, Tor, believed by the usurpers to be dead, escapes and lives on his own in the wilderness for years. While schlepping around a volcano, he witnesses a tribe of lizardmen attempting to sacrifice a girl. He rescues her, but in doing so, arouses the ire of the tribe. This, however, was merely a side story, and once he finishes with them, he decides to go back and deal with the men who killed his father.

Torís character is written as talking and expressing himself as you might expect a caveman to talk, though with slightly more eloquence so as not to distract from the story itself. Sure, he can speak, but when the time comes to throw down, heís not too proud to start screaming and flailing his limbs. This doesnít seem to work that well for him, but when acting like a lunatic fails, he is able to summon some caveman cleverness to help him beat the odds.

In some ways, Torís fallibility comes as a nice break from typical strong heroes who merely call upon untapped reservoirs of strength when pressed. At the same time, however, thereís nothing that compelling about what happens with Tor. His revenge storyline is pretty well-traveled, and everything that happens in between is just him fighting with monsters/lizardmen/whatever.

Each issue closes with a little vignette featuring Tor hunting for something, sans dialogue, only to have something unexpected happen. At first, it seems like these are just standalone episodes for Tor, but a little continuity emerges in a couple of them. One even ends with a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, itís never resolved in the final issue. Just as well, I guess. Both the main storyline and the standalone episodes are only somewhat interesting. Nothing that will have you chomping at the bit to learn what happens next.

Overall rating: WholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Bustin makes me feel good
Jan 27th, 2009, 07:23 PM
Joe Kubert FTW!

Seriously, though, no mention of Kubert's art?
Jan 28th, 2009, 04:46 AM
For a while now I've been meaning to ask about the side panels displaying the comics. Are they supposed to be so small? Or are they suppose to openm up bigger when you click on them? Cause the don't. Just askin'...
The Ugly Puckling
Jan 28th, 2009, 09:36 AM
I've always assumed they're supposed to be small so as to avoid copyright infringement that comes along with reproducing comic book panels at a readable resolution.
Jan 28th, 2009, 07:15 PM
I'd be willing to pick up a graphic novel of Tor.
Forum Virgin
Jan 29th, 2009, 06:22 AM
I've got a few episodes of Tor in B/W, published in the Swedish mid-seventies comic magazine "The Comic Magazine". (That WAS the actual name, though in Swedish, obviously. In the seventies, Sweden was suffering from collective delusions of grandeur on just about all levels, so this comes as no surprise.) I don't remember it as particularly worthwhile.