While Love & Thunder didn’t exactly land with audiences there is still a lot more we could say with the character of Thor, so don’t count him out just yet!

Now hear me out, I like a big swing just as much as the next guy, but in my opinion the uneven tone of Love & Thunder seemed to be its big issue. This doesn’t mean that comedy doesn’t have its place in Thor, but of course when it's not done to dizzying degrees.

But what if… the next Thor movie brings in the character of Eric Masterson?

Ok ok, don’t click away.

Eric Masterson, who eventually became Thunderstrike wasn’t always the most popular character in Marvel Comics, but I always found the story really interesting. There’s a lot to do that lends itself to the MCU Thor that seems to want to just lounge about and shirk his responsibilities. So to pass the mantle onto another character and involve some body swapping a la Freaky Friday, Quantum Leap or even Jason Lives could be a real treat to watch.

Let me hit you from a different angle. A big issue with the MCU post-Endgame has been the stakes. Where do you go after the whole universe is at stake? Kang and the multiverse saga has done little to rectify that, and fans have said the MCU would be better served focusing on more street level heroes. The same could be said about cosmic heroes like Thor. So if we make this next movie a “bottle episode” if you will, it could still connect with the whole “MCUniverse” as a whole in the long term.

Let’s cite the comics. As we know Eric Masterson’s first appearance was in Thor #391, which was also the first appearance of Mongoose. In that comic, Eric is a construction worker who is injured in falling debris due to a fight between Mongoose and Thor. He’s essentially fatally wounded until Thor comes to the rescue and takes him to the hospital.

Thor #391 currently sits at $38 according to a CGC 9.8 eBay sale on May 5th, 2024. Copies have gone easily over $100 in the past, but “buy low, sell high?”

In issue #408, Eric is once again injured due to a battle with Mongoose and in order to heal him he merges with Thor. The ensuing storyline spans from Issue 408 until issue 459. Issue #408 currently sits at $139 with a CGC 9.8 sale on May 16, 2023.

Thus begins the era of Masterson being the human alter-ego of Thor. And eventually the run ends with Masterson and Thor being separated. But alas!! He returned with his own series in 1993 under the name THUNDERSTRIKE.

Thunderstrike #1 began in June 1993 and was written by Tom DeFalco. It ran for 24 issues and ended in 1995. DeFalco claims that at the time the series outsold Thor, but sources say that can’t be true. Whatever the actual truth is, you can pick up the first issue for around $30 at CGC grade 9.8. Your local comic shop is bound to have multiple copies for less than $10, so it’s not a hard one to get a hold of.

But once again - think about the broad strokes of this possible MCU story. Thor battles with a villain (doesn’t have to be comic accurate - we can leave out Mongoose). In the ensuing battle Eric Masterson is wounded on a construction site. In an effort to save his life, so he doesn’t leave Eric’s son Kevin as an orphan, the two merge. The hi-jinks that ensue, as the two battle internally, could really be a breath of fresh air. Think the Guyver, Starkid or any other “I’m trying to control this alien body” storyline.

But maybe 90s nostalgia is rotting my brain away & if that’s the case you can get the whole series of Thunderstrike for relatively next to nothing, and it's truly a unique stamp in comic book history that I think deserves some reevaluation. Silly 90s fashion aside, and usually the butt of jokes, I’d love to see some new life in the saga of Thunderstrike.