Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Asgardian Dynamite

Part of what I love about the Golden Age is how very low the bar was set for being a superhero. Take for example, "DYNAMITE" THOR (Weird Comics #7, 1940), whose claim to fame was wearing a belt of  dynamite into battle:

"Dynamite" Thor has a motto: "When in doubt, throw dynamite at it."  Peter Thor former Mine Owner and bomb-nut-about-town has devoted his life to throwing dynamite at spies, criminals, and America's enemies.

And of course, the story gives him a secret identity, but since the series only lasted two issues, I like to think he eventually dropped the act and flipped out on a full time basis. He'd be a wacky,outrageous character, overreacting to everyday, minor inconveniences in his own inimitable fashion! Well, that or a terrorist.

Lest we forget, "Dynamite" did have one minor superpower, not insignificant in an era when a guy got into the JSA for being a shorter costumed strongman than the other seven costumed strongmen on the team. "Dynamite" Thor had the power of being "immune to the effect of explosives", very lucky for him given his chosen mode of transport:

Yes, no Dyna-Car for this guy, who prefers to blast around town in the most maniacal way imaginable, via a series of barely-controlled concussive blasts!! I'll bet his neighbors just love this guy. No explanation is given for his "immunity" to explosives, save that he was an "explosives expert". I'm gonna take that to mean that he's blown himself up often enough that he is either A) One big callus, B) sporting an armored,  prosthetic pelvis/colostomy column beneath that colrful tunic, C) Very, very well insulated, and mind-rippingly drunk or D) Most of the above.

Whatever the case, it allows "Dynamite" Thor to look like he's merrily prancing along on a wave of cartoon fart clouds, rather than like a rapidly approaching storm cloud of hamburger and bone shards, the more likely result of lighting a freaking belt of dynamite you've strapped around your waist.

Finally, "Dynamite" shared the same weakness that afflicted a great many costumed heroes. He was not immune to a deftly-applied pie wrench upside the he head:

Well, I suppose I should take it easy on poor old "Dynamite" Thor. It's not like he's that bad, and...

Say,what's that hissing noise? Honey, are you boiling some wat


Arkonbey said...


I wonder if Ben Edlund had heard of this when he made Hand Grenade Man as part of the Comet Club cadre?

MetFanMac said...

Way to hide your secret identity, Pete.

Oh, and I can't possibly be the only one who thinks the third-from-last picture looks like he's propelling himself via farting.

Mego Thor said...

Little known fact: "Dynamite" Thor is still very popular in middle-eastern countries.

adf said...

Wow... this whole thing has a real Fletcher Hanks feel to it: baffling powers, curious physiognomy, stilted writing, and an obsession with "Fifth Columnists" and "spies" that seem to lurk around every corner - and to possess unlimited funding and resources. Also, it's interesting that the author chose a mine owner as a hero. A humble mine worker seems an more obvious choice - "touching this radioactive coal turned him into... Anthracite Adam!!!" - and even in this day and age, mining honchos aren't exactly populist - or popular - figures. I'm guessing the third issue would have featured Dynamite Thor teaming up with Pinkerton Man to beat up some union organizers - secretly affiliated with the "Fifth Column," no doubt - or perhaps a flashback to Dynamite's father knocking over the town of Matewan, WV.

Also: Dynamite goes "bang?" Seriously?


Abecedarius Rex said...

I thought Thor was the god of battle and thunderstorms and traveled about the Norse world in a golden chariot pulled by two goats. Oh well, my bad.

Pippy said...

But if he's immune to the effect of explosives how come he can use their effects to propel himself through the air?Unless it really was just flatulence.Which would at least be more plausible.

NeoKefka said...

Man, why the hell hasn't Alex Ross put this guy in Project Superpowers? He's waaaay more entertaining than a lot of the guys in that book.

Ryan said...

Sounds like we've found the perfect comic book movie for Michael Bay to direct.