You know, on hindsight, I should have picked a better title, seeing how Eric Masterson also happens to be the name of a porn star. That being said, Marvel’s Eric Masterson made his debut in 1988, a full decade before the X-rated Eric Masterson began his career.
Leaving San Diego behind with some crazy experiences and a feeling that we’ve completed just the first of many epic journeys, we’re now off to explore the rest of the West Coast and recuperate somewhat from the intensity that has been the past few days. In the meantime, I’ll be doing my part to keep the updates on this site going by sharing a little bit from my own inspirations from the Marvel bullpen, back in the day.
In keeping with last week’s theme of ‘fatherhood’, I have to start with the hero known as Thunderstrike.
First introduced in the pages of Thor, Eric Masterson was given the powers of the Thunder God when the original Thor was accused of murdering his brother and archenemy Loki. As the new Thor, Masterson established his place among the Avengers, even going so far as to participate in what we know as Operation: Galactic Storm, in which our heroes attempt to avert an imminent war between two alien races, the Kree and the Shi’ar. However, what attracted me to him was his humanity, demonstrated by his undeniable love for his son, Kevin. As Thor, Masterson found it harder and harder to keep his identity secret from his son and his estranged wife Marcie. Eventually, this took a toll on his relationship, leading to Marcie getting full custory of Kevin.
Now this was something very unique for Marvel. Issues like survivors’ guilt and alcoholism were addressed through Captain America and Iron Man, but for Masterson to watch his family break down due to his actions as a superhero was fresh and familiar to many. For creators Tom Defalco and Ron Frenz, the family life of a superhero was just as challenging and equally dramatic as the supervillains they fought. The team would later create the MC2 universe, which featured the repurcussions of many superheroes on the lives of their children, who would often grow up either emulating or resenting their parents.
Even when Eric Masterson relinquished the identity of Thor and took on the name Thunderstrike, his family problems were still a large part of his life. Masterson showed the true heroic qualities of any good father, by caring and looking out for his son, even though he was in the midst of a messy seperation and divorce. In return, Kevin adored his father. This relationship was put to the test when Eric, as Thunderstrike, lost his cool and brutalised his ex-wife’s new husband, much to the horror of Kevin, who witnessed it all and was injured. It was such a powerful wake-up call for the superhero that he finally revealed his dual nature to his son, who instead of reacting with shock and fear, acted just like any young boy would and was excited by the revelation.
Eric Masterson was, at the end of the day, a man who struggled to be the best he could be, whether as a superhero or as a father. He was not perfect, but in striving, he managed to overcome much of his human weaknesses and truly demonstrated that some passions and drives are almost godly in nature. In going a long way to giving a much needed sense of humanity to the saga of the Mighty Thor, Eric Masterson aka Thunderstrike will always live forever in my mind as one of the best superhero fathers in the Marvel Universe.