Classification: Ancient artifact
User/Possessors: The Guggenheim Museum, New York
First Appearance: (mentioned only) Thor I#145/1 (October, 1967); (seen) Thor I#146/1 (November, 1967)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Said to be the most priceless art object in the entire world, the Golden Bull was a statue made of solid gold. It weighed more than five tons, and was worth at least $20 million.
(Thor I#146/1 (fb) - BTS) - The origins and age of the Golden Bull were shrouded in mystery, but it was found long ago by a team of explorers and eventually was put on display at a New York museum.
(Thor I#145/1) - The Ringmaster had formulated a plot to steal the Golden Bull, but when his circus's regular strong man (Bruto) strained himself trying to lift an elephant, his plans were thrown off, so he had to hold auditions for a new strong man. The winning applicant turned out to be Thor (who had recently been stripped of his godly powers and exiled to Earth by an irate Odin following the defeat of the Enchanters). Thor impressed the Circus of Crime with a demonstration of his power -- even without his godly attributes, his raw strength was still phenomenal. The Ringmaster hypnotized Thor and ordered him to lift and carry a lead replica of the Golden Bull for a practice run.
(Thor I#146/1) - After a performance at the circus, the Circus of Crime and Thor drove to the museum in a truck and began their robbery. While the Clown and the Great Gambonnos">Great Gambonnos distracted the guards, the Human Cannonball launched himself through a second story window and began to burn a large hole in the wall with a flame thrower. Ringmaster and Princess Python directed the mesmerized Thor to lift the Golden Bull from its pedestal and carry it to the newly-burned hole in the wall. A derrick on the Circus's truck swung over, but before the thieves could wrap the derrick's cables around the golden statue, the museum's guards and the police had them pinned down with gunfire. The sound of the gunfire snapped Thor from the hypnotic spell and he dropped the Golden Bull, pinning Princess Python to the wall...
(Thor I#147/1) - The police held their fire as Thor lifted the Golden Bull to free Princess Python, and he restored it to its pedestal. Princess Python and the rest of the Circus members fled in their truck as the thunder god was taken into custody.
(Daredevil I#129) - The Matador gave sanctuary to the fleeing Man-Bull and offered to help him if he would steal the Golden Bull. During the robbery, the Man-Bull was fighting Daredevil and became so enraged that he hurled the Golden Bull at him, shattering it against a wall.
(Thor I#447-448) - Concerned about his lover Titania's compulsion to continue with robberies despite the danger it entailed, the Absorbing Man made a deal with Thor (Eric Masterson) to try and turn her away from further robberies. He arranged to steal the Golden Bull from the Guggenheim with Titania, and for Thor to show up and scare her into giving up crime. Titania was unaware of the scheme, and the duo knocked down a guard as they stole the Golden Bull. Considering the wounded guard to be a violation of their agreement, Thor arrived to stop them. However, Spider-Man also came on to the scene, and misunderstood Thor and the Absorbing Man's talk of an alliance. Absorbing Man and Titania finally fled, leaving the Golden Bull behind on the museum floor.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
You'll note some discrepancies in the appearance of the Golden Bull in the original Thor story, and its later appearance in Daredevil -- where it's smaller, its tail points in a different direction, etc. We can probably just attribute this to the artist being unfamiliar with the source material.
...or maybe the Daredevil one was another statue entirely -- maybe it was a decoy replica made after the first robbery attempt, or maybe the original was stolen by Midas, Goldbug, or some other gold-obsessed crook behind-the-scenes.
Since its age and origins were unknown, maybe the Golden Bull was built as an idol by worshippers of Anu the bull-god (@ Conan the Barbarian I#10).
I'm not sure, but after reading the Matador and Man-Bull entries it looks like it was of Chinese origin or at least it was found in China.
And a big THANK YOU to Avatar Warlord for providing the Man-Bull scan!
Profile by John Kaminski
The Golden Bull has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Thor I#146, p11, pan3 (main)
Daredevil I#127, p27, pan2 (with Man-Bull)
Thor I#145-147 (October-November, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Daredevil I#127 (November, 1975) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Bob Brown (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks)
Thor I#447-448 (May-June, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (writer/penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 04/04/2007
Last Updated: 06/07/2004
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