Wielding a broadsword in one hand and a microphone in the other (that is, when he's not performing feats of strength like bending steel bars with his teeth or bursting hot water bottles through sheer lung power), Thor has spent much of the last three decades perfecting the live show that has made him an underground icon to those who love ham-fisted, headbanging mayhem. And unlike some of the self-serious metal warriors who have followed in his wake, Thor fully grasps the inherent comedy of such conceptual hard-rock shenanigans, as many of the more gob-smackingly ridiculous vintage clips from his recently released retrospective DVD, An-Thor-logy, readily attest. Since his new album is titled Thor Against the World, we asked the powerlifting maestro of power metal how he might dispatch a number of hypothetical foes on the field of rock combat. Thor responded via e-mail, which is admittedly kind of funny:
Gene Simmons, aka the Demon from Kiss
Well, it would be quite a clash, but the question is who would be the real thunder god? He may call himself the God of Thunder, but I AM the Thunder God. I'm also known as the Rock Warrior, so we'd face off in hand-to-hand combat. Then I'd go for his giant tongue, rip it out and beat him over the head with the bloody end of it.
Secret weapon of '70s punk pioneers the Dictators, Handsome Dick Manitoba
There'd be some true rock and roll mayhem between us. We'd get into a wrestling squatting stance and smash into each other sumo style. Eventually, one person would go down and I would emerge victorious ....
Pumped-up, satanic-metal bastard child of fat Elvis and fat Jim Morrison, Glenn Danzig
Well, I think the way to start off here would be to set up a mirror so he could see who's got the real guns between the two of us. I'd give him some tricep shots [that's bodybuilding lingo] and he'd be dazzled by that; then I'd slap him in the head, grab him by the neck and toss him over a cliff.
Loincloth-clad bass player Joey DeMaio of Long Island's self-proclaimed Kings of Metal, Manowar
I'm pretty sure I'd start with a big yawn. I'd cover my mouth with my left hand and lift Joey over my head with my right before giving him a good toss.
Iron Maiden's cadaverous mascot, Eddie
I would become the berserker and don my helmet of spikes. I'd grab both my battle hammers and go to town on him. At one time I battled GWAR's Gorgon onstage in a guest appearance, so I'd make short work of Eddie. I've been involved with zombies before. I know how to handle them.
Chris Jericho, WWE star who fronts poseur metal band Fozzy
First of all, we'd go out there and do some songs together onstage; just see who the true frontman is and who could give a better show. Then we'd go into battle. I'm thinking shields and axes ....
Marvel Comics' version of his namesake, the Mighty Thor
This would be the Mighty Thor versus Thor, the Rock Warrior. Unlike the Mighty Thor, I have a wide array of weapons to choose from. I have the Scepter of Atlantis, and besides my own special hammer, I have the Sonic Sword. So I'd be ready with my mighty arsenal and all I'd have to do is get the magic hammer out of the Mighty Thor's hand, transforming him into his alter ego Dr. Don Blake, who would hobble away on his cane.