Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Avengers #175

“The End… and the Beginning!”
James Shooter, Plotter/Editor-In-Chief * D. Michelinie, Scripter * D. Wenzel, Pencils * P. Marcos, Inker * D. Wohl, Letters * P. Rache, Colors * R. Stern, Editor

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A large assemblage of Avengers, both  former and current, have been caught up in a complicated war of wills between Korvac and a cosmic entity known as “The Collector.” Korvac has killed the Collector, but these Avengers, Thor among their number, remain aboard his spaceship, currently orbiting Earth.

Investigating the environs of their now-deceased foe, the Avengers discover that the Collector owned a time machine, and had been using it to snatch Thor out of the time-stream so that he could assist the Avengers, despite his being preoccupied with Asgardian matters. The reasons for this were complicated and opaque, but after each adventure, Thor would be returned to his own point in the time stream with his memory removed.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Invaders #32

“Thunder in the East!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Alan Kupperberg & Frank Springer Illustrators/Storytellers * J. Rosen Letterer/ Carl Gafford, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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During World War II, Adolf Hitler tasks a pair of scientists with creating a a device capable of teleporting Thor from Asgard to Germany. The scientists, Dr. Olsen, and his assistant Hans, who’s face is entirely covered in bandages do what Hitler asks.

Hitler convinces Thor to fight for the Nazis, who he presents as the descendants of the Vikings. “Side by side, Son of Odin and Son of Schickelgruber stride from the chamber–”. Hitler ask Thor to assassinate Joseph Stalin. Thor agrees.

During this time, there was a team of American, British, and Atlantean heroes that fought for the Allies known as the Invaders. Their number included Captain America, Namor, an android called “the Human Torch”, Spitfire, and Union Jack. This group of heroes  happen to be delivering an experimental armored tank directly to Stalin when Thor attacks!

This issue also makes clear that Thor speaks in Asgardian, not English, and that some manner of magic provides translation between he and whomever he is speaking with.

First Appearance: Dr. Olsen, Hans

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 Thor Annual #7

“And Ever– The Eternals!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Tom Orzechowski, letterer / Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Many of the stories to feature Thor outside of the main magazine have proven difficult to pin down when they happen in relationship to those stories, which tend to leave little room for downtime.  This story does not have that problem, explicitly taking place in the middle of The Mighty Thor #275.  This issue features the encounter between Thor and Mimir that was alluded to in that issue.

All the recent hubub regarding the end of the world has Thor thinking about how the world began.  The Asgardians have legends about such things, but so do the Olympians, as well as the mortals on Earth.  What about evolution?  It seems that he does not remember that he himself gave life to the first humans on Midgard.

Thor is musing on all of  these topics, but they are not what he asks Mimir about.  Instead, he wants to know if Ragnarok is going to take out Midgard when it goes, or if only Asgard is to be wiped out.  The full scope is not entirely clear.

Mimir tells Thor that he should already know how Earth is to be destroyed, but that he has forgotten.  Mimir then cites the events of Thor Annual #5, which goddammit, means I have to square that story with the other Thor storytelling that has already transpired.

At any rate, a thousand years ago, Thor was wandering around, far away from Asgard, when he stumbled upon a prisoner locked away in the middle of nowhere.  The prisoner said that its name was Dromedan, Master of Minds and Men, and that if Thor freed it, he would be granted wealth, women, and worlds to conquer.  Thor was ensorcelled by the prisoner, and tempted to free it, but he ultimately resisted and left it imprisoned.

Afterward, Thor went to Mexico and tried to get the natives to worship him.  This was met with hostility.  He soon ran into four colorfully dressed white men calling themselves “Eternals.”  These men, Druig, Virako, Ajak, and Valkin, asked to parlay with Thor, away from the “primitives.”

The Eternals explained that eons ago, powerful space gods known as Celestials had visited Midgard and performed breeding experiments on the local ape life to create three different breeds of intelligent life:  The Humans, The Eternals, and the Deviants.  At some point later, the Celestials wiped out their creations, forcing what people remained to rebuild their civilizations from scratch.  Now, the Eternals somehow sense that the Celestials are preparing to return for a third time.

Thor takes all of this at face value, but is shaken.  He asks if the first humans on Midgard were named “Aske and Embla”.  They do not know.  This leaves room for multiple interpretations.  Perhaps the Celestials actually only created the Deviants and the Eternals, while Thor created the humans with a branch of Yggrdasill.  Perhaps Yggrdasill served as some sort of catalyst for the Celestials.

It is also worth noting that the Eternals perceive Asgard and Olympus as existing in parallel universes to their own.

At any rate, Thor helps his new friends the Eternals subjugate the Aztecs.  They scare the humans into worshiping them so that these “primitives” might be “civilized”.  After a while, Thor gets bored and takes off for a while, before coming back and helping his buddies give the Mayans the same treatment.

Eventually, Druig turns traitor and releases Dromedan, who is a member of another terrestrial sub-race known as the  Mutates.  He also enlists the service of Tutinax the Mountain Mover, who is also a Mutate.  Druig wants to  enslave humans, not just civilize them.  And so he and his allies fight Thor and his allies.

Virako dies in the fight. But in the end Thor’s friends win the fight.  Afterward, Valkin uses mind powers to erase Thor’s memory of ever encountering the Eternals.  It is not clear why, but this  encounter was part of what the Eternals refer to as the Third Cataclysm.

Now, a thousand years later, Thor remembers.  Mimir informs him that the Celestials now walk the Earth so that they might judge it in fifty years time,  and that depending on how they judge it, they may wipe out civilization again.  Mimir implies, but does not outright state, that this will be the end of Midgard, not Ragnarok.

After a frustrated and despondent Thor leaves, Mimir takes a moment to delight in the secret knowledge that “The destiny of Thor be e’er entwined with that of his adoptive world– for reasons only Odin and Mimir do know!  And Odin, poor soul, be pledged ne’er to tell!”

First Appearance: Virako

Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Mighty Thor #275

“A Balance is Struck!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/ Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators * J. Rosen, Letterer/ B. Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Balder is dead! Out of desperation, Odin sends an Asgardian by the name of Hermod the Swift to Hel to see if anything can be done to restore Balder. The Allfather lends Hermod his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir toward that purpose.

Odin tasks various Asgardians with protecting the Realm. Amongst them he tasks Sigyn, the wife that Loki has apparently had all this time, with guiding the aim of blind archer Hodor. She clearly states that while she loves Loki, she would defend Asgard even if it meant turning on him.

Thor briefly steps away to consult with Mimir.

Harris Hobbs and his team report on the events, but what’s more, Hobbs, who did a lot of studying of Norse mythology before his trip, has been predicting events before they have been happening. Not because of prophetic visions, but because things are matching what he read of Mythology.

Red Norvell hits on Sif some more, and as angry as that makes her, she refrains from slaying him. Butthurt, Norvell tells himself that Sif only likes Thor better than him because Thor is stronger than him. Loki offers to help him with his girl problems.

Loki takes Norvell to Jotunheim, land of the Giants but meets with an assemblage of Trolls and Dwarves. Geirrodur and Ulik are conspicuously absent. Thor somehow tracks them down, and Loki attacks his brother with what he claims to be very axe that Odin used to slay Ymir, eons ago. Since Odin did not slay Ymir, but eternally trapped him in a ring of fire, it seems clear that Loki is lying.

The two brothers battle while Norvell records the fight. Some time prior, Loki weaved an enchantment on Thor so that were he to enter Jotunheim, he would find his strength halved. Thor is no stranger to having his strength halved, but finds he need his full strength and so he uses Mjolnir to summon his Belt of Strength, last seen 184 issues prior. With it, he is able to defeat Loki as well as the trickster’s horde of Trolls and Dwarves.

Thor takes Norvell back to Asgard.  As Thor carries his unconscious brother, he asks Norvell to hold his belt.

When Hermod arrives in Hel, Hela tells him that Balder can be revived if all the world would weep for Balder’s passing. It comes to pass that all things do weep, all save for a Giantess named Thokk, who proclaims that Balder never did nothin for her. This is exactly what Hobbs said would happen, although he adds that there are rumors that Thokk is actually Loki in disguise.

Balder cannot be revived. In order to forestall his full death, Odin sacrifices some of his Odinpower, siphoning it into the fallen god’s body in order to bring Balder to a state of Odinsleep, surrounded by an Odinshield. This will perhaps stave off Ragnarok, but at the cost of weakening the All-Father.

This issue also makes it explicit that time passes at a different rate on Asgard than it does elsewhere. This, perhaps, can account for Odin’s difficulties with understanding time.

Also, Odin has started letting a pair of wolves follow him around wherever he goes.

First appearance: Hermod the Swift, Thokk, Sigyn

 

Days of Thunder – August September 1978 What If Jan Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor? #10

“What if Jane Foster Had Found The Hammer of Thor?
Don Glut, Writer/ Rick Hoberg, Artist/ Dave Hunt, Inker/ C. Gafford, Colorist/ Carol Lay, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, Editor/ J. Shooter, Consulting Editor

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“What If?” is a comic book magazine that reveals how events would have played out for the superheroes of Marvel, if major events had unfolded differently. This issue examines what would have happened if it Doctor Donald Blake had brought along Nurse Jane Foster on the fateful vacation where Blake originally found Mjolnir.

In this version of events, Blake and Foster are together when the Stone Men From Saturn attack, and after Blake drops his walking stick, it is Foster and not Blake who ends up trapped in a cave with the gnarled stick that is actually Mjolnir in disguise. She picks it up and taps it on the ground, initiating the transformation into Thor that was intended for Blake. Evidently, despite the elaborate scheming of Odin designed to turn Blake into Thor, Jane Foster is herself worthy of the mantle of Thor and so she transforms into a female incarnation of Thor.

Jane, much like Blake in his early days as Thor, has none of the memories or knowledge of Thor. She decides to call herself by the arguably more feminine name of “Thordis.” Thordis makes short work of the Stone Men from Saturn, rescuing Blake.

In the weeks to come, Thordis fights the same threats that Thor had faced in his early crimefighting career and handles herself as well, if not better than Thor had in the default timeline. Not needing a walking-stick, she has carved the stick into a wooden hair-brush that she keeps in her purse.

Eventually, Thordis is summoned to Asgard. Odin is shocked and appalled to discover that it is a mortal woman that has come to wield Mjolnir, and there is enough wiggle room in the text to say that his concern is not over her gender, but over the fact that she is a random non-Blake mortal. Odin banishes Thordis from Asgard.

Sif takes this turn of events poorly. She loves Thor and is now worried that he will never return to Asgard.  She travels to Midgard and proceeds to seduce Doctor Donald Blake, who has drifted apart from Nurse Foster ever since she began her career as a superhero. Over time, Blake and Sif fall in love. Sif uses magic to heal Blake’s leg.

Eventually, the Mangog attempts to unsheath the Odinsword. In the face of Ragnarok both Sif and Thordis return to Asgard. Sif allows Blake to accompany her. Thordis fights the Mangog before waking Odin from his Odinsleep with Mjolnir, allowing the All-Father to undo the Mangog.

In the aftermath, Odin forces Thordis to give Blake her mystic hammer, restoring the doctor to his natural state as Thor. However, Jane has won the respect of Odin and he gifts her with the godhead. He then starts putting the moves on her, and eventually the two are wed. It’s pretty damn weird.

 

Roger Moore as James Bond 007 in Ian Fleming’s “The Man With the Golden Gun”

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The film starts with a sharply dressed Herve Villechaize serving champagne to a three-nippled Christopher Lee at the beach. The manservant is playing a complicated game. He has secretly brought a man to their house, seemingly to kill the three-nippled man, who we learn is named Scaramanga.

This would-be assassin attempts to ambush Scaramanga but this house is not what it seems to be. It is no mere beachside mansion, but nothing less than a funhouse of death! Finding himself beset by garish deathtraps, the intruder is freaked out. Meanwhile, Scaramanga searches the maze for a weapon.

Nick Nack, the manservant, is running a deadly game.  His funhouse toys with both Scaramanga and the intruder.  In the end, Scaramanga is the victor.  Apparently, he arranges these little contests to keep him sharp.  He celebrates his victory by shooting a wax statue of James Bond.

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The opening credits are super boring but the music is good. Lulu sings to an odd brassy theme.

In M’s office, Bond rattles off a dossier’s worth of info on Scaramanga. He was raised in a circus as a trick shot. He is a first class assassin. He kills his victims with a single shot. He charges one million dollars per kill. He carries a golden gun that fires golden bullets. He has three nipples.

M informs Bond that MI6 has received a golden bullet with “007” engraved onto it and that they believe that this means Scaramanga will attempt to kill Bond. For this reason, Bond is being pulled off of his current assignment.

Sadly, Moneypenny is reduced to a mere cameo.

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Bond is rather put out and takes it upon himself to track Scaramanga himself so that he can get back to his job. This involves some seduction, some fighting, and some light comedy before Bond gets his hands on a bullet used to murder one of Scaramanga’s previous victims.

Bond visits Q, who steers him toward the chap who crafted the golden bullet, a man in Macau named Lazar.

I really like this next bit. Lazar, an expert in exotic weaponcraft shows off his workshop to Bond. It is a procedural scene with a hint of the exotic. Lazar is an affable craftsman who takes pride in his work. Unfortunately, Bond bullies him until he gives up what hie knows about Scaramanga.

Bond meets up with Mary Goodnight, a young woman who apparently has history with Bond. She is smitten, but Bond treats her like garbage. She provides him with local intel.
Bond begins tailing a woman for unclear reasons. He breaks into her hotel room, entering the bathroom as she takes a shower. However, she emerges from the shower with a pistol.
She doesn’t want any of what Bond is selling, but he disarms her and slaps her around until she tells him what she knows about Scaramanga. Her name is Anders and she works for Scaramanga and is his sometimes lover. She advises Bond to visit the Bottoms Up Club.

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This movie has started strong but as it has gone on it has been too 70’s brown, too dull, too leering, too thuggish. It is all around unpleasant.

At the Bottoms Up Club, Scaramanga is lying in wait, but instead of killing Bond, he kills some other guy right in front of him. Before he can figure out what is going on, Bond is ushered away by a Hong Kong official named Hip to a totally sweet secret base in the wreckage of a partially sunken ocean liner, the Queen Elizabeth.

M is there, as is Q, and he explains to Bond that the dude that was killed at the club was a solar energy expert who had recently created a breakthrough in solar cell technology.

Later, Bond uses a fake third nipple to pose as Scaramanga in an attempt to trick a Hai Fat, a Thai gangster, into admitting culpability in arranging the murder. It doesn’t work, and after Bond leaves, we learn that Fat was already entertaining Scaramanga and knows exactly who Bond is.

Hai Fat’s plan to dispatch Bond is to invite Bond to dinner only to attack him with Sumo Wrestlers. Bond defeats one Sumo by giving him an extreme wedgie but he is knocked out by Nick Nack.
Nick Nack is about to kill the unconscious Bond with a trident, but before he can, Hai Fat plays the “not in my home” card.

When Bond wakes up, he finds himself the prisoner of an evil Kung Fu academy. He beats up a couple of students before Hip, his Hong Kong helper arrives, bringing with him his Karate Master nieces to help bust out Bond.

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After some light Kung Fu, Bond parts ways with his Asian friends, and  ends up escaping via boat.  This leads to a weak boat chase.

In the middle of this boat chase, who wanders in but J. W. Pepper, the redneck sherriff from the previous film. Pepper is on vacation, and inexplicably is here to shout ugly racist things. Last time around, his presence felt like an attempt to make the film seem less racist by comparison, this time it appears the filmmakers just though it would be funny if there was a guy who shouted racist things.

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This “comedy” ruins the already flat pace of the boat chase.  During the chase Bond finds the time to cruelly toss a child into a river for his own amusement.  Needless to say, he escapes his captors.

Scaramanga has become Hai Fat’s junior partner for dubious reasons. He now murders Fat and assumes total control of his criminal enterprise. It is a very unconvincing coup.

Bond reunites with Goodnight and the two spend a quiet moment together. Bond finally deigns to make a crude pass at her who rebuffs him, not wanting to be one of his passing fancies.

The very next scene, Goodnight has changed her mind and comes to bed with him. However, before things heat up, Anders arrives. Bond hides Goodnight in the closet.

Anders claims that it was her plan to get Bond on Scaramanga’s trail, that it was her only way to be free of him. She tells Bond that she’ll pay any price if he’ll stop Scaramanga, that he can sleep with her too, if he likes. He takes her up on her offer, with Goodnight still in the closet.

Afterward, he arranges to meet Anders at a boxing match, where she will give him a macguffin known as a “Solex Agitator”. When Bond arrives, he sits next to her, but she is dead. After he realizes this, Scaramanga sits down next to him.

Scaramanga tells Bond a story about how he avenged the death of his one and only friend, a circus elephant. Christopher Lee as Scaramanga is flat. Unmenacing. Uninteresting. I do not care for the plight of this elephant.

Meanwhile, through a complex series of handoffs, Goodnight ends up at the fight with the Solex Agitator, but she ends up being tossed in the boot of Scaramanga’s car.

Bond gives chase, commandeering the rental car of J. W. Pepper, with the Sheriff in the passenger seat providing running commentary. Pepper dampens what is an otherwise solid chase scene. The chase contains an amazing stunt that is totally ruined by an astonishingly ill-considered use of a slide-whistle.

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Scaramanga escapes by strapping wings and an jet engine onto his car. He takes off with Goodnight still in his boot. Bond follows Goodnight’s tracker into China, eventually landing on Scaramanga’s island.

Scaramanga is happy to find Bond has followed him. He has decided that they are two of a kind. He shows off his evil lair to Bond. He has henchmen and solar apparatuses.

Scaramanga’s evil plan is to, er, sell clean efficient solar energy to the highest bidder. It is pretty altruistic as far as evil plans go. Oh, also he can use his solar stuff to turn the rays of the sun into a heat cannon.
Scaramanga, like Dr. No before him, gives Bond the “we are the same” speech. But instead of wanting to recruit Bond, Scaramanga wants a duel.

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Roger Moore Bond doesn’t really seem like the soulless murder machine that Connery was. Moore’s Bond is a creep and a rapist but he doesn’t have Connery’s barely-contained fury. Moore’s Bond treats everything with bemused, haughty detachment. He doesn’t seem at all like the opposite side of Scaramanga’s coin.

Scaramanga lures Bond into his funhouse of death. There are mirrors and death traps and wax models. Bond kills Scaramanga by posing as a wax dummy of himself.

Meanwhile, Goodnight kills one of Scaramanga’s henchmen who was trying to rape her by throwing him into solar machinery. Then she accidentally turns on a solar laser with her butt. The net result of her actions is the destruction of Scaramanga’s compound.

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Bond and Goodnight escape in a Chinese junk with the Solex. But as they try to have sex in a boat they are attacked by a knife-wielding Nick Nack. This is not treated as a real threat, just an excuse for Bond to stick a midget in a steamer trunk.

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Then Bond and Goodnight fuck on a boat. The End.

Days of Thunder – August 1978 The Mighty Thor #274

“The Eye– And the Arrow!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Instigators * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Bob Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Ed.

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After taunting Thor with the prospect of the twilight of the Gods, Loki transforms into a rat and scurries behind a statue of Odin. Thor lifts the statue in order to get at his brother, despite the fact that lifting the likeness of Odin is sacrilege. It is while holding this statue that Odin returns astride Sleipnir, his eight-legged horse.

Odin has brought with him a blind warrior named Hoder. More strikingly, after all these binocular years, the All-Father now wears an eyepatch. Thor and Balder somewhat calm down Odin, who is angry about the statue and the mortals and Loki.

Thor wants to kill Loki in order to prevent Ragnarok. Odin says Thor can’t. Odin is surprised that Loki has been restored to Godhood.   Loki says Odin can not punish him again, and that Odin knows the reasons why. Odin, who normally would have plenty to be absurdly angry about, takes it all in relative stride, for he knows they face the end of all things.

Recently,  Odin’s ravens, Hugin and Munin, warned him that the time of Ragnarok might be approaching. Odin visited Mimir, seeking knowledge of how to prevent such an Armageddon. Mimir asked that Odin pay a price for such knowledge.

Unlike the price Mimir recently asked Thor to pay, the price demanded of Odin is actually costly: his right eye. Mimir hates Odin, for at the dawn of Asgard, Odin was responsible for Mimir’s beheading. Having taken petty payment, Mimir instructs Odin to travel to Hel to consult with Volla, the long-dead prophetess.

Odin finds Volla and asks her how, if possible, Ragnarok can be avoided. She tells him that Ragnarok is inevitable, due to Odin’s long-ago decree that the world will eventually need “fiery cleansing.” She suggests that it may be delayed if Balder can be protected, for his death shall signal the beginning of the end.

This is strange, for in the vision of Ragnarok that she saw, as depicted in issue #200, Balder fought alongside Thor in the battle of Ragnarok. Either her vision of the future has changed, or she is lying.

While in Hel, Odin encounters Hela. It is well-established that there are multiple afterlifes, and that the afterlife for the Aesir is Valhalla. This is now slightly reframed, as Hela is identified as the ruler of the Realm of the Dead known as Hel, and that she has semi-recently annexed Valhalla, something that Odin would take issue with, had he not more pressing matters. On the way back to Asgard, Odin happens upon Hoder, a blind wandering god, whom Odin offers to bring back to Asgard. He does so.

Soon after Odin finishes his tale, Sif and Hildegarde return from a seperate mission, tasked to them by the All-Father: They have brought back the long-absent Goddesses of Asgard. It is unknown where they were, or why they left, or how much of the female population of Asgard had been away while others such as Sif, Krista, and Hildegarde had remained.

Amongst the returning Goddesses is Frigga, the wife of Odin. Frigga shows a maternal affection for Thor, but in an aside, Hobbs explains to his cameraman Roger “Red” Norvell, that he doubts that Frigga is Thor’s mother; that according to mythology his mother was a giantess named “Jord.”

After Thor and Sif exchange a warm greeting, Odin, Frigga, and Thor depart to discuss the end of the world and also the presence of mortals in Asgard. Loki is not invited.

While they do that, the rest of the cast has a moment of downtime. Red clumsily hits on Sif and Balder tells him to fuck off. Balder then tells everyone that he is not worried about dying because as long as he remains in Asgard, he is invulnerable to any non-mistletoe thing. In his telling, it is Frigga that arranged this, but he likely misremembers, for it was Odin that made such happen.

Thanks to a psychic suggestion from Loki, Balder suggests that everybody throw their weapons at him. All the Asgardians do, despite Hobbs’ protests that they are being very stupid. Loki offers Hoder a special bow, with which Hodor uses to fire an arrow straight into Balder’s chest, fatally!

First Appearance: Sleipnir, Hoder, Hugin, Munin, Frigga, Njord

 

Days of Thunder – July 1978 Captain Marvel #57

“Star Burst”
The Beginning of the End, as recorded by: Roger McKenzie, script * Pat Broderick & Bob Wiacek, art * John Costanza, letterer * Don Warfield, colorist * Jim Shooter, Editor

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Captain Marvel is the formal name of Mar-Vell, a Kree warrior with cosmic super powers not unlike those of Warlock. He posesses the Nega-Bands, two bracelets that give him a connection with the Negative Zone

Mar-Vell has come to make the Earth his home, and is a sometime ally of the Avengers, and a friend of Rick Jones. Recently, Captain Marvel combined forces with the Avengers and Warlock to defeat the mad Titan Thanos, preventing him from killing countless lives. Both Warlock and Thanos died in the battle.

Mar-Vell has become feverish, and Rick has taken him to see Doctor Donald Blake. Blake can do nothing for him, and in mid-examination the Kree bursts out of Blake’s office. Blake transforms into Thor and gives pursuit.

When Thor catches up with Mar-Vell, the delirious hero begs Thor to kill him. Before Thor is willing to take that step, he demands an explanation. Mar-Vell explains that before he died, Thanos tampered with the Sun of Earth and the other planets in the Solar System. It is causing the cosmic physiology of Mar-Vell to overload , which will cause a chain reaction leading to the destruction of the entire universe.

Thor has a hunch and hurls Mjolnir at Marvel’s Nega Bands. It strikes both of them, opening a portal to the Negative Zone. Such are the strange properties of the Negative Zone, that Marvel’s excess energy is sucked into the Negative Zone, creating a new star. Afterward, both Mar-Vell and the Sun seem to be fine.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1978 The Mighty Thor #273

“Somewhere… Over the Rainbow Bridge!
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Artists/Storytellers * Joe Rosen, Letterer/ G. Roussos, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Starting with this issue, the introductory text that began with issue #248 has been subtly changed to:

“When Dr. DONALD BLAKE strikes his wooden walking-stick upon the ground, it becomes the mystic mallet MJOLNIR – and the lame physician is transformed into the Norse God of Thunder, Master of the Storm, Lord of the Living Lightning– and heir to the throne of eternal Asgard… Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Thor!”

When Thor last crossed paths with Harris Hobbs, he used hypnosis to make the reporter forget what he knew about Thor and about Asgard. When Doctor Donald Blake last crossed paths with Hobbs, that hypnosis had held. However,  for all of that time, the mortal’s memories of Asgard would haunt him at night, and eventually he sought out a hypnotherapist who was able to restore the reporter’s memories.

Now a television reporter, and desperate for a story,  Hobbs begs Thor to be allowed to take a camera crew to Asgard. Thor promises to ask Odin, but considers getting a “yes” to be highly unlikely. Thor departs, and soon afterword a mysterious stranger makes himself known to Hobbs, asking to hear more about his dreams.

Hobbs tells the stranger about a vision he has been having, of a time long ago when a young Thor and a tragically hatless Hymir went fishing. What Thor did not tell his friend was that he was fishing for Jormungand, the one and only Migard Serpent, destined to one day slay Thor at the time of Ragnarok. Hymir cut the enchanted fishing line when he realized what Thor had done and Thor stormed off as a result.

The telling of this story somehow manages to restore the memory and strength of the stranger, who is, of course, Loki. Loki offers to take Hobbs and his camera crew to Asgard, which is an offer the mortal eagerly accepts.

Meanwhile, Thor visits his friend Tony Stark’s corporate office to pick up all that remains of F.A.U.S.T:  a giant adamantium cube.  He plans to take it to Asgard for safekeeping. Once he has the cube, he is visited by an illusion appearing to be the Midgard Serpent. He attempts to fight it, but returns to Asgard once he realizes the serpent is not real.

In Asgard, he is eager to see Sif once again, only to be informed that she and Odin have departed on a unknown mission, leaving the Warriors Three in charge. Before the matter can be discussed further, a panel in F.A.U.S.T. pops open and Hobbs and his camera crew, Red and Joey, pop out along with Loki.

Loki claims that Hobbs’ vision is a precursor to the coming of Ragnarok and that it is the nearness of the end times that has restored Loki. The time of Ragnarok, claims Loki, is here!

First Appearance: Red, Joey

Days of Thunder – June 1978 The Mighty Thor #272

“The Day the Thunder Failed!”
A Trio of Titans– Re-Teamed!
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ George Roussos, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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On the streets of Midgard, Thor stumbles upon some kids and ends up telling them a story of his youth. He tells a tale of Asgard, one that takes place some time after he has earned his hammer.

Young Thor and Loki were lost in a forest, far from Asgard, when they stumble upon a giant, large enough to hold both Asgardians in the palm of his hand. The giant’s name is Skyrmir, and he tells the brothers that they are in the kingdom of Utgard.

Skyrmir is returning to the the Hall of Utgard, and Thor and Loki decide to follow him out of the forest. That night, the Giant offers his tiny companions food from his bag and then promptly falls asleep. To Thor and Loki’s frustration, they discover that they cannot open the giant sack. Frustrated, Thor lashes out at Skyrmir, striking him with a thunderbolt. The giant wakes only briefly, having barely felt anything.

Later, they arrive in Utgardhall, a city scaled for people the size of Skyrmir. Thor and Loki quickly earn the attention of Utgard, the ruler of Utgardhall. He challenges the gods to a series of five challenges. If they win, he will give them directions to their home, if they fail, they will be banished to the dungeons.

In turn they fail each challenge: First there is an eating contest, a race, and a drinking contest. Then the challenges get more insulting as Thor is challenged to lift a simple housecat, and when he fails that one, is asked to defeat an old crone at wrestling. This too he fails.

At this time, Utgard reveals that they have been tricked all along. That each step of the way, they were the victims of illusions and enchantments. Thor was not lifting a cat, but the Midgard Serpent. The crone was actually Elli, the very personification of Aging.

Having revealed the deception, Utgard commends the Asgardians for not surrendering, declaring them worthy to rule the cosmos. He then departs, and strips away the illusion that was Utgardhall itself.

The kids thank Thor for the story and depart.  As they go, one says to Thor, “The Force be with you”.  To this, Thor replies,  “And with thee, lad… whate’er thou dost mean.”

It is at this point that Harris Hobbs runs up to Thor and declares his intent to create a TV special about the Norse Gods, filmed on location in Asgard.

First Appearance: Utgard, Skyrmir, Elli

 

Days of Thunder – June 1978 Marvel Team-Up Starring Spider-Man and Thor #70

“Whom Gods Destroy!”
Chris Claremont, Author * John Byrne, Penciler * Tony DeZuniga, Inker * Annette Kawecki, Letterer/ Andy Yanchus, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Editor

MTU 70

Thor stumbles upon Spider-Man and an X-Man by the name of Havok fighting a giant calling himself the Living Monolith. Thor helps the heroes beat the villain.  As he departs, he tells Spider-Man to “know that the son of Odin shall e’er count thee among those he calls his friends.”

Days of Thunder – May 1978 The Avengers #171

 “…Where Angels Fear to Tread”

Jim Shooter, Writer/Editor /George Perez, Penciler/ Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Phil Rachelson, Colorist

Avengers 171

Thor, that is to say, the real Thor, is helping his comrades in the Avengers fight Ultron. The nature of the seemingly false Thor remains unknown.

Joining the Avengers is Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel is a human who’s DNA has been merged with that of a member of the alien race known as the Kree. This fusion has granted her superhuman abilities. Ms. Marvel is both a a superhero and a liberated woman. One of her abilities is precognitive visions,  and she has recently had a vision that compels her to help the Avengers in their fight against Ultron.

The conflict against Ultron leads the Avengers to a church. Thor is uncomfortable entering the church. He explains that some Christians consider his very existence to be an affront to their belief in a single supreme deity.

This church has for some reason been chosen as Ultron’s lair. Ultron wishes to murder his father, and imprint a robot with the personality of his father’s wife and then to fuck that robot. Ultron, not one for subtlety, names his would-be robot bride “Jocasta.”

Jocasta awakens and finds herself deeply conflicted between her programmed love for Ultron, and how deeply skeeved out she is by him.  Confused, she tries to murder him. She fails, but this distracts Ultron long enough for the Scarlet Witch to crack open his armor. Once this happens, Thor uses Mjolnir to suck out all of Ultron’s life force before ejecting it into the cosmos.

Days of Thunder – May 1978 The Mighty Thor #271

“…Like a Diamond in the Sky!”
“Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Storytellers * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 271

After conferring with the Avengers and with an intelligence operative named Nick Fury, Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport himself and Iron Man inside of F.A.U.S.T., now in orbit around Earth. The two of them destroy it.

Last Appearance: Len Wein

 

Days of Thunder – April 1978 The Mighty Thor #270

“Minute of Madness– Dark Day of Doom!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga Artists/Storytellers * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 270

Thor finds himself unable to retrieve his hammer before his time runs out.  Fortunately, his transformation back to Blake happens unseen. As Blake, he tells Blastaar that Thor went thattaway, and Blastaar departs. However, by the time Blake makes his way back to his reverted walking stick, it has been snatched up by a youth proclaiming himself to be the President of a group of toughs known as the Street Kings.

Blake politely asks for his stick back, and gets hit upside the head for his trouble. He grabs the stick and, without tapping it against anything at all, is transformed back into Thor. Perhaps the contact against his head closed the circuit of transformation.

Upon witnessing this transformation, the Street Kings take off.  Blastaar has already made himself scarce, but Stilt-Man remains, and he tells Thor what he knows.

Thor visits his teammate in the Avengers, Tony Stark. Thor tells Tony what he knows about Blastaar’s activities, and Stark uses a computer to cross-reference the clues and determine that Blastaar’s master is F.A.U.S.T., the living factory.

Blastaar has become convinced that F.A.U.S.T. is a being of enough power to be worth serving. His master has promised to make him King of the Negative Zone in exchange for his service. He gives F.A.U.S.T. the isotopes that Stilt-Man stole.

Thor heads straight to the factory and fights Blastaar. When it becomes clear that he will not win the fight, Blastaar retreats to a portal to the Negative Zone created by F.A.U.S.T. However, he has been double crossed, and Blastaar is disintegrated instead of teleported.

Meanwhile, F.A.U.S.T. has reconfigured itself into a orbiting death satellite and launched itself into orbit.

First Appearance: The Street Kings

 

Days of Thunder – April 1978 The Avengers #170

“…Though Hell Should Bar the Way!”

James Shooter, Writer/Colorist /George Perez, Artist/Co-Plotter / Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Archie Goodwin, Editor

Avengers 170

After Thor’s recent realization that that he was slumming by participating in the Avengers, he reduced his role to that of an associate member, to be called upon only in times of emergency. There have been some other membership shakeups, and the current full-time Avengers roster now consists of Iron Man, Captain America, The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, and the Beast (formerly of the X-Men).

Wonder Man, a reformed villain with a brief former stint as an Avenger who is also the human template for the Vision, has been returned from the dead via vague arcane means. He now serves as a member of the Avengers although he has not been officially made an active member.

Since taking his leave of absence, Thor has seemingly dropped by to assist the Avengers on three separate occasions. However, he now arrives at the Avengers Mansion, claiming to have never done any such thing. He is very confused. It seems that the Thor that has been fighting alongside the Avengers as of late has been an Impostor.

Days of Thunder – March 1978 The Mighty Thor #269

“A Walk on the Wild Side!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/Storytellers * Glynis Wein: Colorist/ Joe Rosen: Letterer

Thor 268

Thor has visited a newsstand where he helps himself to a newspaper and proceeds to leaf through it, although he explains to the news vendor, “Lacking suitable coin of the realm, I cannot repay thee for the use of thy…”

Almost immediately after he finishes his paper, Thor changes into Blake.  Blake  immediately gives a homeless woman a dollar. Thor reads newspapers as a god so that he doesn’t have to pay for them.

Blastaar is a brutish warrior with the power to make things explode by pointing at them. He was once accidentally released from the Negative Zone of Sub-Space by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four an let loose on Earth. Sometime later he was killed by the X-Men before being resurrected by two years of steady dosage of Gamma Rays administered by a mad scientist named Professor Preston Pentecost who wanted Blastaar to kill a sentient factory named “F.A.U.S.T.”.  Before Blastaar could kill the factory, the Incredible Hulk wrapped him in an unbreakable metal known as “adamantium” and threw him in the ocean.

The Stilt-Man is a costumed criminal who uses a suit of armor containing hydraulic telescoping legs to commit crimes. Recently in a battle with a hero named Black Goliath, his armor was destroyed, and he was imprisoned. Now he has been broken out of prison by Blastaar and provided a brand new suit of stilt-armor, this new one made of adamantium. It is unclear how Blastaar came to leave the bottom of the ocean, but he is now working for an unseen master.

As payment for his freedom and for his new armor, Stilt-Man is tasked with stealing a package containing unknown contents out of a helicopter in mid-flight. Stilt-Man finds that reasonable, and so he agrees to the job. When he grabs the goods, he uses stupifying gas to knock out the helicopter pilots. As the helicopter plummets, it gains the attention of Dr. Blake, who becomes Thor once again, and catches the helicopter.

Thor then finds defeats Stilt-Man. As he approaches his fallen foe, Blastaar suckerpunches Thor with an explosive burst, causing Thor to drop his hammer and start the sixty-second clock.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, the Warriors Three have captured the team of Snaykar, Magrat and Kroda.

 

Days of Thunder – February 1978 The Mighty Thor #268

“Death, thy Name is Brother!”

Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 268

An unhappy Don Blake is walking along the streets of New York,when a cop asks him if he is, in fact, Doctor Blake. The cop asks Blake to contact his friend Thor, and ask him to meet with the Commissioner of Police. It is unclear if the police were sent to search for Blake, or if the passing officer happened to recognize the famous surgeon and decided to ask him for some help.

Whatever the case, Blake becomes Thor once again and meets the Commissioner.  At this point It seems without a shadow of a doubt that the police are not going to arrest Thor. Whether the charges against him have been  formally or informally dropped is unclear, but if the Commisioner of Police is consulting with the God of Thunder,  Thor will not be held accountable for his criminal acts.

The Commissioner introduces Thor to Bennett Barlow, the brother of Damocles. Bennett helps Thor track down Damocles, who has completed his Cobalt Cannon, which is a funky looking tank. Unfortunately, it was built with synthetic cobalt, which is unstable. The cannon is really a bomb, and when Damocles refuses to surrender, Bennett fatally shoots his brother. Thor throws the bomb into the sky where it safely detonates.

First Appearance: Bennett Barlow

 

Days of Thunder – January 1978 The Mighty Thor #267

“Once More, To Midgard!
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 267

With Odin returned to the Throne, it is a time for regrouping. The Recorder returns to the Colonizers, and Karnilla likewise departs. Loki is put on trial and as punishment, Odin strips him of his memories and of his godhood, sending Loki to live on Midgard as he once did with his other son. Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar remain free.  Odin tasks the Warriors Three with tracking them down.

Thor desires to return to Earth.  He discusses the matter with Sif, who has found a snazzy new outfit. He tells her that he wishes to go to Midgard without her. Says he, “Though the heart of Thor is ever thine, the spirit of Don Blake cries out for release, and I must heed its call alone!” As Thor has no interest in being Don Blake, it can be assumed that the part of him that is Blake is literally crying out for release from within his psychic prison.
Sif gives Thor his space, but the matter of Jane Foster is not discussed. If Sif stays of Asgard, it would seem Jane is doomed to non-existence, and were she to return to Earth, it would be the Lady Sif who was denied a life. What amount of responsibility to Jane does Sif carry? Also, Thor wasted no time in getting romantic with Jane when Sif seemed dead, now that she is back, Thor claims she has his heart. None of these matters is discussed.

Does Jane have any friends, any family? No one was seen to visit her in the hospital when she was dying. Presumably she had a job before leaving on the Odin Quest. Are there people on Earth searching for her, presuming her dead?

Thor returns to Earth, shocked to discover that he has been gone for over a year. Blake had just started up a new practice last time he was on Earth. That practice’s office has been bulldozed in his absence. Blake has no close friends. His girlfriend is trapped in another woman’s body in another plane of existence. Blake takes a moment to contemplate if existing still makes sense.

Blake decides to start a new chapter of his life. He visits his old college mentor, Dr. Jacob Wallaby, looking for work. He tells Wallaby that he needs something that he can drop at a moments notice for an indefinite length of time. Wallaby agrees to set Blake up with some unpaid work at a free clinic. He comments, “I’ve never quite understood you, my boy! Your skill as a surgeon surpasses any other I’ve ever seen, yet I’ve always had the feeling mere medicine wasn’t enough for you…”

Before they can discuss it further, a schmuck calling himself “Damocles” and some other thugs attack the hospital they are at, stealing some synthetic cobalt. Blake departs, changes into Thor and gives chase. Damocles escapes, intending to build a Cobalt Cannon.

First Appearance: Damocles, Dr. Jacob Wallaby

 

Days of Thunder – December 1977 Thor King-Sized Annual! #6

Thunder in the 31st Century!
Len Wein, Co-Plotter/Editor/ Roger Stern, Co-Plotter/Scripter/ Sal Buscema & Klaus Janson, Illustrators Extraordinaire/ Glynis Wein: Colorist/ Joe Rosen: Letterer

Thor Annual 6

Thor is in Manhattan when he stumbles upon a group of terrorists preparing to blow up a nuclear reactor in the name of some unspecified cause. Thor stops the villains, but suddenly he and the nuclear reactor are both teleported away.

What happens to the reactor is unclear, but Thor wakes up floating in space. Without any magical conveyance, Thor is frozen by the cold void of space, although it does not kill him.

In the 31st Century, the Guardians of the Galaxy are a ragtag spaceship crew, fighting for the betterment of Earth. They consist of Yondu, Charlie 27, Martinex, Niki, Starhawk, and Vance Astro. They stumble upon Thor floating in space and rescue him.

Once onboard, Thor agrees to help the Guardians in their fight against a villain named Korvac. Korvac has a plan that involves blowing up Earth’s sun. Thor and the Guardians fight Korvac and his allies. They manage to destroy Korvac’s base, and in defeat, Korvac teleports away. Astro uses a time machine that Korvac apparently owned to send Thor back to the 20th century.

 

Days of Thunder – December 1977 The Mighty Thor #266

“…So Falls the Realm Eternal!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 266

When Karnilla realizes that Balder’s spirit is powering the Destroyer, she wastes no time in teleporting to the location of Balder’s body, which she steals away from the Trickster God. She takes the body to the Destroyer, intending to remove Balder’s essence from the Destroyer and put it back where it belongs.

Unfortunately, Loki follows Karnilla, and in the battle that ensues, the Norn Queen is knocked unconscious. The part of the Destroyer that is Balder senses this, and turns its attention away from thrashing Thor with Kzippa particles in order to attack Loki. Panicked, Loki returns the essence of Balder to its body.

Loki, then intends to enter the Destroyer himself, but before he can, Thor enters it. The Thor-powered Destroyer is about to kill Loki when Odin arrives, and commands the Destroyer to kneel before him. The part of the Destroyer that is Thor hears and yields.

While most of the cast had been fighting the Destroyer, the Warriors Three followed the team of Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar to the secret cavern where Loki had hidden Odin. They defeat the villains, and free the All-Father from the Mists of Morpheus that Loki had been using to indefinitely prolong the Odinsleep. Once freed of the mists, Odin awoke and was thus able to end the Destroyer fight and reassume his rulership of Asgard. Odin frees Thor’s spirit from the Destroyer and father and son embrace.

Days of Thunder – November 1977 The Mighty Thor #265

“When Falls the God of Thunder…!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson, Illustrator * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Welcome Back All, Joe Sinnott, Guest Embellisher

Thor 265

Thor fights the Destroyer, which Loki stole from Galactus. Even with most of his friends pitching in, he is no match for his foe. Hildegarde remains conspicuously absent from the action.

Meanwhile, Karnilla, riding a dragon, is denied entrance to Asgard by a pair of guardsmen named Brolthar and Enok, so she turns them into toads and enters the city. She attempts to assist Thor but when her magic strikes the Destroyer, she realizes the truth: The Destroyer’s current host is none other than Balder!

First Appearance: Brolthar, Enok

Days of Thunder – October 1977 The Mighty Thor #264

“Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 264

Loki has grabbed the throne of Asgard yet again, and this time he backs up his grab with a well-forged legal document from a cask bearing the Odin-Seal. The scroll within the cask states that in the case of Odin’s incapacitation, whichever of Odin’s sons can first sit on the Throne shall rule the realm. Given that both Thor and Loki have repeatedly been banished from Asgard, and given that Odin enters the Odinsleep once a year, on top of his tendency to mysteriously disappear, one would think he would have established a clear, well-known rule of succession by now.

Instead, we have Loki, apparently the rightful ruler of Asgard. This time, he has surrounded himself with lackeys. In addition to the reluctant support of the Enchantress and the Executioner (both of whom, one would think would still be sore about Loki’s role in their initial banishment) he has also enlisted the aid of his old friends Kroda the Duelist and Magrat the Schemer and brought Snaykar the Skulker into the fold.

Loki bids his brother and friends to depart from his presence. Thor and his friends do, and split into two teams. The Warriors Three are tasked with protecting Odin, while Thor, Sif and the Recorder search for Balder.

The Warriors Three find Odin missing from his bedchambers. They follow the trail left by his abductors, which leads them to Executioner and the Enchantress, deep within the bowels of Asgard, near the Troll-built generators that power the city. They fight.  Due to subtle manipulation on the part of Loki, the Enchantress and the Executioner plummet to their seeming death at the end of the fight.

Thor, Sif and the Recorder have been told that Balder left Asgard with Karnilla, accompanying her back to her domain.  They head out that way,  and hve to fight their way past a pair of Storm Giants to get there.  Sif is oddly frightened of one of them, but Thor kills them.

When they arrive at the home of the Norn Queen, Karnilla claims not to know what became of Balder. Thor believes Karnilla when it comes to matters of Balder.

It turns out that Loki has used his magic to erase the Norn Queen’s memory of Balder’s capture and her defeat, that Loki has been manipulating the memories of all the people of Asgard, that Balder is locked in the dungeons of Asgard, and that it wasn’t really Thor that attacked Balder.

Thor returns to Loki, full of bluster. Loki simply vanishes.  The Destroyer appear before Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1977 The Mighty Thor #263

“Holocaust and Homecoming!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

thor 263

The Asgardians do battle against the Odin-Force given form, and it is Valiant Volstagg that wins the day. Volstagg finds himself able to blast the being with powerful energy from his hands and he fights the being to the point of exhaustion, at which point it dissipates. It seems Odin was able to transfer a portion of the Odin-Force into Volstagg before expiring. Volstagg now transfers that same force back to Odin, restoring him to life.

During the course of the fight, the Soul-Survivors’ Energy Siphon was destroyed, and it seems that they now have no way of capturing the energy their world needs to survive. Also, it seems that while the Soul-Survivors were able to disenchant Mjolnir when they were in control of the Odin-Force, now that Odin is free and alive, the hammer is enchanted once again.

The Asgardians (and their Rigelian friend) depart. Odin has been weakened by these recent events and slips into the Odinsleep once again. The crew of the Starjammer return to Asgard only to find Loki sitting on the throne, flanked by the Enchantress and the Executioner!

Days of Thunder – August 1977 The Mighty Thor #262

“Even an Immortal Can Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 262

The Soul-Survivors’ world is known as Templeworld. Their enclosed planet, orbiting a star that emits darkness, is powered by an engine that converts the divinity of a god into energy. The people of Templeworld sucked dry their original god long ago, and have powered their world through a long succession of now-dead shanghaied gods. The space graveyard that the Starjammer passed through is the aftermath of this grizzly business.

Odin is the current source of power for these people. The imprisoned Asgardians are tended to by a pair of Soul-Survivors, K’rll and N’gll, and they are already preparing to replace Odin with the three new Immortals they have captured, for the All Father is near death.

Odin dies, and his oddly-familiar final words to Thor are “forgive them, my son for they know not what they do.” His father’s death fills Thor with the Warrior’s Madness.  He shatters his restraints as his friends arrive to free him. Sif and Fandral are loosed in no time, and sensing the shifting tide, K’rll takes the remaining Odin-Force that has been harvested from the All-Father and gives it a corporeal form, with which to kill Thor.

Meanwhile, back on Asgard, Thor sucker punches Balder and Karnilla and knocks them both out.

Days of Thunder – July 1977 The Mighty Thor #261

“The Wall Around the World!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators Supreme/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Annette Kaweki Letterer

Thor 261

Thor and company breach what turns out to be a wall that surrounds a planet. The planet seems to be covered by a city that has a sprawl that  covers the entire world. Soon, they are attacked by armored foes.

During the fight, Thor discovers that Mjolnir will no longer return to his hands by itself. Before this can be explored, Thor, Sif, and Fandral are captured. Their captors identify themselves as the Soul-Survivors and indicate their intent to worship their prisoners. The Soul-Survivors are beautifully-rendered androgynous beings that speak in lower-case letters.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Thor berates Balder, telling him that the Executioner and Enchantress that he and Karnilla defeated were mere illusions, illusions that have now disappeared. Karnilla is suspicious: She knows those were not illusions. Nonetheless, she follows as Thor leads them back to the city gates so that they might face their true foe.

Elsewhere, a hooded figure who dresses like Loki divides his attention between observing the events on Asgard and the events on the Doomsday Star, content that all is going according to plan.

maybe loki

First Appearance: The Soul-Survivors

Days of Thunder – June 1977 The Mighty Thor #260

“The Vicious and the Valiant”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis W. Colorist * J Costanza, Letterer * Proudly Present Walt Simonson Illustrator, In the immortal words of Irving Forbush, Effendi– So be it!!

thor 260

The Recorder plugs himself into Bird of Prey – rechristened “The Phoenix of Freedom”, and is able to produce a map to the Doomsday Star. Meanwhile, the Warriors Three rip the weapons out of the Bird of Prey and retrofit the Starjammer.

In Asgard, Balder sneaks into the camp of the Enchantress’ army, to learn more about them. He soon discovers that the “army” is nothing more than a bunch of magically animated suits of armor. The Enchantress and Executioner find him within their camp, leading to a brawl. During the fight, the Enchantress refers to having a master, which is very unlike her. Also, Balder destroys the Executioner’s battleaxe.

At any rate, Karnilla joins in the fight, and the invaders are defeated. Afterward, Thor seemingly reveals himself to Balder, displeased with his friend.

Meanwhile, Thor captains the Starjammer through a giant space graveyard of giant cosmic creatures and eventually they reach the Doomsday Star, which does indeed radiate darkness. Orbiting the star is a giant, planet-sized fortress.

 

Days of Thunder – May 1977 The Mighty Thor #259

“Escape into Oblivion!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

thor 259

Some time back, the Grey Gargoyle was launched into space, chained to a rocket by Captain America and Spider-Man. It turns out that the Gargoyle does not need to breath or need protective clothing to survive the ravages of space. He was eventually found by a band of space pirates and he killed the leader and assumed leadership.

However, The Grey Gargoyle doesn’t want to be a space pirate, he wants to be an Earth immortal. And so he strikes a deal with Thor and all the other slaves to work together to defeat the pirates. They dispatch the pirates, but in the course of the fight, The Grey Gargoyle and Fee-Lon end up fighting in a shuttlecraft that departs from the pirate ship. In the course of the fight, Gargoyle accidentally turns it into stone, causing it to explode.

Meanwhile on Asgard, Balder parlays with the Enchantress and the Executioner. He refuses to surrender and they refuse to back down.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1977 The Mighty Thor #258

“If the Stars be Made of Stone!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga: Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 258

The Grey Gargoyle is now the leader of a band of space pirates who deal in the slave trade. Their ship is named the Bird of Prey. They capture the crew of the Starjammer and enslave them.

On Asgard, the leaders of the army surrounding the city present themselves at the gates. It is the Enchantress and the Executioner!

 

Days of Thunder – March 1977 The Mighty Thor #257

“Death, Thou Shalt Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Condoy, Letter

thor 257

Thor and company fight Sporr, who is a huge blobby monster with tentacles. Thor senses that there is something off with the creature during the fight, but it attacked Sif so he ignores that instinct and murders the beast.

Thor finds a horrified Sif. Surprise, surprise, Spoor wasn’t picking off the weak and defenseless, but rather was escorting them to a secret paradise. Also, it was the last of its kind.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, a very large army has amassed around the city. Balder, with Karnilla at his side, prepares for attack. The names whispered last issue are still unknown.

Elsewhere, there is a ship full of space pirates, including one named Fee-Lon and one named Balzor, approaching a new target. The ships captain: The Grey Gargoyle!

First Appearance: Fee-Lon, Balzor

 

Days of Thunder – February 1977 The Mighty Thor #256

“Lurker in the Dark!”

Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Bscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

Thor 256

The crew of the Starjammer gains a new member when the Recorder arrives to joins the party. The Colonizers of Rigel have become aware of Thor’s quest, and they have sent his old android compatriot to observe and to assist.

Later, they find a giant Worldship drifting without power. The recorder’s Sensitizers detect two distinct life forms types aboard the ship. The crew decide to enter the ship, to ask if the inhabitants might know the location of the Doomsday Star.  This is their plan to find Odin.

Upon entering, they are attacked by automated Securitrons. They fend off the robots, but Sif is injured in the melee. They meet up with some of the inhabitants of the Worldship, the name of which they learn is “Levianon”, including their First Citizen, Relstor, and a young man named Darnak.

The inhabitants explain to Thor and his friends that they are under siege by a massive tentacle monster known as Sporr. Earlier this day, the beast claimed the life of young Darnak’s grandfather. Relstor hopes that Thor and his friends will attack the beast, but Thor, concerned with finding the Doomsday Star, does not consider it to be his fight to fight. While they discuss the matter, Sif woozily wanders away and is grabbed by Sporr. Now it is Thor’s fight.

Back on Asgard, Karnilla is not-so-subtly priming Balder to take the vacant throne when Brokarr, the guard of the Northern gates of Asgard rushes in, badly injured. He dies with the names of his two assassins on his lips. The reader is not privy to their names (but can probably guess). The name that Balder the Brave heard shake him to his core. According to Balder, “if what he spoke was true, then his words were the death sentence for all of Asgard!”

First Appearance: Levianon, Relstor, Darnak, Sporr, Brokarr

Mostly James Bond and Thor Stuff