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!!

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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

Days of Thunder – January 1977 The Mighty Thor #255

“Lo, The Quest Begins!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga: Illustrator * Glynis Wein: Colorist * Watanabe, Letterer

Thor 255

Thor returns to Asgard without the Ruby Eye. When the Vizier summons Mimir so that Thor may report  his failure, Mimir tells Thor that his task was a test, not a price. Thor has passed the test, and  proved himself worthy of the knowledge that Mimir now imparts:

To find Odin, Thor must seek the Doomsday Star, which seems to be a legendary star that shines darkness instead of light. Mimir departs without telling Thor how to find this fabled star.

Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three decide to set out in the Starjammer seeking the Doomsday Star. They head out into the vastness of space blindly, trusting that fate will point them in the right direction. Balder stays behind to safeguard the throne of Asgard, Karnilla staying at his side. Hildegarde is oddly absent.

As they journey through the stars, they find themselves seeking shelter from a meteor swarm by landing on a large asteroid. On the asteroid they find the Stone Men from Saturn, the same invasion party that came to Earth all those many years ago. When the fled Earth, they crashed onto this asteroid, and have been trapped ever since.

The Saturnians attack the Asgardians, hoping to steal their Starjammer, but are sorely outclassed. The Asgardians defeat their attackers and retreat to the Starjammer, while the damage caused by the fight causes the asteroid to crumble, presumably taking the Stone Men with them.

 

Days of Thunder – January 1977 Marvel Two-in-One Presents The Thing and The Mighty Thor #23

“Death on the Bridge to Heaven!”
Writers: Bil Mantlo, pgs. 1-6, Jim Shooter, pgs. 7-31/ Artist: Ron Wilson with an assist from Marie Severin/ Inker: Pablo Marcos/ Letterer: John Costanza/ Colorist: Hugh Paley/ Editor: Archie Goodwin

2in1 23
Seth takes Thor and the Thing to the Golden Path where Horus, Isis and Osiris are held prisoner and unleashes a monster called the Devourer on them all. Thor and Thing free the prisoners and send the Devourer plunging into the void. They then return home, trusting that Horus has matters in hand.
First Appearance: The Devourer

Days of Thunder – December 1976 Marvel Two-in-One Presents The Thing and The Mighty Thor #22

“Touch Not the Hand of Seth!”
Boisterous Bill Mantlo, Story/ Rampagin’ Ron Wilson, Art/ Prolific Pablo Marcos, Inks/ Karefree Karen Mantlo, Letters/ Dashing Don Warfield, Colors/ Artful Archie Goodwin, Editor

2in1 22

Don Blake, described by a fellow doctor as “One of the ten most gifted surgeons in the world! He is strangely absent for long periods– but brilliant when he chooses to practice!”, is performing a surgery. The evil Egyptian God Seth has been drawn to Blake, seeking revenge against Thor. Perhaps he can sense the free-flowing aura of electrons that emanate from him.

Seth kills multiple people at the hospital who get in his way, but finally he makes his way to Blake and gestures to the Doctor, indicating that he should take his cane and switch forms.  He does, and they fight.  Partway through the battle, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing joins in.

Seth claims that, Horus and the whole of Heliopolis have already fallen to his might. At this point he opens a portal, unleashing a skeleton army of the dead upon Thor and the Thing.

 

Days of Thunder – December 1976 The Man Called Nova #4

“Nova Against The Mighty Thor”
Marv Wolfman, Writer/Editor/ Sal Buscema & Tom Palmer, Artists Supreme/ Watanabe & Denise Wohl, Letterers/ Michele Wolfman, Colorist

Nova 4

Richard Rider is a teenager who was recently zapped with a lightbolt from outer space that granted him superpowers before being given a suit of space armor that threw in some additional powers. He has used these new powers to become a novice superhero in Long Island.

Thor has come to Earth briefly to inform his compatriots in the Avengers of his search for Odin. Having done so, he prepares to return to Asgard, when he encounters a burning building with a person trapped inside. He uses his power of the storm to stop the fire, and goes to help the person within, only to find a strange goblin of a creature calling itself The Corruptor.

The Corruptor claims to be pure evil and upon touching Thor spreads its evil to Thor. Thor is instantly filled with hate and becomes subject to the commands of the Corruptor. His master has nothing more specific in mind than for Thor to spread destruction, so Thor goes on a rampage.

This leads to Thor and Nova fighting until the effects of the Corruptor wear off.  They then team up and defeat the Corruptor.  Afterward, Thor decides to dump the Corruptor into Tony Stark’s care.

First Appearance: The Corruptor

 

Days of Thunder – December 1976 The Mighty Thor King-Size Annual! #5

“War of the Gods!”
A Saga Stirringly Told by: Steve Englehart, writer * John Buscema & Tony Dezungia, artists/ Tony San Jose, letterer * Don Warfield, colorist * Archie Goodwin, editor

Annual 5

This is the fifth Thor King-Sized Special, although the specials have been rebranded as “annuals”, which is absurd, given that the last special was printed ten years prior. It is also the first one since King-Sized Special #2 to feature new material.

It also is somewhat problematic. Non-regular Thor-writer Steve Englehart has told a lengthy Tale of Asgard that directly contradicts much of what has been established before. It diverges from the source material widely enough and in enough places that for the purposes of this project, I am provisionally treating this story as non-canonical. However, if any other Marvel comic down the road references this story, I will revisit it and apply as many no-prizes as necessary to jam it into Marvel canon.

Canonicity notwithstanding, it’s a neat little story with a great 6-page prologue.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1976 The Mighty Thor #253: Part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods
“The Weapon and the Warrior! Pt 2”
David Kraft, author/ Pablo Marcos, artist/ Irving Watanabe, letterer/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 253

Thor and the Storm Giant fight some more. He eventually realizes that (much like Sigurd), the Storm Giant is vulnerable when not touching the ground. That turns the tide, but they keep fighting, until finally the Giant bursts into laughter. Thor joins the Giant in laughter, as he realizes that they have no reason to fight. He walks away from the Giant, leaving his dead horse behind.

Days of Thunder – November 1976 The Mighty Thor #253

“Chaos in the Kingdom of the Trolls”
Experience Boundless Wonderment at the Side of These Stalwarts! Len Wein, Writer/Editor / John Buscema/Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ M. Severin * Colorist/ Condoy * Letterer/ We Promise you won’t be Disappointed!

Thor 253

After being tossed into a lake of fire, falling Thor flings his hammer upward, which in defiance of all physics, pulls him upwards, so that he can resume his fight with Ulik.

Ulik slays the dragon and claims the ruby as his prize. He explains to Thor that the Trolls have accidentally released a powerful beast known as Trogg, who has gone on to slaughter countless Trolls. The only way to stop the beast is by using the power of the Ruby Eye to seal the portal from whence Trogg came.

Thor makes a deal with Ulik: He will slay Trogg in exchange for the Ruby Eye. Ulik reluctantly agrees. Thor follows Ulik into the heart of the Troll kingdom, where he discovers that King Geirrodur still lives.

Thor does not dally with the king, however.  He quickly enters battle with Trogg, a giant creature who seems to have a grudge against the Trolls. He will not parlay with Thor and Thor is not strong enough to defeat him.

When fighting fails, Ulik pressures Thor into using the Ruby Eye to lock away Trogg. Thor reluctantly agrees, sacrificing his need so that he might save the Trolls. As Thor departs, Ulik mocks Thor savagely for being foolish enough to help an enemy.

First Appearance: Trogg

Days of Thunder – October 1976 The Mighty Thor #252: Part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods
“The Weapon and the Warrior”
David Kraft, author/ Pablo Marcos, artist/ J. Costanza, letterer/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Len Wein, editor proudly present a two-part tribute to the most widely-acclaimed mythological mini-series of all time!!

Thor 252

After an absence of more than 100 issues, the Tales of Asgard feature has made a return, temporary though it may be. This story takes place immediately after the events of issue #102.

Young Thor, having newly obtained Mjolnir, stumbles upon an unnamed young Storm Giant, fresh from an apprenticeship in the mines and workshops of the Trolls. The two get into a fight over nothing. The Giant throws a rock at Thor’s horse, killing it. Thor falls to the ground, drops his hammer, and the Giant captures Thor with Troll magic, before preparing to kill the young Godling with a boulder.

Days of Thunder – October 1976 The Mighty Thor #252

“A Dragon at the Gates!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Bsucema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

Thor 252

Thor tries to find his father by again seeking the aid of Mimir. Unlike last time,  Mimir now demands very specific payment for his services: The Cyclopean Ruby Eye of the Dragon Guardian of of Realm Below.

Thor finds the task dishonorable, but decides he has little choice. He journeys down into the Realm Below, adjacent to the territory of the Trolls and eventually finds the Dragon of the Ruby Eye. However, before he can fight the dragon, he discovers that his old foe Ulik has come here at the exact same time, seeking the exact same item.

Ulik claims that the survival of the Troll Empire itself depends on the procurement of the eye. Neither warrior is willing to forfeit the Eye, and so they fight each other for it. Ulik wins the fight, tossing Thor off a cliff into a lake of fire!

Days of Thunder – October 1976 Marvel Spotlight on Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg, Warriors Three

“A Night on the Town!”
Len Wein, writer/editor/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, illustrators/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Joe Rosen, letterer/ Irv Forbush, Honorary Godling

spotlight 30

This story takes place during Thor and Jane’s recent trip to Central America. Left behind, Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun get bored and look for adventure. They end up on a series of misadventures wherin they befriend a cabbie named Myron J. Maxwell, a hobo named Ragland T. Peppermill, and a pair of would-be suicides named Mary Miller and Arnold Slackmyster. Over the course of the evening, they foil a diamond heist, start a bar brawl, attend a wedding, as well as prevent the aforementioned suicides.

First Appearance: Myron J. Maxwell, Ragland T. Peppermill, Mary Miller, Arnold Slackmyster

The List – Books

What follows is a list of every book I’ve read to completion in the past six months.

10. The Unauthorized Biography of Superman by Glen Weldon
9. Baptism of Fire Andrzej Sapkowski
8. Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
7. Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
6. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
5. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
4. They Drew as they Pleased by Didier Ghez
3. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
2. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
1. The Shepard’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

They Drew as they Pleased is a niche book for animation weirdoes and the Pratchett books were weak Pratchett.  The rest of the list was pulp trash, or just not very good.  I need to read more books.

The List – Video Games

What follows is a list of every game I played in the past six months, ordered from least-favorite to favorite.

14. Saints Row IV: Gat out of Hell
13. Infamous: First Light
12. Fallout 4
11. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
10. Until Dawn
9. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
8. The Witcher III
7. Spelunky
6. Super Pole Riders
5. Wolfenstein: The New Blood
4. Metal Gear Solid V: Grounds Zero
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
2. Super Mario Maker
1. Blood Bowl II

The top 8 of these games are all five star great games.

The List – Comics

What follows is every comic book run I read in the past 6 months, ordered from least-favorite to favorite. It does not include ongoing series I am following month-to-month. It does not include the many 70’s Marvel comics I have been reading for Days of Thunder, and it does not include lengthy runs I’ve been working my way through but have not completed (Which at the moment consists of Cerebus, G.I. Joe, and Bone.). As such, it represents a fraction of my total comics consumption.

23. Smoke
22. The Bojeffries Saga
21. OMAC (Byrne)
20. Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and other Tales
19. Fury: This War of Mine
18. S.H.I.E.L.D. Volume 1 (Hickman)
17. Daredevil: End of Days
16. Howard the Duck (Templeton)
15. X-Factor Volumes. 15-17
14. Young Heroes in Love
13. Ultimate Spider-Man (final seven volumes)
12. Age of Atlas Vols. 2, 3
11. Alias & The Pulse
10. The Ballad of Halo Jones
9. Runaways (All the BKV and Whedon issues)
8. Secret Warriors
7. OMAC
6. American Barbarian
5. Gunsmith Cats Vol 3
4. Daredevil: Born Again
3. Copra Round Two and Three
2. Planetary
1. Usagi Yojimbo Omnibus #4 and 5

 

Of that list,  I consider the top 16 worth rereading, and the top 9 worth recommending.

The List – Movies

What follows is a list of every movie I’ve seen in the past 6 months, ranked from favorite to least-favorite:

44. Amazing Spider-Man 2
43. Robocop Remake
42. Lucy
41. The Assassin
40. Superman: Unbound
39. A Trip to the Moon
38. Jupiter Ascending
37. Angel of Death
36. Superman II (Donner Cut)
35. GI Joe: Rise of Cobra
34. Terminator Genisys
33. Catching Fire
32. Mockingjay Part 2
31. Mockingjay Part 1
30. Hunger Games
29. Divergent
28. Mad Max in: Beyond Thunderdome
27. Interstellar
26. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
25. Treasure Planet
24. Disney’s Atlantis
23. Pom Poko
22. Edge of Tomorrow
21. Mean Streets
20. The Avengers
19. Robocop
18. The Road Warrior
17. Cabaret
16. Django Unchained
15. Sunset Blvd.
14. Dope
13. Thor
12. Terminator
11. GI Joe: Retaliation
10. Anastasia
9. Mad Max Fury Road
8. T2: Judgment Day
7. Inglourious Basterds
6. Superman: The Movie
5. Jurassic Park
4. Disney’s Robin Hood
3. Out of Sight
2. Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1. Speed Racer

That’s 44 movies in 6 months, or 1.7 movies a week. 34 of them I would consider good enough to rewatch.  15 of them I would consider classics, but not the top 15.  I really like Speed Racer.

Days of Thunder – September 1976 The Mighty Thor #251

“To Hela and Back”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorsist/ Pat Condoy, Letterer

Thor 251

Sif, while happy to be alive, is afraid that she is a mere consolation prize to Thor, forever second in his heart to Jane. Thor does his best to explain to her that having two women that he loves combined into one is kind of awesome.

Karnilla has been sticking around Asgard, for unspecified reasons. This makes Balder both pleased and incredibly uncomfortable.

After days of searching, the Vizier cannot find Odin anywhere in the known universe. He suspects that Odin may be in Valhalla. He travels there, by himself, and encounters his old frenemy, Harokin. Harokin can’t pass up the opportunity to wrassle with Thor and forces Thor into a fight he does not want.

Eventually, Hela arrives and informs Thor that Odin is not in her land. She then allows Thor to depart.

Days of Thunder – August 1976 The Mighty Thor #250

“If Asgard Should Perish…!”
Journey beyond the imagination with… Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * John Costanza, Letterer * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ We promise you won’t regret it!

Thor 250

Some time after Igron was imprisoned by Odin, he encountered the Mangog.   Long believed dead, the once-massive Mangog had dwindled to the size of a rodent, but even after his connection to the rage that fueled him was severed, it turns out that the Mangog is hate personified and simply cannot be destroyed. However, without the original rage that drove him, the Mangog has redirected that hate and rage at Odin and at Asgard.

Igron and the Mangog quickly formed an alliance. Igron used his magic to siphon some strength from all the inhabitants of Asgard.  He then poured that strength into the Mangog, thus restoring some of what the Mangog once was. It was this, and not the absence of Odin that caused the strange lethargy in Asgard in issue #240.  After Igron rejuvenates the Mangog, the two spend some time together scheming.

Time passes.  Igron is spying on Odin when he witnesses Odin teleport away from Earth after having his memory restored.  Igron quickly realizes that wherever Odin teleported to, it was not Asgard.  He does not know what became of Odin but he recognizes an opportunity.  He disguises the Mangog as Odin, and so begins the Mangog’s masquerade. Over time, the Mangog steadily gains strength as he absorbs the worship of the people of Asgard.

That brings us to the present.  The Mangog defeats Thor and has him chained before the gates of the city as a warning. What follows is a full-out insurrection, as Sif and her allies challenge the being they believe to be Odin. In the fight that follows, the Mangog easily defeats those who challenge him. However, this isn’t playing well with the masses and Igron cautions the Mangog to reign it in. The Mangog scoffs at this, and kills Igron. Upon the sorcerer’s death, his illusion is shattered and “Odin”’s true identity is revealed to the people of Asgard.  .

Thor frees himself as all turn against the Mangog. He redeclares his love for the Lady Sif as he takes the fight to the Mangog. Unmasked, the Mangog has decided to revert to type and pull the Odinsword, however without the belief of the people of Asgard to give him power,  he fades away once more. Presumably he survives as a tiny Mangog.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1976 The Avengers #149

“The Gods and the Gang!”
Steve Englehart, Story/ George Perez, Art/ Sam Grainger, Inks/ Tom Orzechowski, lettering/ Hugh Paley, coloring/ Marv Wolman, Editor

Avengers 149

Thor, goaded by Moondragon, comes to realize that the Avengers are holding him back. As Moondragon puts it, he is “slumming.”

After singlehandedly saving the bulk of his friends from some crooked industrialists, he gives a speech. “I am not slow-witted, but my task in the All-Father’s plan doth concern itself more with action than reflection! What I saw not till this battle is that, to adapt to ye mortals I have accustomed myself to withhold my full might! ‘Twas a gradual thing. In Asgard, I have struggled ‘Gainst Gods. On Midgard, we have met mostly human menaces. To avoid the murder of these men – and to avoid the humbling of my friends– I cam to act as less than I am. To thrill to the thunder of battle, I forgot that I am the god thereof!”

It seems that Thor is ready to quit the Avengers.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1976 The Mighty Thor #249

“The Throne and the Fury!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema, Illustrator/ Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Marv Wolfman, Face in the Crowd

Thor 249

Those who would stand against Odin make their plans.  While they do, the Vizier has a gift for Jane Foster. He passes the sword that once belonged to Lady Sif. However, when Jane takes hold of it, she finds it seething with power. In pain, she slams the hilt of it against the wall, and finds herself bathed in light. hen it fades, it is not Nurse Jane Foster of Earth that stands before the Vizier, but Lady Sif herself!

The Vizier theorizes that both women now exist within a single form and that in Asgard, Sif is the dominant person. Unfortunately, they have more pressing matters that preclude exploring this matter at the moment.  Thor, the Vizier and a reluctant Balder will venture to the Forest of the Norns to parlay with Karnilla the Norn Queen, while the rest of their band try to rally support for their cause.

Balder does not want to see the Norn Queen, for he loves her still although their love can never be. Nonetheless, they need petition her for aid, for her power may be the only power in the Realm Eternal strong enough to breach Odin’s mystic defenses. Upon reaching the Norn Queen, she is cruel and distant. Balder begs her not to hold her anger toward him against his people. In response she strikes him, decrying “Thou dost presume too much, Asgardian to even think the omnipotent Norn queen would ever deign to feel affection for one such as thee!” After that bit of theater, she is convinced to reluctantly join their cause.

Returning to Asgard, Thor and his allies head straight to Odin’s throne room. Karnilla alone does not have strength enough to break Odin’s barrier, but by combining her power with the power of Thor harnessed through Mjolnir, they rip open the doors.

Thor enters alone to find Odin on his throne, which is, in turn, on top of the Odinsword, which has been moved, safe within its hilt, to his throne room. His intent is clear: If anyone challenges his rule, he will unsheathe the sword and bring about the end of the world!  Having played his trump card, the All-Father reveals the truth: He is not Odin at all, but in actuality the fearsome Mangog!

 

Days of Thunder – June 1976 The Mighty Thor #248

“There Shall Come… Revolution!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Guest Embellisher * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Marv Wolfman, General Insurgent

Thor 248

Starting with this issue, issues of the Mighty Thor begin with the following introduction:

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

Thor and Jane return to New York in the midst of a mighty thunderstorm. Thor halts the storm, but strangely, he has real difficulty with the task. They reunite with their three guests and soon thereafter find a ragged Balder, who has escaped to Midgard to tell Thor of what has transpired in his homeland.

They must return to Asgard, so say them all, including Jane, who argues that possessing the spirit of Sif gives her the right to enter the city, despite the ban on mortals. Thor agrees, and when they arrive they find themselves halted by Heimdall and a troop of guards. This soon leads to a full-on battle, brutal and excellently rendered. Thor and his compatriots come out on top.

Balder takes his friends to his allies: Hildegarde and Krista, as well as some new faces: Brodag the Black, Holvar of the Single Eye, Cosak the Crimson-Haired, and Skoval the Shaggy One. Jane, who has clearly established herself as the brains of the group, reasons that if they are to move against Odin, they need the input of the Vizier and so they mount an assault on the Tower of Solitude and free him.

First Appearance: Brodag the Black, Holvar of the Single Eye, Cosak the Crimson-Haired, Skoval the Shaggy One

 

Days of Thunder – May 1976 The Mighty Thor #247

“The Flame and the Hammer!”
Len Wein, Writer*Editor/ John Buscema& Joe Sinnott, Illustrators/ G. Wein, Colorist/ J. Rosen, Letterer/ Marv Wolfman, Token Gringo

thor 247

Thor and Firelord lead El Lobo’s troops forward into battle. When they break for the evening, Jane beats up a guard, steals his machine gun, and gets the drop on El Lobo and Gypsy at which point she challenges Gypsy to a duel.

Jane and Gypsy do that thing where they have a knife fight while holding onto opposite ends of a length of cloth. After an epic battle, Jane eventually overpowers Gypsy and pins her to the ground, barking, “Surrender and release Thor from your spell– or I will gladly slit your slimy throat!”

Despite the knife at her throat, Gypsy doesn’t honor the duel, instead she commands her men to rush Jane. When Thor sees Jane imperiled, it momentarily breaks Gypsy’s hold on him. At this point Gypsy lets slip that it is the Mind Jewel on her headband that enthralls Thor and Firelord and so Jane grabs it and throws it into the fire, freeing them from Gypsy’s grasp.

Thor and Firelord make short work of El Lobo’s men and turn them over to the open arms of President Elmirez. Afterward, Firelord leaves Earth.

Meanwhile, Balder has been brought before Odin, accused of plotting insurrection. Balder makes his anti-Igron case and Odin condemns him to the dungeons. Balder does not go quietly, instead he fights his way out of Odin’s chambers and makes a break for freedom.

Days of Thunder – April 1976 The Avengers #146

“The Assassin Never Fails!”
Tony Isabella, Guest Writer/ Keith Pollard (pages 1-3) & Don Heck (pages 6-32), Guest Pencillers/ John Tartag, Inker/ Dave H., Letterer/ Petra G., Colorist/ Marv Wolfman, Editor

Avengers 146

An assassin has critically wounded Captain America, poisoning him with an unknown form of radiation. Doctor Blake is performing surgery on his fallen friend, inserting counter-radiation capsules inside of Cap.

While Blake performs the surgery, the Avengers stand watch in the hospital. Iron Man has become concerned that it is too easy to form a connection between Doctor Blake and Thor, so he has created a lifelike android duplicate of Thor, known as a “Life Model Decoy” or “LMD” for short. The Android poses as Thor to cover for Blake.

The Assassin and her agents disable the Avengers guarding the operation, including the LMD. The Assassin discovers that “Thor” is a robot, confirming what her research has lead her to suspect: Thor and Blake are one and the same. She had poisoned Captain America in order to flush out the elusive doctor, who is much more susceptible to bullets than his godly alter ego.

However, the unconscious Avengers recover, causing the Assassin to flee, only to be accidentally killed by her own men.

Blake successfully completes the surgery, saving Captain America.

First Appearance: Thor LMD

Days of Thunder – April 1976 The Mighty Thor #246

“The Fury of Firelord!”
Len Wein, writer/editor * John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, illustrators * Glynis Wein, colorist * John Costanza, letterer * Marv Wolfman, rebel with a lost cause

Thor 246

Firelord has returned to Earth and decided to throw his lot in with a group of rebels in the war-torn Central American country of Costa Verde. The rebels are led by a man named El Lobo, while the government is led by President Juan Elmirez.

Thor is the one who freed Firelord from Galactus, and so he feels responsible for Firelord’s actions. He and Jane head to Costa Verde, leaving their three friends behind in Jane’s apartment to enjoy television and McDonald’s Hamburgers. When they catch up with Firelord, Thor speaks his mind. “When I see such as thee, who once soared thru space as faithful Herald to the world-devouring Galactus, reduced to usurping a pitiful little nation such as this – the righteous anger of the God of Thunder doth know no bounds!”

After a little bit of fighting, they meet Firelord’s companion: a woman named Gypsy. She has a jewel on her headband that she uses to hypnotize Thor to do her bidding, as it turns out she has previously done with Firelord.

Meanwhile, Odin has become even more harsh than normal, and has been punishing those that Igron accuses of disloyalty. Balder believes that Odin has gone insane and may have to be deposed. He discusses his concerns with Hildegarde in an out-of-the-way Meadhall, but unbeknownst to the two of them, their conversation is overheard by Snaykar the Skulker, who intends to report what he has heard to to Igron.

First Appearance: Costa Verde, El Lobo, President Juan Elmirez, Gypsy, Snaykar the Skulker

 

Days of Thunder – March 1976 The Mighty Thor #245

“The Temple at the End of Time!”

thor 245

Len Wein, writer/editor / John Buscema * Joe Sinnott, illustrators/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Joe Rosen, letterer

In the grim aftermath of the Time Twister’s passing, Thor has a theory toward how he and his friends survived. He suspects that the part of Sif that dwells within Jane Foster gave Jane the ability to bypass time and space that was once possessed by Sif and that she subconsciously used that ability to phase herself and her friends so that the holocaust passed around them.

Before they can explore this theory, Zarrko returns in his Time Cube. The survivors of Earth discuss the pending threat to the 20th Century, eventually hatching a scheme. Rather than face the Time Twisters in the 20th Century, they decide to travel to their point of origin at the End of Time.

They push the limits of the Time Cube and arrive just before the Primal Sun goes nova. They determine that the last remaining life in the universe can be found on a temple on a floating asteroid. After fighting some Protectroids, they find He Who Remains, the last person in the universe. He is tending to the gestating Time Twisters.

He Who Remains tells his visitors that the beings who become the Time Twisters were created to survive until a new Universe is born again, so that they can provide the new universe with the gift of knowledge gathered from the sum history of this universe. Jane tells He Who Remains that the plan will fail, that his charges’ mission will become garbled, and that they will not emerge in a new universe, but will travel backwards through this universe, slaughtering untold lives in the process.

Faced with this terrible news, He Who Remains sends his visitors away, back to their own time, while he stays behind to terminate the birth of those who had been his final hope.

This bleak finale changes the timestream. As a result, Zarrko never seeks the aid of Thor and his friends. Also, through the butterflied mechanics of time travel, the 50th Century is no longer a wasteland and Zarrko is no longer in charge, some guy named Derek is.

First Appearance: The Protectroids

Mostly James Bond and Thor Stuff