Days of Thunder – December 1973 The Avengers #118

“To the Death!”
Steve Englehart, Writer/ Bob Brown, Penciler/ Frank Giacoia, and Mike Esposito  Inkers/ Roy Thomas Editor

vengers 118

The Avengers and the Defenders have discovered that they have been manipulated and are now teamed up. However, Dormammu has seized the completed Evil Eye and has begun to suck the Earth’s dimension into his own.

The combined teams attack Dormammu. During the battle, Dormammu defeats the heroes one-by-one. He transforms Thor into Donald Blake, revealing his identity to his comrades, and leaving him unable to revert to Thor. He does similar to Iron Man, stripping him of his armor, outing  him as Tony Stark.

Eventually, all that remain standing against Dormammu are the Scarlet Witch and Loki. Together, they wrench the Evil Eye from Dormammu. The Evil Eye discharges a terrible blast of energy into Loki’s face. This blast restores Loki’s sight, but also seems to drive him mad, leaving him with the mind of a child.

In the aftermath, Blake reverts to Thor. Without waiting to see how anyone felt about the matter, Doctor Strange uses magic to make all present forget Blake and Stark’s identities. It is unclear if this spell undid the knowledge  for those who already knew one or more of the other’s identities.

Loki is left in the care of Tom Fagan.

 

 

Days of Thunder – December 1973 The Mighty Thor #218

“Where Pass the Black Stars Also Pass Death!”
Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist * Jim Mooney, inker * Artie Simek, letterer, G. Roussos, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 218

Odin has learned of the great threat known as the Black Stars, a threat that is currently menacing the Collectors of Rigel, a threat that if left unchecked could threatened Asgard. He sends Thor to investigate, along with Tana Nile, Silas Grant, Sif, and Balder. As the heroes depart, Odin wonders if the rift between father and son is truly mended.

The heroes arrive on Rigel, only to discover that the planet has been evacuated. Left behind are a small band of mutants: Jukka, Bolaa, Tryx, and a fourth as-of-yet-unnamed one are part of an all-male caste of failed genetic experiments. The mutants were not permitted to live alongside the citizens of Rigel, and were not permitted to evacuate the planet. Thor invites them to come along on the Starjammer, as they race to catch up with the Rigellian fleet. It is unclear how Tana Nile feels about this.

Shortly after they depart, Rigel is destroyed by the Black Stars.

When the Starjammer catches up with the Rigelian fleet, all of its crew, save the mutants of Rigel, are granted an audience with the Grand Commissioner. The Commissioner tells them of the Black Stars (not to be confused with the Black Galaxy.) The so-called Black Stars are five giant planets, each three times the size of Jupiter, orbiting a star that seems to be mobile. This solar system seems to be artificially created, and at least somewhat aware. It have traveled from galaxy to galaxy for an untold amount of time, using energy blasts to destroy planets, and giant machines to scoop up the remains of the planet, which seems to be these strange planets’ fuel source. The driving force of this cosmic mass currently seems to be intent on destroying the entire galaxy.

Elsewhere, Krista returns home to her parents. It is revealed that she is the sister of Hildegarde, and that she is willing to kill in order to keep her charmstone.

First Appearance: Colonizer 12, The Black Stars, The Mutant Class of Rigel

 

Days of Thunder – November 1973 Defenders #10

Steve Engleart, Author * Sal Buscema, Artist * Frank Bolle, Inker * Tom Orzechowski , Letterer/ P. Goldberg, Colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor
Breakthrough! The Incredible Hulk Vs. The Mighty Thor!
Chapter 9″

Defenders 10

Over the past few issues of The Avengers and The Defenders, various members of the teams have been squaring off in battle. Now at last it is time for the main event: Thor vs. The Hulk. This has been long time coming, after their previous fight back in issue #112 proved inconclusive.

This battle also proves inconclusive.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1973 The Mighty Thor #217

“All Swords Against them!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema & Sal Buscema, Artists Exemplar/ J. Costanza, Letterer, P. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 217

The crew of the Starjammer, including those who have theoretically been exiled from Asgard and those who are not Asgard natives, all return to Asgard only to discover doppelgangers in their place! After a good deal of fighting, it is revealed that these duplicates are the creations of Igron!

It seems that the earlier confusion can now be settled: it was Igron, that Loki sent to the Troll dungeons in issue #179, and not Toag, although Igron still wears Toag’s hat.

Igron had escaped from his Trollish prison in the midst of Thor’s battle against Ulik.  Upon his escape, he headed to Asgard, only to find it abandoned. When the Asgardians returned without Odin or any of the Asgardian nobles, Igron crafted an elaborate illusion, allowing him to disguise himself as Balder while controlling a false Odin and thus indirectly ruling Asgard.

The true Asgardian nobles defeat Igron’s illusions with little difficulty and they imprison the dark wizard. They also reunite with Balder and Volstagg and while it is left unsaid, it seems Odin just wants to quietly undo his banishment of those he had banished to Earth.

Apparently, Karnilla quietly departs in the chaos.

Meanwhile, while fleeing from the conflict in the city, an Asgardian named Krista finds a strange stone in the woods marked with a scary monster face that seems to radiate power.

Elsewhere, the Colonizers of Rigel find themselves fleeing Rigel in a mass evacuation.

This is the first time it is suggested that the Asgardian friends of Thor: Balder, Sif, Hildegarde, and Heimdal, are more than just friends, but nobles, members of a codified social station above those of the common Asgardian.

First Appearance: Krista

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 Avengers #116

Ten Years ago this month, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created… The Mighty Avengers! Today, Steve Englehard and Bob Brown continue the standard of excellence that has always marked Marvel’s mightiest, most exciting group–/Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Johnny Romita, art director/ Roy Thomas, editor
“Chapter 2: Betrayal!”

Avengers 116

Dormammu and Loki have tricked the Defenders (currently consisting of Doctor Strange, Namor, the Hulk, Valkyrie, the Silver Surfer, and Hawkeye) into believing that the Evil Eye is the key to releasing the Black Knight from the stone prison that the Enchantress left him in. Now they search for the six scattered parts, guided by Strange’s magic.

Loki is having second thoughts about this plan. He has realized that if Dormammu would succeed in conqueroring Earth’s dimension, he would have the power and the vantage to launch an attack on Asgard. While Loki has no respect for his father’s rule, he does not wish to see his home conquered by an outsider and so he leaves the Dark Dimension in order to warn Thor of the threat to Earth. This is the very first time a Marvel comic has depicted Loki thinking or doing anything that was not entirely selfish and craven.

However, Loki cannot bring himself to be honest and admit culpability for this threat. Instead, he paints the Defenders as villains, seeking the Evil Eye for their own nefarious ends. Given that five of the six Defenders have track records as villains, this is plausible enough. And so the Avengers split up to fight the Defenders and keep them from re-assembling the Evil Eye.

This issue makes it clear that Earth and Asgard are in separate dimensions. The nature of what exactly a dimension is, remains shaky.

Clearly, this entire Avengers/Defenders crossover takes place either before or after Thor’s recent trip into space.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 The Mighty Thor #216

“Where Chaos Rules!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema & Jim Mooney, Artists Extraordinaire/ John Costanza, letterer/ George Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 216

The crystalline group consciousness that is known as Xorr has transformed itself into a giant humanoid being intent on absorbing the universe and remaking the cosmos as Xorr sees fit. Out of love for Sif who remains trapped within the Xorr, Thor is not only prepared to allow the being to do this, but he stands before the creature as its protector.

When Xorr speaks, there are quotation marks around his dialogue, a detail traditionally omitted from comic book storytelling. It serves to makes Xorr more offputting.

While Thor’s allies are prepared to stand back and not interfere, Mercurio and the Gramosians are not so accommodating. They attack Thor so that they might stop Xorr from his rampage, and also so they might harness Xorr’s power to save their world.

Xorr absorbs energy from a variety of cosmic sources as Thor and Mercurio battle. Eventually, Mercurio convinces Thor to stop being a jerk and they combine their powers in order to free Sif and Karnilla. While Thor and Mercurio work things out, Odin nudges Xorr into a supernova, which shatters the crystal form of the creature. Mercurio collects the shards of Xorr, with which he can somehow save his world from vaguely defined doom.  He and Thor part as friends.

Meanwhile on Earth, Balder has regained his sanity. It is unclear what lifted that cloud from his mind, just as it remains unclear precisely what he had been doing on Asgard, and what it was that  drove him mad. Seeking to face that which caused him harm, Balder takes Volstagg with him as he swings his magic sword to return them to Asgard, never mind that they are both banished from that land.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1973 Avengers #115

Steve Engelhart, Script/ Bob Brown, Art/ Mike Esposito, Inker/ Jean Izzo, Letterer/ S. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor
“Prologue: Alliance Most Foul!”

avengers115

In a three page postscript to this issue, it is revealed that when blinded Loki fell off a cliff last Halloween, he was rescued by Dormammu, Lord of the Dark Dimension. Dormammu is an enemy of Doctor Strange who after a failed attempt to conquer Earth, has sworn to never invade Earth’s dimension.

Now, what Dormammu has realized is that if he could expand the size of the Dark Dimension so that it enveloped Earth’s dimension, then he could conquer the Earth without breaking his word. To achieve this goal, he seeks the Evil Eye, a powerful artifact that has been broken into six pieces and scattered across the land.

Dormammu wishes Loki to become his middleman, tricking Strange’s allies, the Defenders, into obtaining the pieces of the artifact for him. Loki agrees to help.

Days of Thunder – September 1973 The Mighty Thor #215

“The God in the Jewel”
Gerry Conway, Scripter * John Buscema & Jim Mooney, Artists Exemplar * John Costanza, letterer/ Stan G., colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 215

Six million years ago, there was a world named Xorr. The inhabitants of that planet were the progenitors of many other humanoid races, including the Humans, Skrulls, and Kree. The people of Xorr, when faced with their sun going nova, created a shield of nuclear force around their planet. In the millions of years that have followed, the force shield has shrunk and the planet, its inhabitants and the nuclear shield have fused to become the crimson crystal that now houses Sif and Karnilla.

The people of Xorr hold the miners of the Dark Nebula in their thrall and are now absorbing the immense power possessed by Sif, the Asgardian and Karnilla, the sorceress. When Thor’s people and Mercurio’s people agree to team up against this new threat, the miners Quellor, Rothgar and Kagg combine the crystal with their mining colony to create an ad hoc spaceship. Thor and company gives chase in the Asgardian starjammer, along with their Gramosian allies.

They catch up with the ship and form a boarding party. They overpower the miners but the giant crystal, once a planet, now a spaceship, transforms itself again, becoming a giant crystalline person, roughly human in shape, with Sif and Karnilla still trapped within.

As the people of Xorr become a single crystalline entity, it warns Thor that if it is to be in any way harmed, that harm will mean the death of Sif!

 

Days of Thunder – August 1973 The Mighty Thor #214

“Into the Dark Nebula!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ Sal Buscema, artist/ Jim Mooney, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 214

Before heading into the Dark Nebula, Thor swings by Asgard to  drop off most of the population.  A few stay on the ship:  In addition to to his exiled friends, Heimdall and Odin accompany Thor on this quest. The previous matter of Thor and his friends defying Odin and being exiled from Asgard is not addressed.

Thor and company soon stumble into a violent conflict where the stakes and and motivations are unclear. One of the combatants in this fracas is Mercurio, the Four-Dimensional Man. Previously believed to have been killed by Thor in issue #208, it is revealed that  Mercurio did not die, but instead exploded into another dimension. In that dimension, he passed through a giant red crystal which returned him to his people on planet Gramos.

That enormous jewel was a Dimensional Transporter, existing simultaneously in many dimensions all at once. Now, raiders from Gramos have come to the mines of the Dark Nebula seeking to harness the power of the jewel in an attempt to save their dimension from the still-unexplained threat that may destroy it.

Also in the mix are three humanoid miners from Orion Base, Quellor, Rothgar, and Kagg. It is unclear what their role is at the moment, but they seem to be untrustworthy, and also seem to know more about the jewel then they have revealed.

In the midst of this melee between miners, Gramosians, and Asgardians there is an eruption as the massive jewel breaks through the surface of the ground. Trapped within it are Sif and Karnilla. Before any action can be taken, an unseen voice claims that it will use the life force of Sif and Karnilla to “dominate this portion of the cosmic all”!

First Appearance: Quellor, Rothgar, Kagg

 

Days of Thunder – July 1973 The Avengers #113

“You Young Men Shall Slay Visions!”
Steve Englehart, Script/ Bob Brown, Art/ Frank Bolle, Inks/ John Costanza, Letterer/ David Hunt, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

avengers 113

Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Hawkeye and Quicksilver have both quit the team. The Black Widow briefly joined only to quit almost immediately.   Also, the mutant Scarlet Witch and the android Vision have become openly involved with each other romantically.

When the paparazzi catches wind of a relationship between a human and a robot, most of the public seems heartwarmed by the revelation. However, there is a small group of people so blinded with hatred at the prospect of an Android thinking himself to have personhood that they form a group of suicide bombers dedicated to killing the Vision.

The so-called Living Bombs send a manifesto to Avengers mansion: “only the lord Jehova can create life! Androds are agents of the devil, and will Bring hellfire and Brimstone to america! Wize up befor its to late! Androds have no soles!”

Soon after that message is delivered, a bomber manages blow herself up near the Vision, badly damaging him. The Avengers quickly form a team to repair their fallen friend: Noted scientist King T’Challa, renowned engineer Tony Stark, and established android expert Dr. Donald Blake.

As the three men work to repair their friend, the Scarlet Witch and Captain America patrol the grounds, anticipating another attack. As they patrol, the two heroes wonder where Thor and Iron Man are, being unaware of their teammates’ civilian identities.

More bombers do attack. Tony Stark, not needed to repair the Vision at that particular moment, excuses himself to “search” for Iron Man. Iron Man fights for awhile, until Stark returns to the “surgery.” He returns suggesting that Blake (wink, wink) search for Thor just like he (wink, wink) had searched for Iron Man. Blake grins at Stark’s piercing of their mutual charade before slipping out and turning into Thor.

Thor creates a vortex that spins the hatemongers high into the air, who all detonate themselves rather than be captured. Stark and T’Challa complete the procedure. The Vision will pull through.

First Appearance: The Living Bombs

 

Days of Thunder – July 1973 The Mighty Thor #213

“The Demon Brigade!!”
Gerry Conway, Story/ Len Wein, Scripter/ J. Buscema/ D. Perlin, Artists/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ C. Jetter Letterer/ G. Wein Corlorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 213

After the reptilian alien Ssthgard reveals himself and his men to be slavers, the the tide quickly turns against Thor and his friends. As Thor fights the lizards, Odin begs his son to stop fighting, in a low-lidded stupor. The Asgardians fight on against Odin’s wishes, but are soon overpowered and thrown into prison cells.

It does not take Thor long to discover that that there is a drug in the food that is being fed to the prisoners. This drug induces passivity and non-violence in those who consume it. While Thor avoids its effects, many of his friends fall prey to it. It is only Thor, Hildegarde, and Tana Nile who break free, clear-headed.

Although it isn’t actually shown outright, it now seems safe to assume that amongst Ssthgard’s omissions in the story that he told Thor, was a part wherein the slavers visited Asgard under false pretenses long enough to drug enough of the Asgardian food supply.

Thor and his friends discover the Golden Star’s Resistance Army.   They work these guerrillas to destroy Ssthgard’s supply of the drug and to free the Asgardian slaves. Before they leave, Thor asks Ssthgard about the whereabouts of Sif and Karnilla. Despite the fact that Thor should have had no reason to believe that exiled Sif and non-Asgardian Karnilla would have been in Asgard when the slavers came, it appears that this was nonetheless the case.  Ssthgard tells Thor that the two women were sold to miners located in the Dark Nebula (not to be confused with the Black Galaxy) shortly before they arrived. All the Asgardians enter the flying longship (suggesting that the ship’s hold possesses a bigger-on-the-inside nature) and they depart.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1973 The Mighty Thor #212

“Journey to the Golden Star!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema and Don Perlin Artists/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ D. Vladimer, Letterer/ S. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 212

Thor is so concerned over Balder’s well-being that he rips the doors of his friend’s room in Avengers Mansion off of the hinges to get to him. He finds Balder babbling incoherently, beset by madman’s visions. The subject of his ranting is “Asgard” which is enough evidence to convince Thor that this must be the work of Odin and that the only course of action is to return to Asgard en masse, and fight Odin.

Thor decides that one of their group must stay behind in Avengers Mansion to care for their friend. He means for it to be Hildegarde because she is a woman but she lets him know “’Tis not this woman’s work.” Volstagg agrees to stay behind. All the others, including the powerless mortal Silas Grant travel with Thor to Asgard.

They arrive in Asgard only to find it empty and unguarded. They soon are ambushed by a band of lizard men. Hildegarde kills the first one but they soon find themselves in a dialogue with the lizard men’s leader, Sssthgar.

Sssthgar tells them a tale. According to him, Asgard was beset by insectoid alien slavers known as Vrellnexians, who captured and enslaved the whole of Asgard. Sssthgar’s people are, according to him, escaped slaves, and they will happily lead Thor’s contingent to the Golden Star, a planet that apparently is the heart of the galactic slave trade.

Thor’s people and Sssthgar’s people fly through space on a magic flying longship (perhaps the same Odinship of Thor’s youth?), and soon arrive at the Golden Sun. They arrive just in time to see Odin, cowed, in chains, on the auction block. Thus do they begin to fight the slavers.

As they fight, Odin is in a daze, begging Thor to retreat.  Also,  Ssthgard reveals he and his people to in actuality be the former partners of the slavers, abandoned on Asgard, and now staging a coup.

First appearance: Sssthgar, Vrellnexians, the Golden Star, lizard men

 

Days of Thunder – May 1973 The Mighty Thor #211

“The End of the Battle!”
Gery Conway, Scripter * John Buscema and Don Perlin, Artists * Vinnie Colletta, Inker * Artie Simek, Letterer * P. Goldberg, Colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 211

Thor retrieves his mallet from the pit into which it has been hurled. By the time he can crawl out of the furnace, the Trolls have all vanished. All, save for Ulla, their queen. Ulik has made a power play against Gerrodur, seizing control of the Troll army, and now Ulla sends Thor to stop Ulik.

Ulik is leading his Trolls upward, digging a path to the surface: The surface of planet Earth. This is all a bit unclear, but it is explicit that the unnamed realm of the Trolls is not on the planet Earth. From this realm Trolls can traverse upward and arrive on Earth.  They can also traverse upward to Asgard, and it seems possible that they could dig upward to other realms as well. It is magic geography.

The Troll army unleashes an attack against New York City, meeting the NYPD in battle. Hogun, Fandal, Volstagg, Tana Nile, and Silas Grant all rush to the scene upon learning of it, despite the fact that Grant has no powers nor martial prowess to speak of.

Thor and his friends fight the Trolls and together, Thor and Tana Nile easily defeat Ulik. With their leader vanquished, the remaining Trolls have no will to fight. They slink back to Geirrodur, giving Ulik over to him. Ulik is “consigned to the darkest pits for the duration of eternity.”

After the battle, Thor’s friends tell him that Balder has returned… but that he has gone mad!

 

Days of Thunder – April 1973 The Mighty Thor #210

“The Hammer and the Hellfire!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter// John Buscema, Layouts// Don Perlin, Finished Art// V. Colletta, Inker// J. Costanza, Letterer/ Glynis Wein, Colorist// Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 210

Ulik and Gierrodur have been studying Thor and decided that the key to his defeat is to separate him from his magic hammer. Gierrodur’s adviser Muthos suggests that the king be wary of Ulik’s ambitions.

Thor is in Asia for some reason when he gets sucker punched in his sleep by a group of Trolls. They teleport him to the underground lair of Gierrodur. Once he awakens he is challenged to a fight by Ulik. Ulik uses Thor’s sense of honor to goad the Thunder God into not using his hammer against an unarmed opponent.

Watching the proceedings is Ulla, queen of the Trolls and wife of Gierrodur. She seems to be uncomfortable with Ulik’s use of guile and in the heat of the battle, she cannot help but shout a warning as Ulik moves in against Thor.

While none may lift Mjolnir directly, devices may lift the hammer, and apparently using magnetic Uru metal is fair game. While Thor and Ulik slug it out, a team of Trolls use such a magnet to snatch the hammer away from Thor.

When Thor realizes what has happened, he chases after his hammer but is too late to prevent it from being thrown into a fire pit. Desperately, Thor jumps in after it.

First Appearance: Ulla, Muthos

 

Days of Thunder – March 1973 Namor, The Sub-Mariner #59

“Thunder Over the Seas”
Bill Everett, Plot/ Steve Gerber, Script/ Sam Kweskin, Layouts/ John Tartaglione, Finished Art/ Art Simek, Lettering/ Stan G., Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

sub-mariner 59

When a water-breathing space alien named Tamara is found in the sea by humans, she is locked in a vat and brought to the U.N. Building in New York. After she tries to escape, the U.N. calls the Avengers, asking for help in guarding her. The Avengers send Thor.

Although originally from the planet Laab, Tamara is a citizen of Atlantis. When King Namor learns of her wrongful imprisonment, rather than pursue her release through diplomatic channels, he storms the U.N. Building and starts a fight with Thor, which he loses. Namor retreats, while Thor rests easy knowing that he has secured his prisoner.

First Appearance: Tamara

 

Days of Thunder – March 1973 Marvel Team-Up #7 Featuring Spider-Man and The Mighty Thor

“A Hitch in Time!”

Gerry Conway, Scripter/ Ross Andru, Artist/ Jim Mooney, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, Editor

MTU 7

Thor has randomly wandered into an encounter with Peter Parker, the civilian identity of the young superhero known as Spider-Man. The two start bickering when Thor warns Peter that he is not showing Thor the respect due to a god. Before they can get properly mad at each other, the sky turns weird and in response Thor spins his hammer to create a protective vortex.

After Thor stops his spinning, the duo discovers that the world appears to have become a negative image of itself and has also frozen still. At this point, Peter changes into his Spider-Man costume, catching Thor off-guard.

Before they can discuss matters further, they stumble upon a force of invading Trolls, very much unfrozen and un-negative imaged. As they battle the Trolls, Thor senses the presences of a Troll named Kyrllk, who soon appears before the heroes.

Kryllk is a Troll who has once before attempted to invade Asgard. Some time after that failed attempt, he discoved the Dark Crystal, a powerful artifact capable of freezing time, hidden under Asgard by the cosmic being known as the Watcher. This crystal either psychically gifted Kryllk with visions of power, or the power it emanated drove him utterly mad, it is not clear. Either way, Kryllk has decided to use it to destroy Asgard.

Also, Kryllk refers to Odin as Woden, just as the Demon Druid had.

After freezing all time in the universe, Kryllk feared that Asgard might be defended by heroes from Earth, and so he used the Crystal to send astral forms of himself to Earth to secure his flank. It was there that he encountered Thor and Spidey, only to retreat in the face of their combined power.

Thor and Spider-Man determine that Kryllk has retreated to Asgard. Thor tells Spider-Man that he cannot go to Asgard due to his exile, but he uses Mjolnir to create a portal into Asgard for Spider-Man, nevermind the ban on mortal visitors. Once Spider-Man arrives, he fights his way to Kryllk and defeats him.

Afterward, the Watcher arrives to reclaim his property. He also takes custody of Kryllk and his forces. What he intends to do with them is left unrevealed.

First Appearance: Kryllk, The Dark Crystal

 

Days of Thunder – March 1973 The Mighty Thor #209

“Warriors in the Night!”
Gerry Conway, scripter// John Busema, artist// Vinnie Colletta, inker// John Constanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist// Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 209

Thor, while searching for Sif, has for some reason come to London.  Upon his arrival, he runs into the Vizier, who is traveling incognito. Before the Vizier is able to tell Thor the reason for his visit, they are distracted by a warrior named the Demon Druid that Thor has accidentally released from hibernation. Naturally they start fighting.

During the fight, the Demon Druid says a lot of cryptic things. He suggests that Odin is dead, calls Thor an “imposter” and swears oaths to “Wodin,” which is, of course, an alternate name for Odin.

The two fight until an agent of Scotland Yard named Pritchard arrives and points out that the Demon Druid has given no one any reason to think that he is a bad guy and maybe Thor should stop hitting him. As Thor considers this, the Demon Druid teleports away, into outer space.

First Appearance: The Demon Druid, Pritchard

 

Days of Thunder – February 1973 The Defenders #4

“The New Defender!”
A Steve Englehart, author * Sal Buscema, artist bonanza! Frank McLaughlin, inker/ A. Simek, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Defenders 4

It seems the Enchantress had little difficulty in freeing herself from Zeus’s custody after the events of Avengers #100. After leaving Olympus, she returned to Earth, and used her powers of enchantment to bend the sometime Avenger Black Knight to her will. The two of them returned to the plane of existence where the Executioner had deserted the Enchantress. She, along with the Black Knight, fought the forces of the Executioner’s, Casiolena, but were overwhelmed and captured.

Over the course of several adventures across several titles, Namor, the king of Atlantis, Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Hulk, the strongest one there is, have formed an uneasy friendship. The trio have found themselves repeatedly going on adventures together under the name “Defenders”, although they all deny that they are a team. After their most recent adventure, they find themselves before a magic castle, in the company of a young occultist named Barbara, whom they have accidentally driven insane. They wander into the castle, and somehow find themselves teleported to the plane where Casiolena rules.

The three friends, along with Barbara, soon find themselves captured, joining Enchantress and Black Knight in the dungeons. The Enchantress uses her magic to turn Barbara into the Enchantress’s old persona, the Valkyrie. The six superpowered beings combine their might and escape from the dungeon.

Again they fight the forces of Casiolena, and this time it culminates with the Enchantress killing her rival for the Executioner’s affection. With his lover dead, Executioner returns to the Enchantress’ side. The couple teleport away, but not before the Enchantress turns the Black Knight into stone.

Doctor Strange returns his comrades to Earth. The Black Knight remains a living statue, while Barbara remains the Valkyrie, a fusion persona, equal parts madwoman, warrior, ultra-feminist, and villain. First, she breaks Aragorn, the artificially created pegasus of the Black Knight. and then she asks to join the Defenders, only to be told that not only is the Defenders not a team, but that she would not be powerful enough to join if it were.

 

NEWSPORTANT

Newsportant

NEWSPORTANT

Bison Stampede

Farmers in the West left bison stable gates open. In the morning Scorpion Wells had a stampede. 24 injured, 13 dead. 84 alive. Hospitals in the West full.

Rainbow in Italy

Italians woke to a pleasant surprise. A rainbow! The Italian Alister Krie called his American cousin and told him.

Starry Night Steal

Painting Starry Night by Mr. Vincent Van Gogh appeared after the disappearing of this wandering painting.

A Mystery Time

In Series Batman [Illegible] episode canceled because ruining children’s minds puberty.

Funeral Rob

After Warren Walsh’s death, a grave robber succeeds. Will we catch him?

Disney Movie Canceled

“Spy”, a new horror movie sent from Hollywood, sent back to Hollywood, declaring cancellation.

All news items by Riley (age 7)

Days of Thunder – February 1973 The Mighty Thor #208

“The Fourth-Dimensional Man!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, inker/ Charlotte Jetter, Letterer/ Stan Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 208

Thor and Hildegarde return to Avengers Mansion, shaken by Sif’s willing disappearance. When Jarvis, the Avenger’s butler, attempts to serve Thor, the Thunder God lashes out, grabbing Jarvis and shouting, “I say thee– be silent mortal! I have no patience with thine endless, mindless prattling! If we do have need of thee, we shall summon thee but until that time doth come– begone!”

Hildegarde,who has always deferred to Thor in the past, lets him know what a shithead he is being. Thor sits and broods for a moment before falling asleep in his chair. When he wakes, he finds Jarvis and apologizes for his earlier bout of honesty.

Also, it turns out that Doctor Blake’s new landlord, Karl Sarron, was actually an alien being named Mercurio from the planet Gramos who was trying to harness the electromagnetic field of the Earth to save Gramos from an unexplainedly dire threat.

Apparently, every time Doctor Blake transforms into Thor or vice versa, the transformation discharges some exotic energy that lingers. Blake’s office is full of it. Mercurio used a Dimensional Oscillator to absorb that energy, transforming himself into a half-red, half-blue man with the power to create fire and ice. For no discernible reason, once in this new form Mercurio dubbed himself “the Fourth-Dimension Man.”

This form is a partial transformation into Mercurio’s true form, and apparently he decides that killing Thor is the simplest way to finish the transformation. The two battle and Thor kills his assailant, which has possibly doomed all of Gramos.

While Thor deals with all of that, Balder has struck out on his own, to try and deal with his feelings for Karnilla.

First Appearance: Dimensional Oscillator

 

Days of Thunder – January 1973 The Mighty Thor #207

“Firesword”

Gerry Conway script * John Buscema art * Vinnie Colletta inks * Denise Vladimer letterer * Glynis Wein color * M. Severin good works * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 207

Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Len Wein and Glynis Wein are  real-life comic book creators who, like Tom Fagan, have fictional analogs that have occasionally graced the pages of both Marvel Comics and its distinguished competition. Recently, these fictionalized friends have had a series of misadventures spanning multiple unrelated comics and multiple decidedly unrelated comic publishers before eventually arriving in Rutland in order to attend the annual Super Hero Halloween Parade.

Thor also arrives in Rutland, along with Sif and Hildegarde. It is not clear why he brought his friends, for as soon as they find the Absorbing Man, Thor insists that he be allowed to fight the villain by himself. Sif balks at this but Hildegarde physically restrains her because “the God of Thunder must ever be obeyed.”

Thor and Creel fight and at one point Thor is pinned to the ground and separated from his hammer. Unlike all the many other time that this sort of thing has happened, this time Thor calls the true, secret name of Mjolnir, which apparently is not “Mjolnir”.  The powerful magic of the true name summons the hammer to his hands. It seems odd that he had never done this in the past, but perhaps learning the truth about his dual nature back in issue #159 has returned knowledge to Thor that had previously been lost.

It is also revealed in an off-handed caption that Mjolnir was forged in the furnace of Geirrodur. It is unknown how Odin came to possess this powerful Trollen weapon before passing it on to his son.

Thor and Creel’s fight ends abruptly when Creel ends up landing in a body of water, which he finds himself unable to resist absorbing.  This seems to be fatal.  As soon as Creel dissipates, Loki makes himself known to Thor.

Loki attacks Thor, brandishing a flaming sword powered by the life force of the participants of the Rutland Halloween parade.  He has also turned Satan and Diablo into bigger, more unpleasant dogs.  Loki and Thor fight.

While the brothers do battle, Sif and Hildegarde watch from afar until Karnilla appears before them. Karnilla offers to help Thor if   Sif’s will afterward help Karnilla in finding Balder. Sif, who got screwed pretty badly last time she made such a deal with Karnilla, initially refuses, but relents when Loki seems on the cusp of victory.

Having struck her bargain, Karnilla magically summons a thunder storm. Thor uses the power of the storm to turn the tide of battle. It ends with Thor striking Loki with a bolt of lightning. This bolt leaves Loki blinded. Panicked, Loki stumbles away, falling off of a cliff.

Thor returns to Hildegarde, discovering that Sif has departed with Karnilla. There are tears in Hildegarde’s eyes, for in her heart she knows that they will never see Sif again. Why she would feel this way is unknown.

First Appearance: Credit for the colorist

Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

“Rebirth!”
Gerry Conway, scripter * John Buscema, artist * V. Colletta, inker # John Costanza, letterer * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 206

Several years ago, Odin banished Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, into the void, discorporating him into outer space. Some time after that, he passed through a comet and absorbed the form of the comet. He was then able to somehow use his force of will to move  his comet form straight toward planet Earth. This eventually allowed him to walk free on the planet once more, but before he could track down Thor for revenge, he got drawn into a fight with  the Hulk. This fight culminated with a mountain falling on him, and seemingly killing him. He has not been seen for the past two years.

Now, the mountain that had trapped the Absorbing Man is struck by a meteorite, freeing the villain. Once freed, Creel is drawn to New York by a voice in his head that gives him headaches and tells him to find and kill Thor. Before he can find his enemy, he stumbles upon Sif and Hildegarde, who have been exploring New York. Their eyes blaze with excitement at the prospect of random battle. It has been days since they have gotten into a good fight.

After donning armor and taking up arms, the warriors rush to challenge Creel. Sif seems to have picked up some new armor on Earth. While they fight Creel, Thor is informed by Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, that Creel is causing a ruckus. Thor is so eager to fight him that he can’t be bothered with a door, smashing through a closed window of Avengers Mansion.

When Thor arrives, Sif and Hildegarde have been knocked about, allowing him to tag in. They fight, and the voice in Creel’s head compels him to retreat to a creepy house in Rutland, Vermont, with the intent of luring Thor into a trap. The house belongs to Tom Fagan. Tom Fagan is the organizer of an annual superhero themed Halloween parade that has been repeatedly featured in the stories of Marvel Comics, as well as those of DC comics, and also he was a real person and the parade a real thing. He owns two dogs, Satan, and Diablo.  At the moment, Loki has entranced him and is occupying his house.

Meanwhile, on Asgard Karnilla and the Vizier continue to hang out. They gossip about Odin, who the Vizier fears has gone mad. Odin has taken the defiance of Thor and his friends very poorly.  He has forbade that they be mentioned by name, while demanding that all his remaining subjects swear fealty to him day and night.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1972 The Mighty Thor #205

“A World Gone Mad!”
Stan Lee Presents: Gerry Conway, scripter & John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 205

Thor fights Mephisto. Mephisto calls upon evil dead people, including Blackbeard, Attilla the Hun, and Adolph Hitler. Thor defeats all comers.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1972 The Mighty Thor #204

“Exiled on Earth!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, penciler/ Jim Mooney, finished art/ Shelly Leferman, letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 204

Thor is super-pissed at Odin for manipulating him like a chesspiece. When Thor expresses his outrage, Odin responds by exiling his son to Earth. In response, all of the assembled Asgardians choose to stand with Thor. And so Sif, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Hildegarde share in Thor’s exile. Tana Nile and Silas Grant aren’t banished, but they are trapped on Earth. Volstagg is missing in action. Heimdall and Kamorr miss the drama, and return home unaware of what has transpired.

Thor takes his displaced companions to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers are headquartered. Thor offers them temporary residency in the Mansion, until something more permanent can be arranged.

Sif and Thor, or rather Sif and Blake, go to check in on Blake’s practice, only to discover that the door has been barred. They meet with the new owner of the building, Karl Sarron. Blake explains to his new landlord that he has paid the rent months in advance, and Sarron tells him that he has no record of any such arrangement. However, if Blake can provide proof of his rent arrangement, it will, of course, be honored.

While Blake deals with his rent dispute, his friends attempt to unwind and to familiarize themselves with their new environs. As they go off in separate groups, one by one, they are captured by unknown dark forces.

After it has claimed their friends, Thor and Sif find themselves swallowed by malevolent darkness. They follow the path that lies before them, and eventually they discover themselves to be in the presence of Mephisto, surrounded by their blank-faced comrades!

First Appearance: Karl Sarron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1972 The Mighty Thor #203

“They Walk Like Gods!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta: inker/ John Costanza: Letterer/ Roy Thomas: editor

Thor 203

While Thor and friends continue to fight Ego-Prime. Heimdal and Kamorr collect two more seemingly random humans: Chi Lo, a Japanese farmer, and Carter Dyam, an Israeli soldier. Also, the man named “Jackson Kimbal” in the previous issue is now being called “Jason Kimbal”. Perhaps, Heimdal got his name wrong initially, and has been corrected off-panel.

Karnilla barges in on Odin, demanding to know what is going on with Balder. The Vizier trails behind her, stopping in horror when he discovers that Odin has been playing “the Game”. It is unclear what the significance of “the Game” is.

On Earth, all of the fighting against Ego-Prime has been ineffectual. He unleashes his power upon the planet, ready to create his Planetary Flesh Mound. However, at the last moment, all of his power is siphoned away until he fades into nothingness. While Thor and his friends were powerless to stop the villain, the power of Ego-Prime has been captured by the three mortals assembled by Heimdal. They stand before our heroes, newly transformed into gods.

Odin reveals himself before Thor and the others, revealing that all of his actions as of late have all been part of a byzantine, seemingly stupid plan designed to culminate with the creation of these three new gods, the start of a new race of gods that will “breathe fresh fire into the furnace of the cosmic all!”

Also, in this issue Ego-Prime calls Thor’s hammer “trice-dammed”. Setting aside the fact that he surely meant “thrice-damned,” this is stronger language than one would expect to be permissible by the Comics Code Authority.

First Appearance: Chi Lo, Carter Dyam

 

Days of Thunder – August 1972 The Mighty Thor #202

“–And None Dare Stand ‘Gainst Ego-Prime!”
Stan Lee Presents: A Gerry Conway, John Buscema Mini-Marvel Masterpiece! Aided and Abetted by: Vinnie Colletta, inker and Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 202

The combined force of Sif, Tana Nile, Hildegarde, Silas Grant, Thor, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg stand together against Ego-Prime as it transforms from a crystalline rock monster into a hundred-foot-tall, purple-bearded humanoid. Ego-Prime, in his new form, reveals his ultimate intent: He wants to use his power of growth and change to cause humanity to multiply so rapidly that they blanket the earth in a swarming pile of flesh. He will then fuse those wriggling mountains of humanity into a single peaceful entity. The combined heroes stand in opposition to this scheme.

Elsewhere on Earth, Heimdall and Kamorr seek and find a young black man named Jackson Kimbal and help him get out of some trouble with some loan sharks.

Meanwhile, Karnilla appears to have reached an uneasy peace with Odin after all of the events of recent days.  She and the Vizir discuss their fears that Odin has sent their friends to their deaths.  Elsewhere, Odin literally plays chess with himself using a chessboard full of pieces sculpted like our cast.

Thor Chess

It has not been made clear how those who were on Blackworld ended up on Earth. Perhaps the most likely explanation would be that it was an act of Odin,  and that somehow moving his pieces on his chessboard mystically moved the flesh-and-blood analogues to another location.

First Appearance: Jackson Kimbal

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Avengers #101

“Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow!”
Stan Lee Presents: Wonderment anew by: Harlan Ellison (story/plot), Roy Thomas (adaptation/script), Rich Buckler (art)/ Dan Adkins (inker) * Jon Costa (letterer)/ (Based on an original story © 1964 by Harlan Ellison and used with permission.)

Avengers 101

Still no gap in The Mighty Thor’s narrative.

A Russian chess grandmaster becomes the poisoning victim of an assassin hiding inside a cutting-edge chess computer named “Nimrod.” He is rushed to the hospital, but the prognosis seems grim. One of the doctors can’t help but wish that they had some way of contacting the mysterious Doctor Donald Blake. “There’s something… uncanny about his diagnoses. Almost as if there were some spark of divine in him.”

The doors swing open dramatically! Standing in the doorway, seeming to radiate light and power is none other than Doctor Blake! He treats the patient and later uses his knowledge of rare toxins to help the Avengers find the assassin.

Doctor Blake has become a mythic super-doctor. Rarely seen, when he emerges, he saves the lives of magicians and gods. Seemingly without any Earthly ties, he is spoken of in hushed tones: “I heard his best friend is Thor from the Avengers.” “I heard he built an atomic-powered android!”

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Mighty Thor #201

“Resurrection!”
Stan Lee editor presents: A Gerry Conway (script) * John Buscema (Layouts) Marvel Masterwork! Jim Mooney (finished art) * Artie Simek (lettering)

thor 201

The third Norn’s name is, indeed, Atropos.

The implication has been there since their introduction, but now that they have been given the names of the Greek Fates, it is all but established that within the Marvel cosmology, the Norse Norn and the Greek Fates are one and the same.

The Norn continue to watch what the various Asgardians are up to, and continue to watch the proceeds non-linearly. One week prior to Pluto’s invasion of Asgard, A longship arrives in Brooklyn, carrying Heimdall, along with a diminutive ally named Kamorr the Small. Apparently between Heimdall’s fight with Thor in issue #193 and Asgard’s departure from the universe, Odin sent Heimdall to Earth on a quest alongside this dwarf. Heimdall weaves an enchantment that gives them the appearance of local garb.

While the battle between The Asgardians and the Underworlders rages on, Karnilla does what she can to stop this fighting, for the sake of her beloved Balder. However, it is not she who saves the day, but rather Hela, who chooses to end the stalemate between herself and Pluto by restoring life to Odin.

With Odin’s life restored, Pluto retreats from Asgard, but not before seemingly sending Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg to the Netherworld. However, Odin redirected Pluto’s action, and sent the warriors to Earth, a land that is very strange to these three.

Upon hearing of the dislocation of his friends, Thor asks his father for leave to retrieve them from Earth. Balder asks Karnilla for permission to accompany his friend to Earth, which she icily grants: “It appears I’ve no hold on thee… if ever I had.” As soon as Balder and Thor leaves, she begins to cry.

Odin begins to hint at a plan that the lettercolumn has been hinting at for some time. Apparently, sending the trio to Earth and Sif to Blackworld, and who knows what other random Odin bullshit, has all been part of of some overly complicated plot on his part, but at this time he can say no more.

On Blackworld, as our heroes retreat from Ego-Prime, Tana Nile reveals how Ego-Prime came to be. It seems that the Colonizers were in dire need of a planet “of the Earth type” for some unspecified reason, but none were available to them.

The Grand Comissioner’s solution was elegant in its simplicity: Tana Nile went to the Black Galaxy where she harvested a small chunk of Ego, the Living Planet.  She dumped this chunk on Blackworld, which at the time was a world of cavepeople. She pumped a bunch of energy into the Ego sample to see what would happen. The hope was that the unique properties of a living bio-verse would terraform the planet. Instead, she accidentally created a monster obsessed with sculpting Blackworld into a mirror image of Earth for some reason.

Now, Blackworld superficially resembles modern day 1972 Earth, but its inhabitants are modified cavepeople, unable to control their violent and destructive urges. And so it comes to pass that the city that Sif and company have found themselves in gets nuked off of the map.

An instant later, Sif, Hildegarde, Tana Nile, Silas Grant, and Ego Prime all materialize on Earth, right before Thor and Balder, who have just caught up with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. No explanation is given how or why.

First Appearance: Kamorr the Small

 

Days of Thunder June 1972 The Avengers #100

“Whatever Gods There Be”
Stan Lee presents, ponders, and presides over a centennial super-spectacular by: Roy Thomas, writer/ Barry Windsor-Smith, artist/ Inked by: Barry Windsor-Smith, Joe Sinnott, and Syd Shores/ Lettered by John Costa

Avengers 100

There has not been a break in the action of The Mighty Thor since issue #183. The Infinity story segued directly into Loki seizing control of Asgard which led directly to the unleasing of the Mangog, which led to Odin’s semi-death, which lead to the current attack by Pluto.

Published concurrent to these events, Thor has had an active role in the pages of The Avengers, where he and his teammates had been swept up into a major intergalactic conflict known as the Kree-Skrull War. All of his appearances within The Avengers for the past year and a half, including his appearance in this issue, presumably take place some time after the current issue of The Mighty Thor.

Other recent events of note within these pages:  Hawkeye has abandoned his Goliath persona, taking up archery again; The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have begun awkwardly courting each other; and it seems that Ares, the Greek god of war is up to something.

In this special centennial issue, every single living member of the Avengers past and present unite to face a dire threat. That lineup consists of Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Black Panther The Vision, The Black Knight, Hercules, and the Swordsman. Rick Jones and Black Widow are excluded, having never formally been offered membership.

It turns out that the Enchantress did not die in her previous encounter with the Scarlet Witch but merely found herself lost in another dimension. Now, the Enchantress and Ares have joined forces and gained control of the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword forged by mutant charlatan Merlin. They have conquered Olympus and plan to start a nuclear holocaust on Earth in order to rip open a passageway to Asgard. Ares desires to conquer Asgard, but the Enchantress has a darker goal: She wishes to unsheathe the Odinsword and end all things, owing to a drastic, suicidal desire to humble Odin.

The Avengers learn of the villains’ plans and confound them. Asgard and Earth are protected, while Olympus is freed. The Enchantress and presumably Ares are turned over to Zeus’ custody.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1972 The Mighty Thor #200

“Beware! If this be… Ragnarok!”
Story & Art by Stan (The Man) Lee and Big John Buscema/ J. Verpoorten, embellishing/ Artie Simek, lettering/ Note to bibliophile: Prologue & Epilogue by Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist

Thor 200

The bulk of this special 200th issue is a retelling of the Ragnarok story originally told in issues #127 and #128. The action is much the same as in those issues, although this telling makes it clear that Balder, Hogun and Volstagg will fight in the final battle. Although Stan Lee scripted both tellings, this is a markedly inferior version, lacking the poetry of the original.

There is also a bookend to this story, featuring the Norns: Klothos, Laecius, and the third one not-yet-named, but probably named “Atropos”.  From the World’s End, the three hags use the Twilight Well as a scrying pool to watch Pluto’s invasion of Asgard. They are concerned that Pluto is about to kill Thor and disrupt his destiny, which is to fight and die at the time of Ragnarok. To ensure that Ragnarok unfolds as it should, Klothos  sends a bolt of comic energy to shatter Pluto’s axe before it strikes the killing blow against Thor.

 

Mostly James Bond and Thor Stuff