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.

 

Days of Thunder – May 1972 The Mighty Thor #199

“If this be Death..!”

Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, inker/ Sam Rosen, letterer

Thor 199

While Asgard hurtles back toward the universe, Kartag takes his leave, returning to the World’s End. Soon after he departs, Hela arrives. Thor refuses to release Odin to her custody, and before the matter can be settled, Pluto, lord of the Netherworld arrives in a longboat full of what appear to be Mutates. He also wants to claim Odin as a prize. This leads to a battle, with Hela joining the forces of Asgard against Pluto and his minions.

Balder, who has apparently been in Asgard along with Karnilla ever since it left the universe, cannot help but join the fray. He is badly wounded for his troubles, and Karnilla once again uses magic to save Balder. As he rises, he prepares to re-enter the battlefield.

Karnilla forbids him to fight and risk death. When he speaks of the dishonor it would be to stay his hand, she releases him, commanding him never to return to her. Such is the depth of her love of Balder.

On Blackworld, “he” has been revealed to be some sort of crystalline hulk, and so Tana Nile at last fills in Sif and company on the nature of “him.” This powerful fiend, who keeps shifting the nature of Blackworld, is Ego Prime, a small offshoot of Ego, the Living Planet. It is unclear why he is named “Prime” when the Living Planet is the primary Ego. He seems to be shaping Blackworld to resemble present-day 1972 Earth. Why he is doing this, remains to be seen.

On Asgard, Pluto fights Thor one-on-one and he bests the thunder god. He stand over Thor, prepared to kill the Asgardian with a final blow of his Axe!

First Appearance (full): Ego Prime

 

Days of Thunder – April 1972 The Mighty Thor #198

“–and Odin Dies!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer

Thor 198

Thor and Hogun manage to free Odin from the Mangog’s grasp.   Thor then retreats to protect his father’s body.

Volstagg takes the Twilight water to the Vizier.  Lacking clear direction, the Vizier decides to try mixing the water into the Cosmic Well.

The Cosmic Well explodes, causing a geyser of raw power to shoot outward. Weary Odin finds his way to this geyser and is showered by these waters of power. The mystic shower gives him strength  enough to battle the Mangog one last time.

Meanwhile, the Mangog finds the Odinsword and he unsheathes it!

Fortunately, Ragnarok is averted thanks to Asgard’s absence from the Enthropic Universe. Odin with the power of the Twilight Well and the Mangog with the power of the Odinsword fight one final battle. Odin severs the Mangog’s connection to rage that fuels the beast, causing it to dwindle into non-existence. However, Odin dies in the conflict.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde try to uncover the mystery of the unnamed force that is toying with the lives of the people who live there. Suddenly, Tana Nile of the Collectors arrives on the scene, frantically warning the Asgardians to join her within her Force Bubble. As they do, they at last see the off-panel face of “him!”

During Odin’s funeral, a thought occurs to Thor. With Asgard outside of the universe, Hela has been unable to claim his father. Until she does, he is not truly dead. As Asgard makes the journey back into the universe, Thor will use his power to freeze time (as he once did to save Jane Foster so that he might keep Odin from Death. As we know, this is incredibly dangerous.

Also, we learn that Odin’s previously unnamed friend is named “Bulwar”.

Days of Thunder – March 1972 The Mighty Thor #197

“The Well at the Edge of the World!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 197

Thor has arrived at the Twilight Well, guarded by Kartag. Thor announces his intent to steal the Well’s waters and so he and Kartag fight, while Satrina restrains his friends. Thor and Kartag’s battle eventually plunges them into the well itself.

Submerged within the Twilight Well, the waters of which hold unknown mystical properties, Thor has a vision, a moment of clarity.   Afterward, Kartag drags Thor’s unconscious form from the well. The battle is over.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde fight some monsters before meeting Silas Grant, a steamboat captain. Something strange is going on in Blackworld. When the Asgardians arrived, it seemed to be a medieval world, but things seem to keep changing, and the inhabitants seem to all be terrified of an unnamed “him” (not be be confused with “Him.”)

At the Twilight Well, Kartag’s masters reveal themselves: Three crones in red robes. They are the Norns, also known as the Fates. They are cosmic beings, and they claim that none have power over them, not even Odin. This quest to visit theTwilight Well was a test and the Asgardians have passed, apparently. The Norns gift our heroes with a sample of water from the Twilight Well and the assistance of noble Kartag.

This obviously raises questions about what relationship, if any, these beings have with Karnilla and the Norn Hag. If Karnilla is the Norn Queen, does that make her the representative of these women?  Surely she is not their leader.  It is not clear.

Thor, Volstagg, Fandral, Hogun, and Karag travel the rainbow bridge back to Asgard only to discover that the bridge has been shattered and that Asgard is gone! Fandral suggest that Asgard might not be destroyed, merely absent, and so Thor tries a bit of magic: He believes the waters of the Twilight Well to have an affinity with the water of the Cosmic Well of Asgard. He pours some the Twilight waters on his hammer and hurls the hammer into the unknown, trusting the water’s affinity to pull the hammer, with his party in tow, to Asgard, if indeed it still exists.

It works! Back on Asgard, they soon find themselves in battle with the Mangog. The Mangog has a surprise in store: He pulls out the near-death body of Odin, to use as a shield and as a trophy!

First Appearance: Silas Grant, The Norn

 

Days of Thunder – February 1972 The Mighty Thor #196

“Within the Realm of Kartag!”
“Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Jon Costa, letterer

Thor 196

Deep within the World’s End, Thor and his friends meet Satrina, servant of Kartag. She suckerpunches them with the Crimson Mist, which sends them into a shared hallucination of being waited on hand and foot by beautiful fawning women. Kygar, who is immune to the mist, warns Thor that things are not what they seem. This allows Thor to realize that they had been pawing over fawning MONSTERS! Her illusion pierced, Satrina kills Kygar and retreats.

Later, Satrina, having failed with the carrot, tries to scare Thor and company off with the stick. She creates a powerful dragon illusion, but Thor figures out that it is a trick. Out of options, she agrees to take our heroes to meet Kartag. Kartag is a fearsome Giant, armed with a giant cudgel of an axe, prepared to kill those who intrude upon his land.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde find themselves fighting bandits, which causes Sif to cry out “I feel that dark craving– an emotion akin to my love for Thor– The Battlelove of a warrior born!”  Sif has hopefully shaken off the weepiness that had been ailing her.

Elsewhere, Asgard is under assault by the Mangog. How can the Mangog still exist?  It is not entirely clear, but it is speculated that once something as powerful as the Mangog is created by magic, the very idea of it is too powerful to ever be undone.

As the Mangog attacks, Hela comes to Odin, chiding him for sending his son away to escape the power of the Mangog. The assembled might of Asgard tries to hold back the Mangog, but none can equal its strength. Odin’s oldest friend Khan, dies defending Asgard. In the face of the Mangog, with his dead friend claimed by Hela, Odin shouts to the heavens “ The Mangog hat almost triumphed– and for the sake of a thousand universes– this must not be! –This day, by my power, by my glory – the sacred world doth forever more pass away…”

The full implications of Odin’s actions are unclear, but at that moment, on another world, Sif and Hildegarde notice a star in the distance go nova.

First appearance: Satrina, Kartag

 

Days of Thunder – January 1972 The Mighty Thor #195

“In the Shadow of Mangog!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 195

Currently unaware of the danger that Odin has allowed Loki to unleash, Thor and his friends take a well-deserved breather. Thor takes off his helmet and lets his beautiful tresses flow, while Fandral dances like an idiot. Thor pledges that he and Sif shall be wed within a fortnight. For a second time, Asgardian women other than Sif appear in the background.

All this revelry is cut short when Odin sends Thor and “the three who’s lives are bound to his” on a quest into the World’s End, to find Kartag the Keeper, so that he might divulge the secret of the Twilight Well. Sif can’t even be bothered to ask to go along only to be sternly denied. She skips straight to crying.

Odin then summons a warrior named Hildegarde and commands that she take Sif to Blackworld, which she does, by karate chopping Sif into unconsciousness and picking her up while Odin transports the two of them with his rod.

When Sif awakens she cries some more, bemoaning her separation from Thor. Hildegarde is unimpressed, as she is in love with one of the trio. She does not elaborate on this point, “We’ll have time enow for woman’s talk when we do reach shelter.” The two warriors head to a small village and along the way they help The Mighty Thor pass the very low bar that is the Bechtel Test for the first time in 112 issues.

On Asgard, Odin has assembled a team of very old friends of his: Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, and a fourth as-of-yet unnamed one. He need their help to protect Asgard against that which he has unwittingly unleashed.

He shows his friends that thanks to his mistake, Loki has released the Mangog, which somehow still exists. The Mangog does not believe in gratitude and traps Loki in a block of Amber.

Thor and company fight their way through some freaky monsters, including a pack of trolls that look unlike any trolls we have seen in these pages to date. Thor spares the lives of one of the trolls, named Kygar, who pledges to serve Thor forevermore.

And then the still-living Mangog arrives in Asgard.

First Appearance: Hildegarde, Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, Kygar

 

Days of Thunder Recap Page: Late Lee/Kirby, Early Buscema

So to recap…

The Way it Was

Thor is the Norse God of Thunder. As a member of the Asgardian race he is immortal and incredibly strong.. His Asgardian physiology includes a chromosomatic gland, which determines personality. His body also emits a free-flowing aura of electrons, which can be detected by other Asgardians. Although he is superhumanly strong, Thor must be on guard to avoid succumbing to Warrior’s Madness.

Thor is the son of Odin, King of Asgard. He is Odin’s beloved favorite son, however theirs is an uneasy relationship with hot tempers on both sides. Some number of years ago, Odin grew angry at Thor’s brash arrogance and decided that his son must learn humility. To that end, he transformed Thor into a crippled mortal named Donald Blake. Blake possessed no memory of his life as a god, believing himself to be a human med student.

Years later, after becoming a successful doctor, Blake stumbled upon an enchanted stick capable of transforming him into Thor, his true self.  He now uses this stick as a walking stick.
Doctor Donald Blake has become a famous genius medical doctor living in New York City. He is an amazing surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery but regularly performing all manner of surgeries. He also has a small neglected private practice where he serves as a general practitioner. In addition to his medical endeavors, he once built a sentient nigh-indestructible android.

Doctor Blake is disabled. His right leg is lame, requiring his use of a walking stick. For a number of years he was involved in a complicated courtship with his nurse and only employee, Jane Foster. Eventually she learned that her boyfriend was actually Thor, and ultimately decided that she could not handle the lifestyle that came with dating a god. After rejecting Thor, Odin tampered with her mind, removing her memories of both Blake and Thor.
While initially it appeared that when transformed, Blake’s personality simply inhabited Thor’s body, over time Thor’s personality and memories became stronger and stronger. Ultimately, regardless of whether they are in Blake’s body or Thor’s they seem to be a single, composite personality.  After being questioned by Blake about his dual nature,  Odin revealed the truth of Blake’s nature to Thor.

The gnarled stick that transforms Blake into Thor transforms itself into an enchanted hammer known as Mjolnir, which grants him a number of supernatural abilities. Thor is the only living being that can lift it, having earned that right incrementally through a series of noble deeds, although it can be lifted by mechanical devices. If he stamps it on the ground twice, he creates storms. If he stamps it three times he ends storms. Four stamps create seismic activity.

Mjolnir can also be spun to create space warps, time warps, and time travel. Thor can throw it so hard that it will pull him through the air, giving him a version of flight. Mjolnir radiates power, which can be harnessed to fly spaceships.  It was crafted from Uru metal by Trolls and enchanted by Odin.  he hammer can detect the presence of Asgardians, and in particular has a psychic link with Thor’s brother, Loki. The cause and exact nature of this link is unknown.

While on Earth, Thor must remain in near-constant physical contact with Mjolnir. If 60 seconds pass without Thor holding the hammer, he will revert to Doctor Blake and the hammer will revert to a walking stick. Fortunately, the enchanted hammer returns to Thor’s hands whenever it is thrown. Originally, this time limit only applied to Thor when he was on Earth, but recent events have suggested that it now applies wherever he may be.

In addition to his hammer, Thor possesses a Belt of Strength which can amplify his powers. For reasons that are unclear, he seldom wears it. Valkyries keep it safe for him on Asgard.

Thor is brother to Loki, Prince of Asgard and God of Evil. Loki was born a Frost Giant but was adopted by Odin as a baby, who conferred upon his child all the powers of a royal Asgardian. Loki is an evil schemer who hates his brother and is hated by Thor in return. Not as strong as Thor, Loki is a powerful magician and a shape shifter, although water negates these abilities. He also shares a psychic link with Mjolnir. He spends most of his time attempting to overthrow his father and to become ruler of Asgard.

Asgard is the most powerful of kingdoms in a world that is connected to Earth by a rainbow bridge known as Bifrost. It’s inhabitants are known as the Aesir but are more commonly referred to as Asgardians. Their world is inhabited by a number of sentient races, including fire demons, dwarves, trolls, flying trolls, mountain giants, ice giants, storm giants, rime giants, vanna, the demon men of Jotunheim, and Satan’s forty horsemen. Human life on Earth was first created by Asgardian magic.

Asgard is ruled by Odin, who possesses powers nearly unimaginable to mortals. He possesses a rod of power through which he channels his energies and a Ring of Power, which signifies his kingship.. He gains his power from the Enchanti-stones, powerful artifacts that he hides in the Odin-Cave. Once a year, he must hibernate in a state known as the Odinsleep. He possesses Odinthoughts.

In Asgard there is a giant sword known as the Odinsword, resting in its scabbard. It is prophesied that when this sword is unsheathed, it shall signal the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok.  When this transpires, Asgard shall be destroyed in a a very specific manner.

In Thor’s youth, before he became Blake, some unknown force caused the Odinsword’s scabbard to begin to crack. As the crack grew, Odin feared that this was the work of some agent attempting to bring about Ragnarok. Thor and his friends began a quest to search for the cause of these cracks, but the source was never revealed to the reader.  Presumably, this threat was discovered and brought to an end, in some untold adventure, for Ragnarok has not yet transpired.

After his courtship of Nurse Jane Foster ended disastrously, Thor wasted no time in courting an Asgardian Warrior known as Sif. Sif is the sister of Heimdal and an able swordswoman, who must endure constant sexism from her colleagues, seemingly all male. Recently she has abandoned her armor for flowing dresses and spent a lot more time crying openly.  She and Thor are informally engaged.

Thor’s closest friend is Balder. Balder is a gentle, kindhearted Asgardian warrior.  He owns a sword from another universe.   Balder is in love with, and in turn loved by Karnilla, the Norn Queen. This is a tragic romance, for Karnilla is a long-standing enemy of Asgard and Balder is forever loyal to Odin in his heart. Recently, in order to save the life of Thor, Balder swore permanent allegiance to Karnilla, forsaking Asgard.

The exact nature of Karnilla’s enmity against Asgard is unknown, as is the exact nature of her people.  Karnilla is the Norn Queen, and a powerful sorceress. She is served by the Norn Hag, also a magic user.  Karnilla  is the possessor of the Norn Stones, artifacts capable of unleashing powerful magic.  In recent times, Karnilla has repeatedly aided the people of Asgard, out of personal interest, or out of love for Balder. In light of these actions, it is unclear whether the Norn Queen will remain an enemy of Asgard in the future.

Thor is also close friends with Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, and Volstagg the Voluminous, three warriors rarely seen outside of each other’s company. This trio of warriors are adventurers and braggarts, with Volstagg in particular being known for a braggadocio that exceeds his valor.

Other allies of Thor include: Heimdal, the stoic watchman guarding the rainbow bridge to Asgard, possessing astounding powers of perception; Hercules, the braggart prince of the Gods of Olympus.; The Recorder, an android created by the Colonizers of Rigel; The man known only as the Vizier, a close confidant of Odin.

In a recent encounter with the threat to all life known as Infinity, Thor encountered a man known only as the Silent One. This being appeared out of nowhere but seemed to be incredibly powerful and highly knowledgeable. He was also mute and largely uncommunicative. At a critical moment, the Silent One died, sacrificing his life for Thor’s. His origins and motives remain a mystery.

There exists an unfathomably powerful entity known as Galactus, who’s sole goal in life is to consume worlds in their entirety. Odin is concerned by the threat this being could pose to Asgard, and so has spent a great deal of time studying and monitoring it.

Thor has fought many additional super-powered enemies. Among them are: The Destroyer, Ulik the Troll, Hela the Goddess of Death, Surtur the Fire Demon, The Mangog, King Geirrodur, Ego the Living Planet, Pluto  the Lord of the Netherworld, Infinity, The Enchantress, the Executioner,  The Absorbing Man, The Wrecker, The Circus of Crime, The Gargoyle,  Mr. Hyde, The Cobra, and Zarrko the Tomorrow Man.

Thor is a longstanding member of a team of superheroes known as the Avengers. Despite nominally being a superhero, Thor has done many things beyond the purview of superheroics. He once traveled to the future where he proceeded to conquer planet Earth. In present day, he once nuked China. These actions seem to fly in the face of the vow Thor has taken to never take a mortal life.

In the early days of his dual Blake/Thor identity, Blake would spend most of his time on Earth. As time went on, Thor would became the dominant personality, with Blake increasingly becoming irrelevant to Thor’s life.  After abandoning his pursuit of Nurse Jane Foster, Thor was left with little reason to return to Earth, and even less reason to spend time as Doctor Blake.

Thor will spend months away from Earth, with extended stays on Asgard, and frequent trips into outer space.  This has left Blake’s practice in shambles. Also, Thor is technically a fugitive on Earth, as he was arrested for a crime he was guilty of, released on bail, and did not ever show up for the trial.

The character of Thor stars in the lead feature of a comic magazine originally entitled Journey into Mystery, later retitled The Mighty Thor. This incarnation of Thor was created by writer Stan Lee and Illustrator Jack Kirby. After the introductory adventure in issue #83, Thor’s early stories were written by Larry Lieber and illustrated by a variety of artists, most notably Don Heck. As of issue #97 creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took over the book as the regular creative team. They also began the Tales of Asgard feature, a series of five-page stories that fleshed out the larger Asgardian world of Thor, running for nearly 50 issues. Kirby left the series after issue #179 and Lee departed soon after following issue #194. Kirby and Lee were replaced by John Buscema, and Gerry Conway respectively.  Thor also regularly appears in a minor supporting role in the team book The Avengers.

Days of Thunder – December 1971 The Mighty Thor #194

“This Fatal Fury!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 194

While fighting Storm Giants, Thor drops his hammer for 60 seconds, at which point he turns into Blake and slips through one of the giant’s fingers, before grabbing the hammer and reverting. This is a puzzler,  since the sixty second rule was incontrovertibly established in issue #139 as not applying when Thor is not on Earth. It has been hinted at  in more recent issues (specifically in issues #159, #185, and #186) that the Earthbound clause no longer applies, and now it seems there is no wriggling out of it. Thor changed into Blake while on Asgard.

Clearly the enchantment that ties Thor and his Blake persona together has been altered. The most likely scenario seems to be that when Odin stripped Thor of his hammer’s enchantment in issue #145 and later re-enchanted it in issue #151 the re-enchanting was a fresh enchantment, subtly different than the initial one. A second theory would be that after Thor learned the truth of his relationship with Blake that this somehow changed the rules for turning into him.

At any rate, things come to a head. Thor fights some Storm Giants. Sif cries some more. The trio joins the fray. Balder and Karnilla kiss before Balder has to ruin the moment. And Loki’s hand is beginning to hurt.

Finally, Thor and Loki battle one-on-one. The Odin-Ring would seem to put Loki physically on par with his brother, but instead, as they fight, he begins to suffer so much pain that he pulls the ring off of his finger and tosses it away, shrieking “My soul– My soul burns!”

A freshly awakened Odin reclaims the ring, for only he can wear the ring for any length of time. He banishes Loki and all seems well in Asgard. However, the dust has not had time to settle before the Vizier rushes in, panicked.

The Vizier takes Odin to the Cosmic Well, which shows the All-Father the  exact location where he banished Loki, in his haste. Loki is laughing darkly for unknown reasons. Upon seeing where he sent his son, Odin proclaims that “when Loki wakes that buried foe… the foundations of a universe will crumble!… Odin hath damned Asgard – – Hath damned us all!”

Days of Thunder – November 1971 The Mighty Thor #193

“What Power Unleashed?”
Stan Lee, Overseer Supreme/ Gerry Conway, Scripter Superb/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists Admirable/ Artie Simek, Letterer Legible

Thor 193

Not only is this the first issue with Gerry Conway taking over as scripter, but it is a weird overlength issue, with what was clearly supposed to be the first fourteen pages of the next issue tacked onto the book, perhaps as part of a scheme to hide the fact that the price of the book was going up by a nickle, perhaps because no Thor title shipped with an October date.

At any rate, Balder has caught the attention of the Silver Surfer. Since the last time Thor has encountered this shiny asshole, he has remained stuck on Earth and has completely written off the human race as being basically worthless. For this reason, the Surfer is less than inclined to help Balder, whom he does not remember.

Balder gets carried away in petitioning the Surfer for aide and says of Thor “For whom I would give my life!” Karnilla is super-pissed by that, for Balder’s life is not his to give. She lashes out in anger and mortally wounds Balder (She probably forgot that he is mortal on Earth.). She instantly regrets her actions, but has the Surfer to deal with. She demands respect but the Surfer informs her that he “Bows to no female.”

The Silver Surfer is a dick. Satan likely doesn’t want his soul because his soul is pure, he wants his soul because fuck that guy. At any rate, something in Balder and Karnilla’s melodramatics has convinced the Surfer to aid Thor, whom he also does not remember.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Loki has resumed being super-creepy and has decided to force Sif to be his bride. This is unpleasant in every way imaginable, but does allow Loki to get a good dig in on Thor regarding the fact that he has continued to put off marrying Sif. It is worth pointing out that Thor has at this point been with Sif for longer than he had pined after Jane Foster, whom he was willing to renounce godhood in order to wed.

The Surfer finds Thor and tags in, taking over the stalemated battle with Durok. This frees Thor to return to Asgard. When he returns, he finds Heimdal who must fight Thor at Loki’s command. Thor knocks Heimdal off of the rainbow bridge, causing him to plummet, re-raising questions about the nature of the rainbow bridge.

Thor jumps down after Heimdal and somehow manages to loop back upward onto the bridge, saving his friend.  This suggests that the laws of physics are very strange on and near Bifrost.   He then proceeds onward, fighting his way past Storm Giants. He explicitly kills one named Kaggor the Tall, setting a new bloodthirstier tone for the book.

At last he finds Sif, attended by some random Asgardian women, wearing some stupid skimpy bridal get-up. Their reunion is cut short by Loki, who sends another wave of storm giants against Thor.

Meanwhile, The Surfer and Durok fight until the Surfer decides to pull Durok into the far future of Earth, some point past a time when mankind has wiped itself out. Time travel is apparently a thing that the Silver Surfer can do with nothing more than his board. He deposits Durok in this wasteland future, scoffs at the grisly fate of humanity, and presumably returns to present-day Earth.

First appearance: female Asgardian background characters, Kaggor the Tall

 

Stan Lee Wrap-Up

Stan

Stan Lee’s great achievement in this world was to take a genre of children’s stories, and to re-frame them as stories for adolescents. Spider-Man is the classic example of the adolescent superhero, but really, Lee’s Thor is the most adolescent of the superheroes. He’s petty and quick to anger. He spends months mooning after his one true love only to move on to the next girl without missing a beat. He thinks he’s always in the right, blind to what an ass he is and to the privilege that he takes for granted.

And of course there is his relationship with his father. Stan Lee’s Thor is always craving his father’s approval even as he is constantly defying his will. He wants to be independent but regularly relies on his dad to step in and solve his messes. Thor’s relationship with Odin is the core of this story.

With Thor, Stan Lee created his version of a Superman analog, and the result was a romantic melodrama about a bratty teenage fratboy jock of a god who fought communists and tried get his dad to approve of the girl he liked. It was a beautiful and bonkers run of comics.

Days of Thunder – September 1971 The Mighty Thor #192

“Conflagration!”
Story by: Stan Lee/ Illustration by: John Buscema/ Embellishment by: Sam Grainger/ Lettering by: Artie Simek/ Costumes by: Forbush’s Funky Fashion Factory

Thor 192

Sif resumes weeping.

Thor battles Durok on Earth, which is  a rough stalemate with a lot of collateral damage. Thor does what he can to minimize the harm and to hypnotize the bystanders into forgetting anything had ever happened.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Balder begs Karnilla for permission to go to Earth. He promises to not strike a blow in Thor’s defense. Curious, Karnilla agrees. Once they arrive, Balder uses his sword to magically summon the Silver Surfer!

It is here, mid-story, that Stan Lee steps away from scripting duties of Thor.   And so the first era of The Mighty Thor draws to a close.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 Amazing Adventures #8

“An Hour For Thunder!”
San Lee, Editor/ Roy Thomas Writer * Neal Adams Artist/ John Verpoorten, Inker/ Arite Simek, Letterer

Amazing Adventures 8

Lionel Dibbs, a patient of Doctor Blake’s, has contracted cancer.  Blake has diagnosed him as having less than two years to live. He decides to go out in a blaze of glory and destroy the slums in which he grew up.  To that end, he gets a gun for a hand and enlists the help of a man posing as Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, husband of Medusa. Thor stops Dibbs and inadvertently kills the Black Bolt imposter.

Presumably, this story either takes place around issue #183 of The Mighty Thor or some time after the current Loki story.

Mostly James Bond and Thor Stuff