Days of Thunder – July 1966: The Mighty Thor #130 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Fateful Change!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Art: Jack Kirby/ Inking: Vince Colletta: Lettering: Sam Rosen/ Costumes: Asgard Haberdashery

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Thor and his friends sneak into the garrison where Harokin is staying. Thor finds Harokin in his quarters, and quickly dispatches him. However the Warlock’s Eye is not in the room. It is only then that Thor notices that this felled warlord bears a strong resemblance to himself and thus he hatches a scheme involving hair dye and a costume change.

Days of Thunder – July 1966: The Mighty Thor #130

The Mighty Thor! Thunder in the Netherworld!
Let us proclaim a proud pean of praise for Marvel’s most prolific purveyors of peerless pageantry– Stan The Man Lee, Writer/ Jack King Kirby, Artist/ Vince the Prince Colletta, Delineator/ Artie Pussycat Simek, Letter

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On behalf of Hercules, Thor beats on the teeming hordes of the Netherworld. He does untold damage to the Underworld itself as he fights, which drives Pluto crazy.  Finally,   Pluto can no longer handle watching that which he has carefully tended be smashed, and he agrees to let the Lion of Olympus out of the contract that he legally signed.  I don’t think Pluto is the bad guy in this story.  Thor and Hercules part as friends.

Meanwhile, Jane Foster’s roommate Tana Nile decides that Jane is too dangerous of a wild card and could disrupt her as-of-yet unrevealed plans.  For this reason she hypnotizes the young nurse to hide so that Thor may never find her. To Tana Nile, Jane Foster is merely “a pawn in a far greater game of celestial chess.”

Days of Thunder – June 1966: The Mighty Thor #129 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Hordes of Harokin!”
Fabulously Written by… Stan Lee/ Fantastically Drawn by… Jack Kirby/ Fastidiously Inked by… V. Colletta/ Finally Lettered by… Artie Simek

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After the revelations of Ragnarok, Loki is dragged away to the Well of Eternal Sleep by guards even as he wails protests of innocence. It seems Odin is punishing his son for his future crimes that have yet to be perpetrated. He is dumped into a hole, where he is suspended in a state of Kirby Crackle.

This whole quest to discover who cracked the Oversword seems to have lost focus. After accomplishing nothing at sea, Odin now charges Thor, Hogun, Volstagg, and Fandral to visit Musphelheim to collect a powerful magic helmet known as the Warlock’s Eye. Odin wishes to keep this artifact out of the hands of the forces of evil in the face of the coming Ragnarok.

However, a warlord named Harokin has already claimed the Warlock’s eye as his own.  Its mighty power is enabling him to  conquer Muspelheim. With the Eye, he can unleash a deadly beam from his eye-shaped helmet, decimating any forces before him.

First Appearance: Kirby Crackle, Harokin, Muspelheim, The Warlock’s Eye

Days of Thunder – June 1966: The Mighty Thor #129

The Mighty Thor! “The Verdicts of Zeus!”

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Harken, ye!  Stan Lee, Writer/ Jack Kirby, Penciller/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Arite Simek, Lettere/ Yea, Verily!

This issue begins with Thor taking a taxi to Jane Foster’s apartment. Not Don Blake, but Thor. Thor hasn’t reverted to Blake since he told Jane about his dual identity.  For some time now, Thor has become more and more dominant, and now that Jane knows the truth, it is as if he has no further use for Blake.

Thor and his cabbie spend some time bantering. The hack’s theory is that Thor is basically just an ordinary guy, same as anybody. Thor likes what the cabbie has to say and shakes the man’s hand as he departs. What he does not do is pay the man. Thor is not a good person.

Thor greets Jane and also her new roommate, Tana Nile, who seems nonplussed that she is sharing a room with Thor’s secret girlfriend. In fact, there is something weird about the lady: Thor cannot help but kneel before Ms. Nile, compelled as if she were royalty.  Obviously Nile is going to turn out to be a supervillain or something but it is nice to see Jane have a life outside of Thor.

Thor and and Jane catch up. He is no longer avoiding her because the reason he was avoiding her was dumb. He tells her that if they are to wed he will have to renounce Thor and become Blake permanently. Jane wisely says that this is a big step and that Thor should not make it lightly. Thor is god of action and so he shrugs off that advice and leaves to Asgard to tell Odin his decision.

However, once he arrives, Balder reminds him that it is the Day of the Three Worlds, a day prophesied in the Book of Enchanters.  On this day, Thor must enter limbo to await a noble cause to champion at the risk of his own life.  He must do this because it was prophesied that he would do this.

Meanwhile, Hercules has been trying in vain to find someone willing to champion his cause at the risk of their own life. The only way he can get out of his bargain with Pluto is if another hero would fight on Hercules’s behalf but nobody likes him enough to do that. As Pluto taunts, he has only made enemies, never friends. Or has he found a friend… in Thor?

First Appearance: Tana Nile, Ares, Hermes, Dionysus,

Days of Thunder – May 1966: The Mighty Thor #128 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Aftermath!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Jack Kirby/ Delineation: Vince Colletta/ Lettering S. Rosen

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Volla, the prophetess continues her prophesy.

9. The remaining Asgardians, including Thor, battle the unspeakably huge Midgard Serpent.
10. So great is the battle against the serpent that Asgard is torn asunder, “shaking the foundations of infinity itself.”
11. All are dead. All is silent.
12. At last, Surtur, unable to live when all others have died, sears everything with his great sword in a final act of fury, reducing Asgard to a cinder.
13. Eons later life returns and a new race of young gods emerges to build a new civilization.

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Having completed her prophecy, the assembled gods stand in humble silence. Unable to bear it, Loki sneers at the prophesy, claiming it shall never come to pass. Odin rebukes his son and tells Loki that he shall himself be the cause of Ragnarok.

Days of Thunder – May 1966: The Mighty Thor #128

The Mighty Thor! “The Power of Pluto!”
Conceived in grandeur and procured in glory, by: Stan Lee, Writer/ Jack Kirby, Penciller/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer Verily, we have spoken!

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Thor spends most of this issue in Asgard, recuperating from his battle of the previous issue. He gets a lot of bed rest and he goes fishing for beast-fish with Balder. This downtime is the first time Thor has been shown wearing clothes other than his normal Thor clothes. He looks much cooler out of them.  This story has  Thor just being a guy and it really makes Blake look redundant.

Odin sits in the Judgment Seat and passes sentence on Seidring. Odin’s old friend begs for mercy, crying that he was maddened by the power given to him by Odin. Unmoved, Odin sends him to another part of the universe, where he is to forever more be the ruler of the monstrous rock trolls.  A terrible punishment because rock trolls are boring.

Meanwhile on Earth, Hercules signs a contract agreeing to rule the Netherworld for all eternity because he is kind of dumb. After the pen is put to paper, Pluto and Hyppolita, queen of the Amazons reveal themselves for who they are and they gloat. Once Hercules realizes what he has gotten himself into, he starts a futile fight against Titan Warriors commanded by Pluto.

It is while Hercules is caught up in this fight that a recovered Thor asks his father leave to return to Earth to settle his stupid score with Hercules. Odin readily agrees and sends Thor straight to Hollywood where Hercules is already in mid-battle.

Thor jumps to Hercules’s aid and the combined might of the two gods is enough to turn the tables on the titans. Pluto and Hyppolita retreat, teleporting to Olympus to bring the contract before Zeus. As Hercules fills in Thor on what is going on, Thor agrees that their little squabble can wait while Hercules deals with this larger crisis.

First Appearance: Rock Trolls, Titan Warriors, The Netherworld

Days of Thunder – April 1966: The Mighty Thor #127 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Gods The Meaning of… “Ragnarok!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Jack Kirby/ Delineation: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek/ We have spoken!!

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The crew of the Odinship have returned home to Asgard.  They listen to Volla the Prophetess foretell Ragnarok that is to come.

Here is what will happen:

1. An everlasting frost storm will cover the land.
2. As imminent doom approaches, brother turns against brother.
3. Some Asgardians buckle under the pressure and join the forces of evil in an ultimate act of betrayal. They will be led by Loki.
4. To defend Asgard from this assault, the Asgardians will shatter Bifrost, forever destroying the road to Earth.
5. Heimdell will be felled as he sounds the alarm one final time.
6. Odin will lead the final charge.  Amongst his followers include Thor and Fandral.
7. Thor and Loki battle one final time as their world is consumed.
8. At last shall appear the Midgard Serpent, the ultimate destroyer.

First Appearance: Volla the Prophetess, The Midgard Serpent

Days of Thunder – April 1966: The Mighty Thor #127

The Mighty Thor! “The Hammer and the Holocaust”
Possibly the most magnificent chronicle of Thor ever presented, by… Stan Lee, writer/ Jack Kirby, artist/ Vince Colletta, delineator/ Sam Rosen, Letterer

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Spurred forward by Odin, Jane tries to be there for Thor, to let him know that she loves him no matter what. Thor will have none of it. He will not allow a woman to feel sympathy for him, let alone pity. Thor is a total jerk.

Thor storms off a second time, but before Jane can go after him again, she sees a man get hit by a car. She has no choice but to set aside the  pursuit of the man she loves, so that she may  use her medical training to help this man. Her choice to help this stranger at the cost of losing the man she loves is a more heroic act than any Thor has performed in this book to date.

Thor returns to Asgard, ready to turn himself in for his actions in the previous issues. When he arrives he finds Heimdall frozen in place by ethereal energy, a type of energy that only Odin can control. He soon finds Balder and many others in a similar state. When Odin gave his Odin-power to Seidring the Merciless, Seidring found he could not bear to return it. Seidring is now mad with power, trying to establish himself as the new king of Asgard.

Seidring tries to recruit Thor to his side, but the thunder god will not have it. Half-powered Thor throws himself into battle against Odin-powered Seidring. Thor knows he cannot win, and indeed is battered badly by Seidring, but he has a plan. He makes his way to the Odinsword and hugs it tightly. He tells Seidring that he would rather see it all end than bow before Seidring and that he will pull the sword if the Odin-power is not returned to the rightful owner.

Seidring gives up and it is a sad defeat. Odin lets him wander away, perhaps out of deference to their past friendship, perhaps out of worry for his son who has passed out from the fight.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Stardust studios is preparing for the arrival of Hercules. They are preparing to make a movie about his legendary exploits and have hired a special producer for the film. That producer is Pluto, lord of the underworld. Pluto hates being ruler of the netherworld but he has a plan to free him of his obligations. That plan seems to be to get Hercules to sign a Hollywood contract with a “also you have to rule the underworld” clause in it. He also has installed a strange Kirby gizmo in the studio and enlisted the aid of the as-of-yet unnamed queen of the Amazons, so there may be more to this plan..

First appearance: Pluto, The Queen of the Amazons

Days of Thunder – March 1966: The Mighty Thor #126 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “Summons!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Art: Jack Kirby/ Inking: V. Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek/ So be it!!

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Queen Ula holds Loki captive in her hive kingdom of Thryheim. Thor seeks her out, demanding the return of his brother. She wishes to make a trade: Loki’s freedom for Thor’s hand in marriage.

Before Thor can make a decision, there is an unexpected burst of anti-energy, filling the room and knocking out all the flying trolls, while the two Asgardians remain fine. This was the hand of all-powerful Odin at work, and once the brothers return the ship, a giant image of Odin fills the sky, commanding that the crew to return home at once. The danger is in Asgard!

First appearance: Anti-energy

Days of Thunder – March 1966: The Mighty Thor #126

The Mighty Thor! “Whom the Gods Would Destroy!”
They said it couldn’t be done! And there are the guys who almost couldn’t do it– Stan Lee, the literary lion! Jack Kirby, the pencilling pussycat! V. Colletta, the delineating dragon! Artie Simek, the lettering looks it!

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After 42 issues, of Thor starring in the lead feature of Journey Into Mystery, and eight issues of being the clear star of the backup feature, this book finally sheds the old title and is now simply called “The Mighty Thor”, although it keeps the established numbering.

This issue starts with the following note of recap: “Hercules has come to Earth! He’s got the big eye for Thor’s chick! Goldilocks is bugged, but good! So, they’re fighting it out!” And indeed, they fight.
It is an epic slobberknocker, starting in the diner, moving to the street, smashing into the subway, and ending in a construction site.

As the two brutes beat the tar out of each other for no real reason whatsoever, they do epic property damage, and send civilians running in fear as they smash small businesses, vehicles, and the streets themselves in the name of their petty vendetta.

There have been many Thor stories that are little more than Thor and some other foe beating the crap out of each other, and this is another one of those, but damn, it is a gorgeous one of those.  This is my favorite era of Kirby and he draws the hell out of this fight.

Remember how in issue #101 Thor’s strength was halved and that there was never an indicator that it had returned? Well, apparently, at some point it was returned because at the height of this battle, Odin, who is still super-mad at Thor,  decides that Thor’s punishment is to now have his power halved. He cannot bear to enact the punishment himself, knowing that Hercules might kill Thor, and so he gives the Odin-power to his most trusted adviser, Seidring the Merciless so that Seidring can perform the deed.  It is made clear that this reverts his power to the level it was when he conquered the 23rd century, not halving it a second time to one-quarter strength.

At this power level, Thor is no match for Hercules and the Greek hero beats the shit out of him all while begging Thor to yield. Thor will not stay his hand, but eventually is battered into submission.

A crowd forms around the victorious Hercules, celebrating his win. A Hollywood agent is part of the crowd, and he offers Herc the chance to be a movie star, which appeals mightily to the god’s ego. He departs for Hollywood, Jane Foster seemingly forgotten.

As Thor staggers to his feet, Jane rushes toward him, trying to assure him that Hercules meant nothing; that she only wanted to make Thor jealous. Thor cares not. Thor tells Jane that having been bested in combat, he is no longer worthy of her love. He departs, telling his love that they cannot meet again until he has regained his honor.

But as he leaves, Jane hears a voice inside her head from her most powerful enemy, Odin. He tells her that Thor’s defeat is his fault and that now more than ever his son needs Jane Foster. Odin commands the mortal to go be with his son and she proclaims that she will.

First appearance: Seidring the Merciless

Days of Thunder – February 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #125 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “The Queen Commands”

None but Marvel’s Stan Lee could tell such a tale! None but Marvel’s Jack Kirby could draw such a tale! None but Marvel’s Vince Coletta could ink such a tale! None but Marvel’s Artie Simek could be such a pussycat!

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The Argonauts of the Odinship find themselves surrounded by flying trolls. It is a standoff, one which Thor tries to defuse. He is making headway in this tense situation when Loki bombards the trolls with a blast of poison vapor.

Thor yells at Loki while the knave claims victory. As the poison fog disperses, the trolls come back for a second pass, seizing Loki with grappling rings. The trolls take the villain back to their hive while Thor and the crew of the Odinship pursue.

Days of Thunder – February 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #125

The Mighty Thor! “When Meet the Immortals!”
Bombastically written by Stan Lee/ Brilliantly drawn by Jack Kirby/ Beautifully Inked by Vince Colletta/ Bashfully lettered by Artie Simek

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Thor easily dispatches the Demon and his army in the first few pages of this issue.  Let that be a warning to any other military that Thor decides he does not like. Everyone should be afraid of Thor.

Thor takes the errant Norn Stone back to a very angry Odin on Asgard. Thor has crossed a line by telling Jane his secret in defiance of Odin. Now Thor is to face the Ritual of Steel, and if he survives, he is never to set foot on Earth again.

The Ritual of Steel apparently is fancy talk for a shit-ton of Asgardians whuppin on another one. Thor fights an Asgardian horde, shouting his defiance all the way, “Even a thunder god has the right to love!”

While Thor fights for his love on Asgard, Hercules is playing a guitar and hitting on ladies in a supper club in New York. Everyone is having a good time when Pulp Fiction-style, the wrong robbers rob the wrong diner at the wrong time. Things quickly escalate and soon Herc is throwing lampposts at cars.

Jane Foster sees the hubbub from her hospital room and assumes that Thor is at the center of it. She leaves the hospital to check it out. Upon her arrival at the scene, Hercules wastes no time in trying to seduce the young nurse.

Thor, meanwhile, has fought his way to the Rainbow Bridge where he meets Heimdall in battle. None shall prevent him from being with the woman he loves. Thor creates a sonic boom with his hammer which hits Heimdall’s sensitive ears very very hard and the guard crumples in pain.

Thor returns to Earth, slightly late for his appointment, only to discover that Jane is drinking sodas at the soda parlor with another god! Jane uses Herc to make Thor jealous, which after what he just went through leaves him pretty p.o.ed.

Hercules is pleased to see his old sparring partner but when Thor brushes him off to have a quarrel with Jane, he is mightily offended. He suckerpunches Thor who decides that maybe beating on Hercules is exactly what he needs.

First appearance: The Ritual of Steel

Days of Thunder – January 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #124 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Closer Comes the Swarm”
How gallant, this script by: Stan Lee/ How glorious, this artwork by: Jack Kirby/ How gracious, this inking by: Vince Colletta/ How come? This lettering by: Artie Simek

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After the Utgard incident, Balder drinks Hogun’s Elixir of Healing, while Loki schemes with his confederates. The voyage continues, the mutiny seemingly forgotten, but this is a ship divided. It is during this period of regrouping that the Odinship finds itself under attack by a swarm of flying trolls from the legendary Stone Nest of Thryheim! Led by the bizarrely beautiful Queen Ula, the flying trolls wish to claim the Odinship as their prize!

First Appearance: Queen Ula, The flying trolls of Thryheim

Days of Thunder – January 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #124

The Mighty Thor! “The Grandeur and the Glory!”
Story by: Stan (the Man) Lee/ Pencilling by: Jack (King) Kirby/ Delineation by: Vince (The Prince) Colletta/ Lettering by: Artie (Sugar Lips) Simek

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In New York, after consoling a random child who’s father has been wounded in Viet Nam, and being told off by a beat cop for giving a public demonstration without a license, Thor goes to see Jane in the hospital.

Doctor Donald Blake greets his love but she is barely holding it together. She has been thinking about things and she is sick of Blake’s bullshit. “You’ve told me you love me… but I know you’re keeping some terrible secret you’ve never allowed me to share! You desert me for days – weeks at a time! I never know where you are – what you’re doing! I only know that you’re gone! Get out – Out – Do you hear me – ??”

This dam-burst of emotion is more than Blake can bear. Despite his father’s command, Blake reveals his secret to Jane, transforming into Thor. As he says, “the deed is done! There is no turning back!” Jane is shocked, but it all makes sense.

Shortly thereafter, Blake is chased out Jane’s room by a nurse but he promises to return the next day. Jane makes it very clear that it is very important to her that he be responsible and show up.

Meanwhile, Odin is ready to burst with parental rage, the worst kind of rage. He saw what Thor did in direct defiance of his edict.  There must be a reckoning!

While this secret identity drama has been unspooling in New York, The Demon’s army has been running rampant across Asia. News of his exploits keeps being reported in America, which dismays Blake greatly. Visions of death cloud his mind, and even though he has just promised Jane to not let being Thor get in the way of their relationship, he decides that he must single-handedly end this foreign war that as far as he knows he has zero involvement in. He imagines that he can do this and be back within the day. He best hope so.

Also, Zeus is sick of Hercules starting dumb fights in Olympus, so he sends his son to Earth.

First Appearance: Atlas

Days of Thunder – December 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #123 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Jaws of the Dragon!”
An experience in matchless spectacle, as only Stan Lee, Writer, Jack Kirby, Penciller, Vince Colletta, Inker, Artie Simek, Letterer, could create it!

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As Thor and Loki’s ship approaches the Pillars of Utgard, the truth is revealed: the pillars are, in fact, the arms of a giant stone dragon now awakened. With the ship heading straight toward the open mouth of the mighty dragon Utgar all seems lost. However, Balder blows his horn, playing strange notes over the shrieking of the storm, culminating in one final blast that causes Utgard to explode.

Meanwhile, Odin stands on the tallest peak in the universe and gazes at the portentous oncoming storm that shouts that Ragnarok is coming.

Days of Thunder – December 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #123

The Mighty Thor!  “While a Universe Trembles!”

Fantasy to Dazzle Thy Senses, Written by Stan Lee!  Drama to Quicken Thy Pulse, Illustrated by Jack Kirby!  Beauty to Nourish Thine Eyes, Embellished by Vince Colletta!  Balloons to Compound Thy Confusion, Lettered by Artie Simek!

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Thor takes Harris Hobbs to Asgard, unaware of the chaos currently running rampant within the city. As they walk down the rainbow bridge, Hobbs is overtaken by the insane beauty of the city. For the first time, Lee and Kirby take a beat to really show off Asgard as magnificent metropolis floating in the sky, a home fit for a race of gods.  It is a lovely moment.

Soon Thor and Hobbs discover the fight underway. Creel and Odin are going at it. Odin is absorbing Creels blows with his Scepter of Supremacy and the result is a stalemate. Hobbs keeps his distance, naturally, but Thor wants to jump in.  Odin insists that Thor stay out of it.

Creel gets really wild in his villainous boasts. He seems to be fumbling toward an idea of absorbing the entire universe until the entire universe is him. He isn’t very articulate, but I think that this is his villainous goal, which is a pretty great one, I have to say.

Odin seems unable to stop the Absorbing Man, and finally treasonous Loki reveals himself as the mastermind of this insurrection. A dismayed Odin hands Loki his scepter, but Creel has decided he has become too powerful to play the supporting villain.

The two miscreants fight over the scepter, but now that Loki has incriminated himself, Odin holds back no longer. He laughs at the notion that his power resided in some mere stick, and he hurls Loki and Creel into the emptiness of space.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there is the matter of the Norn Stone that Thor dropped in issue #120.   It was dropped near the Temple of Darkness, which was ambiguously in either Asia or Africa.  The narration now reveals that the temple was in Asia, so naturally the dropped stone is discovered by a stereotypical African witch doctor, complete with mask.

The Norn Stone turns the witch doctor into a hulking beast, who begins attacking communist oppressors, which one supposes is a good thing, but the power quickly goes to his head. He proclaims himself to be now known as the Demon, as he begins to amass an army with the intent of overrunning the world.

Unaware of the threat of the Demon, Thor takes Hobbs home and erases his memory of Asgard.

First Appearance: The Demon

Days of Thunder – November 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #122 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Grim Specter of Mutiny!”

A Stan Lee Story Spectacular!  A Jack Kirby Penciling Panorama!  A Vince Colletta Delineation Drama!  An Artie Simek Lettering Landmark!

tales 122Loki leads a group of the crew in a mutiny but several Asgardians come to Thor’s defense, including Hogun, Fandril, and Volstagg. The loyalists kill enough mutineers to maintain control, but while this fighting goes on, the ship is pulled between the Pillars of Utgar.

Days of Thunder – November 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #122

The Mighty Thor! “Where Mortals Fear to Tread!”

Written with compassion by: Stan Lee/ Drawn with comprehension by: Jack Kirby/ Inked with competence: by Vince Colletta/ Lettered for compensation by: Artie Simek

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Thor quickly recovers from the Absorbing Man’s attack last issue and resumes their fight. This time Thor decides to try something new: fighting skillfully. This does the trick and soon he has Creel on the ropes. However, before the fight can be decisively won, Loki uses an Attractor Beam belonging to Ularic to beam Creel straight to him in Asgard.

Despite the fact that Loki gave Creel his absorbing powers (issue #114) this is their first meeting.   Loki establishes that he is more powerful than Creel and promises to share his dominion of the universe in return for his service. Creel agrees to Loki’s terms and begins to terrorize Asgard, absorbing the spikiness of maces, and the pointiness of spears.

No warrior in Creel’s path can stop his progress as he fights his way into Odin’s throne room. Shocked at the intrusion, Odin shoots a cosmic bolt at the villain, not realizing Creel’s nature. Creel absorbs the cosmic power and prepares to redirect it at the Asgardian king.

Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster spots Thor outside the apartment building in which she is being held.  She starts a gas explosion to shatter her bulletproof glass window, which breaks the glass and gets Thor’s attention, but knocks her unconscious in the process.

Thor finds her on the floor, and transforms to Blake, reasoning that she may need medical attention (which suggests that in his Thor form, our hero does not have access to Blake’s medical knowledge. Curious.). At the moment of transformation, there is a camera flash! Camera in hand, the hooded man reveals himself at last. It is Harris Hobbs, that reporter guy!

Hobbs deduced there was a connection between Blake and Thor and kidnapped Jane Foster in order to prove it. Before discussing this further with Hobbs, Blake takes Jane to a hospital, arranging to meet Hobbs later that afternoon. Don and Jane share a tender moment of reunion before Thor must take off to confront the reporter.

Thor and Hobbs meet at a lonely, prearranged spot. Hobbs seems to want to use the photo as leverage for blackmail. He taunts Thor, telling the god that he knows that Thor has sworn never to harm a human.

That pisses Thor off something fierce, and he creates a wind vortex sucking the two of them into the time of the dinosaurs. Thor threatens to drop Hobbs off in front of a Tyrannosaurus and go home, as that would technically not break his pledge as it would only indirectly be murder. Before Hobbs can respond, Thor takes him millions of years into the future, as a long-abandoned Earth is about to collide with another dying planet, which sucks for the new intelligent life that has evolved on the planet.

Hobbs begs Thor to return him to present day. Thor does return him and proceeds to make a deal with Hobbs. Hobbs will destroy the picture, and in exchange Thor will take Hobbs to see Asgard. This is pretty magnanimous. Thor seems to have forgotten that this guy kidnapped Jane Foster and also that it is forbidden for Aesir to bring mortals to Asgard.

First Appearance: The New Earth Race

Days of Thunder – October 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #121 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Malestrom!”
A saga steeped in grandeur by: Stan Lee, Writer & Jack Kirby, Illustrator/ Delineated by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

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The young god’s ship approaches the deadly Pillars of Utgard, of which it has been said to pass between means instant destruction. There is a fierce storm and some of the men wish to turn back, fearing the pillars. Thor refuses, insisting they push forward.

Meanwhile brave Balder drags a giant horn to the top of the ship’s figurehead for unknown reasons.

First Appearance: The Pillars of Utgard

Days of Thunder – October 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #121

The Mighty Thor! “The Passion! The Power! The Pride”
Another towering triumph for Stan Lee, Writer! Another fabulous feat for Jack Kirby, Illustrator! Another amazing achievement for Vice Colletta, Delineator! Another day, another dollar for Artie Simek, Letterer!

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Thor and the Absorbing Man fight a bunch. At one point the Absorbing Man becomes, like 50 feet tall, I think by absorbing the tallness of New York’s buildings?   Eventually, Thor saves a baby which distracts him sufficiently to be knocked out by Creel.

Meanwhile, Jane Foster is being held captive by a hooded man who seems to bear her no ill will. His voice sounds vaguely familiar to Foster, but she has no idea who he could be, and neither do I.

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor Special Kin Size Annual #1

“When Titans Clash!” Thor vs. Hercules!
Mighty story by: Stan Lee/ Majestic art by: Jack Kirby/ Masterful inking by: Vince Colletta/ Mostly lettered by: Sam Rosen

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This is a book published in what is known as the “Annual” format,  an oversized magazine largely consisting of reprints of now out of print Thor stories. However, it does include one new story, featuring Young Thor.

Young Thor is in Jottunheim looking to start a fight with some Storm Giants when he falls into a hole. That hole is the secret entrance to Olympus, home of the Greek pantheon of gods. While trying to find his way out, he reaches a bridge just as Hercules approaches on the other side.

Thor, of course, has met a time-displaced Hercules in the modern era. (Avengers #10) Hercules appears nothing like he did in that encounter, but he is immortal and presumably changes his look from time to time. Since Enchantress messed with the time stream, preventing the previous Thor/Hercules encounter from actually transpiring, this meeting can still be considered the first time the two meet regardless of whether the time-displaced Hercules was from a point in time before or after this story.

At any rate, the two young gods are both cocky jocks who refuse to wield right of way on the bridge and end up beating on each other for several pages. They both come off as jerks. Thor has his hammer, so we know he is a grown up in this story and he should really know better.

The fight only stops when Zeus shows up and tells the kids to knock it off. He tells them that they both acquitted themselves honorably which says a lot about how gods live their lives. Satisfied with a draw-by-decision, Thor and Hercules shake hands in the name of friendship, before Zeus sends Thor back to Jottunheim.

But wait! The annual also contains a bonus two page spread showing the sights of Asgard. They include: The Temple of Titans, Warlock’s Haven, Warrior’s Walk, a monument to Yggasdral, a giant bust of Odin, the Museum of Weaponry, a giant monument to the Unknown Warrior, the Dome of Combat, and the Shopping Center. It is pretty spectacular.

First Appearance: Zeus, Jottunheim

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #120 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Set Sail!”
Truly a Marvel Masterwork! Told by: Stan Lee/ Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Inked by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

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At long last, Thor and Loki actually set sail on their quest. Thor and Loki are immediately at each other’s throats. Meanwhile Magrat is predictably scheming, trying to convince Kroda, who appears to have a sweet cyborg eye, to assassinate Thor. Before he can strike, Hogun steps in and warns Kroda off. This all happens without being witnessed by Thor or Loki.

As the ship flies away, Odin soaks his feet and asks the Master of Prophesy if he made the right decision. The Master assures him that he has.

First Appearance:  The Master of Prophesy

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #120

The Mighty Thor! “With My Hammer in Hand…!”
Written in the Fire of Inspiration by… Stan Lee/ Drawn in the Flame of Dedication by… Jack Kirby/ Inked in the Heat of Devotion by… Vince Colletta/ Lettered in the Other Room by… Artie Simek

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Thor has come to the great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh so that he might mend his mighty Uru hammer.  Which he does.
After successfully repairing it, he stops in a a forest, where he counts the Norn Stones one last time before returning to Asgard. Little does he realize he has dropped one of the stones.

In Asgard, Thor clears his name and then proceeds to plead his brother’s case, claiming that Loki cannot help but to be evil. This appears to be selfless and noble on the part of Thor but later he fumes that he cannot exact revenge on Loki while he is already being punished by Odin.

Little does Thor realize that Loki has already freed himself, trapping the warlock Ularic in a Suspended Animation Mist and sticking him in a time vault. Loki then seizes control of Ularic’s enchantments, adding their power to his own.

Thor gets permission from Odin to return to Earth, and at long last he does just that, only to discover that in the months that he has been away, Jane has gone missing, the doctor across the hall has stolen all Doctor Blake’s patients, and the landlord is threatening to evict the doctor if he isn’t promptly paid the back rent.

Naturally, it is Foster’s disappearance that alarms Thor and he heads to the headquarters of the Avengers to seek their aid in finding the missing nurse. However, what he discovers is that the team that he knew has disbanded, replaced by a pack of obnoxious young upstarts. Thor is too irritated by this to ask the new team for help.

Back on Asgard, Loki uses macro-meson particles to re-solidify the Absorbing Man and his ball-and-chain, sending the criminal straight toward Thor. Meanwhile, Jane Foster appears to be in the clutches of an unseen villain, who tells her to forget all about Doctor Blake.

First Appearance:  The great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh

Days of Thunder – August 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #119 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “Gather, Warriors!”
Written with Gallantry by Stan Lee/ Drawn with Greatness by Jack Kirby/ Inked with Grandeur by Vince Colletta/ Lettered with a Straight Face by Artie Simek.

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In this issue we meet Young Thor and Young Loki’s crew as they prepare to depart on their quest. There is, of course, Balder the Brave, but there are several volunteers brought on by Loki. They are: Hogun,the Grim; Fandral the Dashing; Kroda, the Duelist; Magrat, the Schemer; and Volstagg, the Enormous.

Apart from Balder, Thor seems to trust boastful Volstagg the most out of this lot. He seems eager for adventure and just as eager to spend some time away from his wife and fifteen children.

While the young men sail away on their ship, Odin reveals to his advisers three fearsome words that have been etched deep onto the walls of the imperial palace in giant letters. The simple message is this: “RAGNAROK IS COMING”.

Ragnarok is the end of the world itself. That which is to transpire upon the drawing of the Oversword. The time for which Surtur is always waiting. The day of the last battle.

First appearance: Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, Volstagg the Enormous, Kroda the Duellist, Magrat the Schemer

Days of Thunder – August 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #119

“The Day of the Destroyer!”
Who but Stan Lee could have written this tale? Who but Jack Kirby could have drawn it? Who but Vince Colletta could have Inked it? Who but Artie Simek could be called Artie Simek?

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Oddly, this issue has no real cover art, merely four images from within the story, recycled.

Before the Destroyer can, er, destroy Thor, Loki uses a Force of Thought from his prison cell to turn Thor into an unsolid state. This allows Thor to momentarily escape from his foe, even as Loki passes out from the exertion.

When Loki’s jailers wake him, he sends a Mental Wave Image to the kingdom of the Norns begging the Norn Queen to go to Odin and wake him. The Norn Queen agrees to help her evil ally and contacts Odin. The Asgardian king wakes with a start and immediately takes action to helpThor.

While all this has been happening, Thor has been fighting a losing battle with the Destroyer on Earth. However when Odin finally makes contact with his son, Thor tells him to stay out of it. Despite all the times when Odin has saved the day for Thor in the past, he now realizes that “The god of thunder must wage his own battle no matter what the cost!”

With Odin staying his hand, Thor grabs the body of the hunter who’s mind inhabits the Destroyer. Thor uses the body as a human shield against the strength of the Destroyer. The Destroyer threatens to call the god’s bluff, proclaiming that Thor has pledged never to take a mortal life and that he must release the body, lest it be destroyed. However when Thor doesn’t back down, the Destroyer blinks first, transferring the still-unnamed hunter back into his body.

Thor takes the hunter away from the temple as he destroys it utterly, burying the Destroyer in the rubble. He then thanks his father for allowing him to do things his way.

Odin reasons that Loki must be to blame for this fight and he is ready to kill his son. However his guards tell him that Loki was desperate to help Thor in this battle. At this news, Odin calms slightly and gives Loki a reduced sentence, binding him to the service of Ularic, Odin’s Royal Warlock.

Thor still needs to bring the Norn Stones back to Asgard, but there is the matter of his broken hammer to be dealt with. He delays returning to Asgard, instead heading to America, where he seeks the mightiest forge in all the land.

First Appearance: Ularic Odin’s Royal Warlock

Days of Thunder – July 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #118 part 2

Tale of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “The Crimson Hand!”
Story by: Stan Lee The Legend Teller! Art by: Jack Kirby The Legend Maker! Inking by: Vince Colletta The Legend Portrayer! Lettering by: Sam Rosen The Letterer!

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Young Thor and Young Loki prepare for their quest to determine who cracked the Oversword of Asgard. Morduk, an Asgardian sage, has prepared a map for the brothers to follow on their journey. Morduk also gives Thor an enchanted crimson glove. When the wearer of the glove clasps the hand of another, neither party may speak anything but the full truth.

Thor meets up with Loki.  His brother is in the company of Braggi, chosen by Loki to be the overseer of the crew on their trip. Thor uses his new mystic Hand of Truth to shake the hand of Braggi who tells the godling that “I wish thee naught but harm, unsuspecting one! Once we have set sail, I shall smite thee from behind and slay thee!”

Thor beats on Braggi enough for the would-be assassin to flee in terror. Thor tries to use the glove on his brother, but Loki sees right through that blunt ruse and leaves his brother hanging. As Agnar blows the Dragon Horn of Asgard, the brothers prepare to depart on their voyage.

First Appearance: Morduk, Braggi, the Hand of Truth

Days of Thunder – July 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #118

He who bears the name: Destroyer, possesses the power “To Kill a Thunder God!”
A Story Steeped in Splendor by… Stan Lee/ Artwork Bathed in Beauty by… Jack Kirby/ Inking Dipped in Drama by… Vince Colletta/ Lettering Couched in Cliches by… Artie Simek

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Thor has left the conflict in Viet Nam.  He needs only to return the Norn Stones to his father in order to prove that his brother cheated in their trial and therefore lied about Thor bringing Jane Foster to Asgard. He has stopped to examine the stones in what should still be Asia, but appears to actually be Africa.  It is unclear.  While looking at the rocks, he is ambushed by an unnamed hunter who shoots him with an anesthetic shell.

This hunter is Loki’s catspaw. Watching Thor from Asgard, the evil god is desperate that Thor not return with the stones. He manipulates the hunter to take Thor to The Temple of Darkness, a nearby Asgardian temple that has been hidden for thousands of years.

Once in the temple, the hunter, guided by Loki, triggers some ancient mechanism, and his brain undergoes a mystic transfer into the body of the Destroyer, a large armored humanoid form designed by Odin long ago to be the ultimate weapon. After countless ages of slumber, the hunter’s life force brings the monster to life.

The Destroyer is compelled to kill the first thing that it sees, which in this case is Thor. It is unclear if the The Destroyer is a robot, an armored biological creature, or an empty shell animated by magic. What is clear is that it is more powerful than even Thor. Designed by Odin to be unbeatable, it is bigger and stronger than Thor. It can even lift his hammer, the only other living soul that can do so.

While Thor fights the Destroyer, Loki squirms. He realizes that the Destroyer may well kill Thor and were there to be such an outcome, that he himself would feel the brunt of Odin’s rage. Fearing that he has gotten carried away, he goes to his father’s chambers so that he might warn Odin of the peril that Thor finds himself in.

However, in order to maintain his immortality, Odin must spend one full day out of every year sleeping the Sleep of Life, and that day is today. Odin’s guards refuse to allow Loki to wake his father and they throw him in the Dungeon of No-Escape when Loki tries to push past them.

Meanwhile, the Destroyer has Thor on the ropes. Even as Thor thinks to use the Norn Stones to his advantage, the Destroyer slices Thor’s hammer in two with a force beam issuing from its fingers. The Destroyer uses additional force beams to first melt the floor beneath the thunder god, and then solidify it diamond-hard, trapping Thor. The son of Odin is seemingly defenseless as the Destroyer readies itself to kill him. To be continued!

First Appearance: The Destroyer, unnamed hunter, The Sleep of Life, The Temple of Darkness, The Dungeon of No-Escape

Days of Thunder – June 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #117 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Gods! “The Sword in the Scabbard!”
Beginning: One of the greatest sagas of all time!! By: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby/ Inking: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek

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Young Thor and Young Loki are fighting due to Loki’s misdeeds when Odin summons them both to the room containing the Oversword of Asgard. The Oversword (also known as the Odinsword) is an absurdly large sheathed sword. Legend has it that if it ever leaves its sheath, the universe will come to an end.

Odin has brought his sons to the sword to show them a grim portent: There is a crack in the sheathed sword. Odin fears the worst, that some great malevolent force has created the crack, and will continue to do more damage to the sword, eventually bringing about the end of the universe. Odin commands his sons to seek out the cause of this crack and crush it utterly, whatever it may be.

First Appearance: The Oversword of Asgard

Days of Thunder – June 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #117

The Mighty Thor “Into the Blaze of Battle”

Regally Written by: Stan Lee/ Dazzlingly Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Invincibly Inked by: Vince Colletta/ Lonesomely Lettered by: Artie Simek

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Loki has won the trial but he did it by secretly using the Norn Stones.   He hides the stones on Earth, and  taunts Thor with his victory. Thor punches him in the head.

In the great hall of Valhalla, (the ceremonial chamber of Odin), Thor makes the case that Loki is a big fat cheater.  He asks that Odin allow him to travel to Earth to find the stones.  Odin agrees to give Thor twenty four hours to find the stones and prove his innocence.  Odin loves time limits.

Meanwhile, Balder has been fighting the Enchantress and the Executioner to protect Jane Foster.  Thor arrives to help Balder before beginning his search for the Norn Stones.  The villains flee as soon as Thor arrives. Balder casts a spell of forgetfulness on Jane just to make things easier. Thor makes it clear that he considers Balder a dear friend.

Thor then uses the Uru metal in his hammer to find the enchanted stones, discovering that Loki has hidden them somewhere in Viet Nam. This gives Thor an opportunity to fight some communists while he searches for the stones.

While Thor searches for the Norn Stones on Earth,  the Norn Queen visits Loki on Asgard, demanding the return of her stones. Loki promises to return them soon.

Thor gets caught in the middle of some Vietnamese family melodrama but the cool part is when the communists use Doctor Blake’s cane to bind his arms and he has to throw himself at the ground at an angle so that the cane strikes the ground before he does. Then he fights more Commies and finds the Norn Stones.

Days of Thunder – May 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #116 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “The Challenge”
Story: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Jack Kirby/ Inking; Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek

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Young Loki wants to make more secret allies after his success with Ghan. His second choice is King Hymir, an amazing looking dude with a fantastic hat. Young Loki and Young Thor are visiting the king on a diplomatic mission. Loki suggests to Hymir that Thor would be honor bound to accept any challenge posed to him by Hymir, who is famous for his evil challenges.

Hymir gives Thor two challenges, the penalty for failure being enslavement. First, Thor is tasked with catching a fish from the Sea of Eternal Darkness. Thor kills a giant sea monster with his giant hammer and calls the challenge completed.

The fish is just prelude for the main event. Thor is given two minutes to break a particular drinking goblet. It turns out that this goblet is enchanted so to protect it from harm. Thor’s solution is hurl the cup at Hymir so hard that it kills the king. Instead it strikes Hymir’s beautiful, beautiful hat and shatters against it, because the hat was the catalyst for the enchantment.

Thor has won the challenge and Loki has lost the favor of Hymir.  Hymir, nay, the world, has lost the greatest hat of all time.

First Appearance:  King Hymir, King Hymir’s hat

Mostly James Bond and Thor Stuff