Days of Thunder – November 1967 The Mighty Thor #146

“–If The Thunder Be Gone!”
A Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby festival of fabulous Fantasy! Delineation: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek

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Thor makes his circus debut, wearing a cheap knockoff Thor costume supplied by the Ringmaster. They perform their show and Thor does okay. In the Audience, Thor spies Jane Foster on a date and he is gladdened to see that she has moved on.

After the show, the heist begins. It is like Ocean’s 11 but with a clown and a snake and a former Thunder God. The goal of the heist is a massive 20-ton statue of a golden bull, showcased in a local museum. Thor’s job is to lift it.

As the gang makes their getaway, some guards catch up with the crew and attempt to shoot the fleeing criminals. The gunshots somehow lift the hypnosis from Thor’s mind, but in his disorientation, he drops the bull, pinning Princess Python! As Thor wonders what do to, the guards charge into the room, guns blazing!

Days of Thunder – October 1967 The Mighty Thor #145 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The End!”
Know Ye All.. Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby have for thee alone, created yonder masterwork!/ Aided, most ably, by: Vincent Colletta, Embellisher/ Artie Simek, Letterer/ Thus Speaketh Forbush!

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After Alibar gives Hogun the flag of his still-as-of-yet-unnamed people, finally do the heroes seize the palace of Mogul, only to discover that the villain has fled. They use Mogul’s mystic paraphanalia to discover the truth: he intends to use his vial of Spotted Plague to wipe out ever living person in Hogun’s unnamed Asiatic land.

By combining Hogun and Alibar’s respective mystic arts and channeling it through Mogul’s scrying crystal, the heroes are able to slay Mogul with a shattering bolt of Temporal Force. Apparently all this time, grim mace-wielding Hogun knew magic spells.

Thor, Hogun, Volstagg, and Fandral leave Zanadu as Alibar assumes the throne. As this story comes to a close, so too does this feature.

This is the last installment of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Tales of Asgard, a feature so good that over time the main Thor feature began to resemble it more and more, eventually making Tales redundant.

One installment shy of fifty, we leave Tales of Asgard with the mystery of the cracked Odinsword sadly unresolved.  It will briefly be replaced by a Inhumans feature, which while outside the purview of Days of Thunder, is largely delightful.

First Appearance: Temporal Force

Days of Thunder – October 1967 The Mighty Thor #145

The Mighty Thor! “Abandoned On Earth!”
Produced by Marvel’s peerless purveyors of pandemonious  pageantry: Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby/ Embellished by Valiant Vince Colletta/ Lettered by Swingin’ Sammy Rosen

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Odin returns victorious from his cosmic battle, bringing with him Forsung’s corpse. He crushes the no-longer Living Talisman in his fist and gives a fiery speech:  “Death to the foes of Asgard! The Golden Realm shall e’er endure! I have spoken! Odin is the power supreme! Odin is the word.. and the way and the wonder! Let all who live now know them this… Odin is just! Odin is merciful!! And yet…
Odin is a vengeful liege.. Odin is an angry liege… Odin is now and forever supreme! And woe to him who strays from righteousness!… For the rage of the All-Father is truly eternal and his judgement is all-consuming!”

And with that he consigns the two remaining Enchanters to the Lost Limbo of Infinity Unending.  In these pages, Odin has been shown to be angry, many, many times. This is the first time we have seen him wrathful and it is magnificent to behold.

Odin now commands the Asgardians on Earth to return home. Balder and Sif comply but Thor begs to stay.

Thor picked the wrong time to back-talk Odin. His father grants his request but severs his connection to the power of Asgard.  Odin also disenchants Thor’s hammer. Without Mjolnir’s enchantment, Thor cannot fly, cannot command the storm, the hammer will not return to him, and he cannot transform into Doctor Blake.

Thor passes out from the shock of this change.  Later, he is awakened by Olsen the janitor who discovers him on the floor of Blake’s office.

Thor soon realizes he must make a new life for himself on Earth. He must find human clothes with which to blend in, and find a job.  Presumably, he will live in Blake’s home.

Stranded on Earth, naturally Thor decides to become a circus strong man performing under the stage name of “Thor”. Unfortunately for him, the circus he joins is the Circus of Crime.

Led by the Ringmaster who possesses a hypnotic top hat, the Circus of Crime also boast in their number the Gambino Twins, sinister acrobats; Princess Python, a deadly snake charmer; the Human Cannonball, a bulleteer; and The Crafty Clown, a clown who is crafty. They use their circus powers for criminality and they intend
to hypnotize Thor into helping them!

First Appearance: The Circus of Crime, The Ringmaster, The Gambino Twins, Princess Python, The Human Cannonball, The Crafty Clown

Days of Thunder – October 1967 The Avengers #45

“Blitzkrieg in Central Park!”
Stan Lee personally presents and polishes a Roy Thomas – Don Heck melee of matchless Marvel magnificence! Delineated by the proud pinpoint of Vince Colletta/ Lettered by the fumbling fingers of Sam Rosen

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Thor joins his fellow Avengers for Avenger Day, a celebration held in Central Park honoring the Avengers for their recent victory against the Mandarin. Thor attends reluctantly, grumbling, “Must the mighty Avengers be reduced to mere clowns– strutting and fretting for the benefit of mortals?” He makes an early departure, before the team can surprise Hercules by formally inviting him to join the team. (They had wanted to invite Black Widow as well, but she has decided to retire from superheroics.)
There is a footnote in this issue indicating that it take place before the events of Thor #145. That means that it and last month’s annual must take place shortly before the events of Thor #143.

Days of Thunder – September 1967 The Avengers King-Size Special #1

“The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!”
Stan Lee lovingly lords over a Roy Thomas – Don Heck landmark of literary luminescence! Inked by George Bell! Lettered by Artie Simek!

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Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Black Widow, a former red spy and girlfriend of Hawkeye,  has informally joined the team, as has Hercules, who has been banished to Earth for a period of one year. Also, the Wasp has inherited a fortune, The Scarlett Witch and and Quicksilver have gotten power boosts, and The Enchantress has fallen in love with Hercules.

This issue’s story is a sprawling superhero epic where Thor and Iron Man pitch in to help the Avengers fight a veritable army of supervillains: the Enchantress, the Executioner, the Living Laser, Power Man, the Swordsman, and Ultimo, led by a Yellow Peril mastermind named the Mandarin.

There are a bunch of fights on different fronts. There is a great bit where Thor dives for his hammer as his sixty-second window closes, turns into Blake mid-air, smashes into the ground, rolls, grabs his stick and, stamps it to the ground in one fluid motion.

The story culminates in a showdown on the Mandarin’s secret privately-owned space station, powered by a four-foot-tall diamond. There is a fight that ends with the Mandarin being sucked out into the vacuum of space. Afterward the Avengers decide to blow up the space station, despite noting that it might have been “the stepping-stone to the stars.” As they rocket home, Thor and Iron Man agree that they need to make an effort to involve themselves with the Avengers more often.

Days of Thunder – September 1967 The Mighty Thor #144 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Beginning of the End!”
By the Flaming Fury of Forbush, here by Grandeur, Freely Given… As Conceived and Created by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by Sam Rosen

Thor and his friends continue to fight the unkillable hordes of Satan. As the demon riders regroup, the Asgardians are joined by Alibar the Vagabond. As the four heroes turn to face the horsemen they bellow “For Asgard!”, only to be met by an even louder reply of “For Satan!”

The two forces charge at each other but before they meet, all forty of Satan’s horsemen are taken out by a single blast of returning Volstagg’s recently acquired enchanted rod.

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Days of Thunder – September 1967 The Mighty Thor #144

The Mighty Thor! “This Battleground Earth!”
Conceived in grandeur and produced in majesty by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen

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Fight time! The Enchanters Magnir and Brona want to fight Thor without any interference, so they clear the area of mortals by releasing a ring of Demon Mist, something I assume kills all the humans. Then they separate Thor from his friends by lifting the ground upon which they stand into the sky.

With Thor isolated, so begins perhaps the toughest fight yet to transpire in the pages of The Mighty Thor.  The Enchanters, giant beings with great strength and greater magic, can transform themselves into energy or engulf themselves in smoke, they are strong and able warriors, and they outmatch Thor two-to-one.

It’s a glorious battle, with a lot of back and forth. At a key moment in the fight, Magnir catches Thor’s hammer mid-swing, wrests it from Thor’s hand, heats it with the heat of a million suns, and throws it back at Thor. That’s what Thor is dealing with. He stands his ground, but he is not winning.

While Thor fights these Enchanters, Forsung, the eldest of the three brothers, has come to Asgard itself to challenge Odin in ritual combat.

As the issuer of the challenge, Forsung proclaims that, “The victor’s prize shall be… the all-powerful Odin-Sword, which doth repose within yon vault!”
“But, know you, Forsung… When the Odin-Sword moves, it well may signal the end of the world!” replies Odin
“No Matter! Twill be the end of thy world… not mine!”

Those are the stakes. The nature of the battle is this: Both men shall clasp Odin’s Scepter of Power. Through it shall flow both combatant’s power, battering at the both of them. He who can hold on longest shall be the victor. In addition, for this battle Forsung shall forgo the use of his mystic talisman, while Odin shall withdraw the Power of All Asgardians, which is apparently a thing that he draws upon.

This cosmic battle of pure willpower engulfs the two combatants in a brilliant fireball of universe-shaking energy that propels them through the endless bounds of space. As they hurtle through the void, they smash through planets, and create new suns through the power of their divine energies. Theirs is a battle that transcends space, time and thought itself.

There is a side-effect of this cosmic battle.  When Odin and Forsung renounced their divine powers it severed the connection to the power of godhood for Thor and presumably all other Asgardians, and has done the equivalent to the Enchanters. Without their magics, the Enchanters are no longer able to keep Balder and Sif away from the fight and soon Brona and Magnir are defeated by the three Asgardian.  However, having lost their godhead, Thor, Sif, and Balder are trapped on Midgard.

First appearance: Demon Mist

Days of Thunder – August 1967 The Mighty Thor #143 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “To the Death!”

Thou too should be congratulated, for– Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby Plus;  Bill Everett, Embellisher and: Artie Simek, Letterer  –have created yon saga just for thee!

While Thor, Fandrall, and Hogun fight Satan’s Forty Horsemen, Volstagg attempts to flirt Mogul’s location out of the warlord’s unnamed sister. In response to his flirting, she drops him down a trap door but he pulls her down with him. They end up in Mogul’s chamber of doom.

Together they travel across the Sea of Lizards and use an incredibly unsubtle enchanted rod of wondrous wizard power to fight Mutaurus, a Minotaur who had the gall to call Volstagg “fat.”

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First Appearance: Mogul’s Sister, Mutaurus

Days of Thunder – August 1967 The Mighty Thor #143

The Mighty Thor! “–And, Soon Shall Come: The Enchanters!”
Produced in Living Color by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Bill Everett/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ True Believers All!

thor 143

Thor had returned to Earth to sort out his life as Doctor Donald Blake, and yet, when this issue begins, we find Thor sitting alone in a soda shop. It seems as though Blake is a man with no friends that Thor does not like being.  One wonders what the point of Blake is.

Once again, Thor makes a point of not paying for his goods and services before returning to Blake’s practice where he does some doctoring.

Meanwhile in Ringsfjord, Sif and Balder encounter the Enchanters, three gigantic men named Magnir, Forsung, and Brona. Each is clad in crazy Kirby armor, with a strange face on the chest: The Living Talisman.

Sif again has to explain to Balder that she is actually a real warrior, not a woman playing dress up, “I say thee nay, my lord! Though I be woman born, my blade is true… my arm is swift!” How long is she going to have to justify her existence?

The Enchanters declare their intent to humble Odin.  They then  attack Sif and Balder with crafted warriors and with the ground itself. Eventually the heroes retreat using Sif’s power to bypass time and space, which is apparently a thing all goddesses have.

Balder and Sif travel to Midgard to find Thor. They are unable to find him by detecting his aura because he is in Blake form. Instead, they ask a passing police officer if he knows where Thor is and the officer tells them that Doctor Blake might know. They visit Blake and he reveals himself to them as Thor. Meanwhile, two of the Enchanters have followed the Asgardians to Earth.

Also, Balder is falling in love with Sif. Uh oh!

First Appearance: Magnir, Forsung, Brona, The Living Talisman

Days of Thunder – July 1967 The Mighty Thor #142 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “We Who are About to Die…!”

Face it, faithful one.. Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby have done it again!  Aided by– Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

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Nothing really happens in this issue.  Mogul is delivered a vial of poison before he gets on his techno-magic carpet.  The act of serializing Tales of Asgard, has given the feature serious pacing issues.

Days of Thunder – July 1967 The Mighty Thor #142

The Mighty Thor! “The Scourge of the Super Skrull!”
A Modern, majestic Masterwork by Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by Vince Colletta/ Lettered by Artie Simek

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The character of the Super-Skrull is a character that has previously been introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four, the worlds greatest comic magazine. The Skrulls are a a race of green shape-changing aliens from the Skrull Galaxy who have repeatedly clashed with the Fantastic Four in attempting to conquer the Earth. On one occasion, the Fantastic Four hypnotized some Skrulls into believing they were cows.  On another, the Skrulls murdered the father of two of the team’s members.  Most recently, the leader of the Skrulls has promised to stop trying to conquer Earth.

One of the Skrulls has been modified by Skrull science so as to possess the powers of all four members of the Fantastic Four, in addition to his normal shape-changing powers. This grants him the power of flight, super-strength, invisibility, spontaneous flame creation, and stretchiness.  It is he who is known as the Super-Skrull.  After twice being defeated by the Fantastic Four, he has returned to his people.

Still disembodied and exiled, but again self-aware, and for some reason now back in his classic garb, Loki is back to his old tricks. He finds the Super-Skrull, now banished to an unglamorous space patrol assignment, and uses his powers of suggestion to compel the Skrull to attack Thor as the beginning of a campaign to conquer Asgard itself.

The Super-Skrull fights Thor and loses. Thor uses Mjolnir to create an Anti-Force to fling the Super-Skrull away from Earth.

Meanwhile Balder and Sif make plans to visit the land of Ringsfjord to fight the deadly Enchanters. Balder tries to convince Sif to stay away from the danger, but Sif ain’t having it, asking it “Is my arm not skillful as any warrior? Is my eye not as keen? Is my courage any less true?” It is unfortunate that all the men around Sif have to be portrayed as sexist asses in order to elevate Sif.

First Appearance: Mjolnir’s Anti-Force

Days of Thunder – June 1967 The Mighty Thor #141 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Alibar and the Forty Demons!”
Hail Ye All, This Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Commodious Creation! Inking: Vince Colletta/ Lettering Art Simek

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The nature of the geography of Asgard has always been a little vague. Asgard is a city that connects to Earth via a rainbow bridge. The Aesir that live in Asgard can travel by foot or by horse to other lands. The implication is that Asgard is one city in a larger world that has a direct portal to our world. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite right or accurate to think of this world as a “planet”. At any rate, the unnamed section of the larger world of Asgard that Thor and his friends have found themselves in is weirdly Arabic except for where it is weirdly Mongolian.

Hogun and his friends have smashed their way into Xanadu, fighting off guards left and right as they search for Mogul. As they close in, Mogul uses his power of enchantment to turn one of his enemies, Alibar the Thief, into an elite guardsman.  Alibar is then forced to fight Hogun and friends.

Here’s the kicker, Mogul also summons Satan’s Forty Horsemen! Apparently Satan has a regiment of demonic riders of undead horses and Mogul has access to those dragoons. This naturally raises all sorts of questions about Satan. Also, while Vince Colletta is typically the weak link in these Thor stories, he inks the hell out of Satan’s Horsemen Forty.  Er, so to speak.

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First Appearance: Alibar the Thief, Satan’s Forty Horsemen

Days of Thunder – June 1967 The Mighty Thor #141

The Mighty Thor! “The Wrath of Replicus”
A Dazzling Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Drama-In-Depth! Inked by: V. Colletta/ Lettered by: Art Simek

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Slugger Sykes is a mob boss who has met a scientist named Chuda who will rent him a powerful android for crimes. This android, called Replicus, is set unto a crime spree, robbing banks and stealing the crown jewels.

Sykes is pleased with the results of this arrangement until he discovers that Chuda’s plan is to sell Replicuses to mob bosses all over the land, sowing fear and chaos. Sykes may be a criminal but when he discovers that Chuda is actually a foreign spy, he turns on Chuda. Although Sykes has pegged Chuda as a Red, he is actually from space and he pulls out the space weapons. In the ensuing fight, Chuda’s entire lair, including all those in it, is destroyed, leaving Replicus inert.

Thor was in this issue too. He fought Replicus for a while and Doctor Blake gave Sykes’ mother a house call.

First Appearance: Slugger Sykes, Chuda, Replicus

Days of Thunder – May 1967 The Mighty Thor #140 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Battle Begins!”
A Glory-Drenched Masterwork by Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King Kirby) Inking: Vince Collettta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

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The boys fight the Jinni. The fight goes on for so long that the sun begins to set.  Sunsets just happen to be the one fatal weakness that has killed all the other Jinni before this one, the last of it’s kind. When the shadows strike the Jinni, it is turned to smoke and carried away never to return. Thor and his friends have successfully fought a creature into extinction.

Days of Thunder – May 1967 The Mighty Thor #140

The Mighty Thor! “The Growing Man!”
Conceived and created by the noblest collaborative combo in comicdom: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Inking by: Vince Colletta/ Lettering by: Sam Rosen

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Fresh from his victory in the Great Troll War, the Warlord of Asgard is ready to return to Earth. Sif wants to accompany him but Thor gives her the brush off. He claims that his heroing on Earth is man’s work. Even after Sif shoots that down as a load of bull, he still insists on going by himself.

Thor has started to think about all that has gone on recently and he is a confused god. He really likes Sif but he remembers that he until very recently felt that way about Jane. He wonders if Odin altered his brain to make him move on from Jane to Sif or if Sif is really that awesome. It is very confusing to him. One thing is for sure, Doctor Donald Blake’s life has gone to shit. Thor decides that what is called for is to rebuild what he has let fall apart.

He returns to Earth and once again transforms into Doctor Blake. Apparently, he has physician friends and apparently they filled in during his absence. He tries to get his files in order, discussing his return with Olsen the janitor.

Meanwhile, archaeologists have discovered a living man who was the size of a doll when first found, but who has steadily grown larger and larger whenever he is touched by another person. He wakes and goes on a rampage, soon becoming the size of a small mountain.

This Growing Man is alarmed for he does not know his purpose. He seeks his master so that he can be told what his purpose is. This is a poignant and philosophical and undeveloped notion.

It turns out that the Growing Man is  a Stimuloid created by Kang the Conquerer and was hidden in Kang’s past to serve as a sleeper agent for attacking his enemies in the future. Unfortunately he was awoken too soon.  Kang has thus returned to the primitive 20th century so that he might re-shrink his weapon.

Thor tracks down the Stimuloid and oddly is able to recognize him as being one of Kang’s creations from the far future, which is odd since none of Thor’s past on-page interactions with Kang have involved Stimuloids. There are any number of ways Thor could have picked up this knowledge but it is still strange.

Thor fights Kang and the Stimuloid until they retreat to Kang’s time machine. Before they can escape, Thor throws Mjolnir (here spelled “Mjolnar”) so hard that it spins around the time machine at a speed greater than light, trapping the time machine in a Universal Infinity Vortex, causing a cataclysmic displacement trapping Kang and his Stimuloid beyond all time and place.

First Appearance: Stimuloids, The Universal Infinity Vortex, Olsen the Janitor

Days of Thunder – April 1967 The Mighty Thor #139 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Secret of the Mystic Mountain!”
A Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Rhapsodic Rabelasian Romp/ Inked by Vince Colletta/ Lettered by Art Simek

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Hogun and the gang go to where Wazir’s magic stick told them they would find the Mystic Mountain but are confounded to find nothing but desolate plains. Finally, Thor figures it out. They were looking for a normal sky-mountain, but not all mountains reach upward. Mogul’s mountain city of Zanadu is inside a reverse-mountain.

Zanadu is a city built in a giant hollow crystal stalactite over top of an even more giant underground cave. Thor and company are standing above this whole thing but now that they’ve figured it out they can start smashing their way downward with hammer and mace, which they do.

Once they have created an opening, they are met by Mogul’s genie slave, named Jinni Devil. Jinni is ready for a fight.

First Appearance: Zanadu