Days of Thunder – December 1968 The Mighty Thor #159

“Who is the Real Don Blake? The Answer at Last!”
A Stan Lee Jack Kirby Production/ Inking: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 159

After Doctor Blake performs some surgery, he astrally projects himself as Thor toward Asgard. Thor has not done this before, but this is an ability that we have seen, in different ways, performed by Odin and Loki. Once Thor gets Odin’s attention, it is Odin and Doctor Blake who have a conversation.

Odin decides to finally tell the truth to Blake.  Some time ago, a young Thor had become arrogant and reckless, breaking treaties and starting petty barroom brawls with the like of Gondolff, champion arm-wrestler. Odin decided that Thor needed to be taught humility. And so it came to pass that Thor was transformed into a infirm mortal with no memory of his true nature.

Donald Blake’s life began on the first day of medical school. He believed himself to be a young, lame medical student.  He believed himself to be human.  He was set on a path dedicated to the healing of others, and given a weak, unassuming form. Such was the nature of the spell on Blake that he never thought about his life prior to medical school, never wondered about his lack of a family or any of the other things that make a human life.

Eventually, Odin left the mighty Uru hammer Mjolnir in a cave for Blake to find, and gradually, he earned the right to become Thor again.  Now he knows the truth, and presumably has no real need to become Doctor Blake.  Although it seems he has grown attached to the Blake shell, false as it may be.

First Appearance: Gondolff

 

Days of Thunder – November 1968 The Mighty Thor #158

“The Way it Was!”
Pandemoniously Produced by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Vince Colletta, Embellisher/ Sam Rosen, Letterer/ I. Forbush, Heraldry

Thor 158

The bulk of this issue is a reprint of Thor’s origin as told in Journey Into Mystery #83. The origin is framed in a sequence that certainly shows how much Jack Kirby’s art has evolved in a six-year span.

In the framing sequence, Thor returns to Earth and turns into Doctor Blake, who is continuing to rely on his peers to pick up the slack for his total lack of commitment to his mortal guise.

He is lost in thought,  finally pondering the bizarre nature of his dual identity. “If I am truly Thor… then who is the real Donald Blake? And if I am Don Blake… where was Thor before I took his identity?… Is Dr. Blake merely a myth… a casual creation of All-Wise Odin?… Or… am I what I seemed to be… a normal, average human…?? A star-kissed Earthman who had accidentally stumbled upon the greatest discovery of all time! But if that’s the answer… then what happened to the original son of Odin?? Why? Why… was his hammer left abandoned in that cave?? I’ve got to know! I’ve got to know!!”


Days of Thunder – October 1968 The Mighty Thor #157

“Behind Him… Ragnarok!”
Now let’s see whether even Stan Lee & Jack Kirby Aided by Vince Colletta and Sam Rosen can get us out of this one!

thor 157

While craven Loki flees, the combined forces of Asgard regroup and come together to stave off the threat of the Mangog. This includes Balder, who has rejected the advances of a love-struck Karnilla and freed a group of Asgardian prisoners from her clutches. The Recorder is present, but he merely observes.

The Mangog presses closer and closer to the Odinword until finally he holds its hilt in his grasp. As he at long last reaches his goal, he screams “Now let Ragnarok fall!!” He would have his people’s revenge at the cost of the universe itself!

But all is not lost! The power of Thor’s storm has awakened Odin from his Odinsleep! As the All-Father stands before the Mangog he reveals the dark truth. The Mangog is not a creation of the slain alien invaders. No, the Mangog IS that alien race. Long ago, Odin used the full might of his terrible power to combine all the many billions of lives of that people into a single being, who became nothing but the embodiment of their rage.  He then locked that being in a cage.   Now, in order to prevent Ragnarok, Odin breaks the spell, claiming that this race has now served their penance.   Thus the threat of the Mangog ends.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1968 Avengers King-Size Special! #2

“…And The Rushing River…”
Perhaps the most incredible Avengers thriller yet, presented with pride by: Stan Lee – Editor/ Roy Thomas – Writer/ Don Heck, Werner Roth} Artists/ Vince Colletta – Inker/ Joe Rosen- Letterer/ Honorary Avengers All!!

Avengers king 2

While Thor has been fighting the Mangog, Captain America and the Avengers, currently consisting of Goliath, Wasp, Hawkeye, and the Black Panther, have been meddling with time travel. They now return to what they believe to be the present day, only to discover that the world that they have returned to is not the world from which they left. In the timestream they now find themselves in, the original Avengers, consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Giant Man, The Wasp, and The Hulk, have sized control of the world, capturing and indefinitely detaining all other people with super powers, be them hero or villain.

Of course, these alternate Avengers are being manipulated by Kang the Conquerer but he isn’t mind-controlling them, nor is he blackmailing them, simply giving them a thin pretense of heroics under which they can justify world-rule.   Kang posed as an alien on a mission of peace, and offered to cure all of Earths ills if the Avengers would first imprison all other superhumans. They unanimously accepted his offer without even asking for the slightest evidence to back his claims.

The specifics of how things play out don’t much matter as this is a time travel story that ends with the erasing of all memory of occurrence on the part of all participants.  Nonetheless, it stands as sharp reminder of how little it takes to get Thor to conquer the planet, as he has done or attempted to do at least twice in the past.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1968 The Mighty Thor #156

“The Hammer and the Holocaust”
Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby have created yon epic enchantment just for thee! Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen

Thor 156

This is the second issue of Thor titled “The Hammer and the Holocaust”. It does not appear to be a reference to anything.  Presumably Stan just liked the phrase.

Thor fights the Mangog with all the power he has, including the power of the storm. He pours so much lightning into the area that the ground turns molten. He batters the beast with blinding rain and pounding wind, but he only slows his foe, he cannot stop it.

Meanwhile the Colonizers have sent the Recorder to Asgard to bear witness to these events, which may be the end of all things.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1968 The Mighty Thor #155

“Now Ends the Universe!”
Immortalized by: Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 155

As the danger of Mangog has increased, and as the skies of Midgard fill with storms, Thor and Sif are able to sense the coming Ragnarok. Thor uses Mjolnir to increase the rate of Sif’s healing and they return to Asgard.

The world-end of Ragnarok is apparently one that encompasses not only Asgard, but also Earth and Rigel, where the Colonizers can also sense the impending doom. The Recorder returns to the Black Galaxy to see if Ego is the cause, but finds nothing unusual in the Black Galaxy, at least by the standards of normalcy at work within the Black Galaxy. Somehow Ego avoided the fate of being eaten by Galactus as would have seemed to have been his fate in issue #134.

On Asgard, Loki finds Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg and commands them to seek out and destroy the Mangog. They do not show Loki respect, but they do obey him and depart for what Loki hopes will be a death sentence.

Thor and Sif arrive in the Throne Room of Asgard, where Thor challenges Loki’s right to rule. However, the Law Eternal is on Loki’s side. Thor does not have the authority to take control from his brother.

Mangog is walking straight toward Asgard, fighting Storm Giants and Asgardians, shrugging off all attacks, including that of an Odinian Force Arrow, which appears to be a breath-propelled rocket. Either Mangog got turned around and is lost or he came out of the Odin-Cave far away from Ulik’s entry point because it is not the Forest of the Norns through which he travels.

Mangog is the creation of a long dead alien race, engineered to have the strength of a billion billion beings by a race of aliens who wished to invade Asgard. For this act, Odin killed every last one of this unnamed race and trapped the Mangog in the Cave of Ages. As revenge for Odin’s genocide, the Mangog seeks to unsheathe the Odinsword and thus end the universe.

Regarding the mechanics of the Odinsword, in this issue Thor claims that in the instant the sword is pulled, the universe is to be destroyed, however based on other comments made in this issue, it would seem that what he means is that the process of Ragnarok that culminates in the end of the universe begins at the moment of removal.

In the face of universal doom, Thor rides out to confront the Mangog, leaving Sif to guard Asgard. Along the way he finds what is left of crushed Asgardian forces.  Eventually, he finds his three friends who had been sent to fight the Mangog, trapped beneath rubble. Before he can free them, the Mangog attacks!

First Appearance: The Odinian Force Arrow

Days of Thunder – July1968 The Mighty Thor #154

“…To Wake the Mangog!”
Produced by: Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby/ Vince Colletta Inker/ Artie Simek Letterer

Thor 154

While Thor is visiting Sif while she recuperates, he is visited by Hela, who believes that she has a claim to Thor after his fight with the Wrecker. Thor’s old frenemy, Harokin pops in to speak on Hela’s behalf, asking him to come lead the army of the undead in Valhalla. Thor is tempted, but declines, stating “The son of Odin fights for purpose– never pleasure!” This is a much bigger lie than anything Loki has ever said in this book. Having made her pitch, Hela departs.

Meanwhile, Ulik has discovered the long-lost Odin-Cave, also known as the Cave of Ages. This legendary site is filled with Enchanti-Stones, the seeds of Odin’s peerless power. It is also the prison of Mangog,the last member of an alien race so powerful that they once nearly destroyed Asgard. It says a lot about Ulik that rather than collect the stones, he frees the alien.

The Mangog, once freed has no interest in an alliance with Ulik and no notion of gratitude for his freedom. The Mangog is the enemy of all who live, with the sole goal of destroying Odin. Ulik escapes from the Mangog as soon as he is able.

Thor, unaware of the threat to Asgard is wandering around New York looking for Loki. He stops a team of thugs calling themselves Muggers Incorporated and exchanges strong words with a pack of hippies. The friendly counterculture youth take Thor’s long hair as a sign of kinship, a notion Thor rejects hard.

“’Tis not by dropping out– but by plunging in– into the maelstrom of life itself– that thou shalt find wisdom! There be causes to espouse!! There be battles to be won! There be glory and grandeur all about thee– if thou wilt but see! Aye, there be time enow for thee to disavow thy heritage– yea, thou mayest drop out fore’er once Hela herself hath come for thee! But, so long as life endures– thou must live it to the full! Else, thou be unworthy of the title– man!” Thor does not like hippies.

Loki, forbidden from fighting his brother, returns to Asgard to see what trouble he can cause, only to discover that there is already trouble aplenty. When Ulik freed the Mangog, he set off the Eternity Alarm, and so the forces of Asgard are preparing for the conflict that is surely at hand. Toag, Elder of the Supreme Council fills Loki in  on all of this and of one other detail: Odin now rests in his Odinsleep (otherwise known as the Sleep of Life, last seen in issue #118). With Odin unavailable and Thor busy pestering hippies, Loki takes the throne!

First Appearance: The Mangog, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, The Enchanti-Stones, The Cave of Ages

The Mangog, comics, Days of Thunder, Thor, Doctor Donald Blake, Sif, Odin, Loki, Karnilla the Norn Queen, Balder, Ulik, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, Hela, Harokin

Days of Thunder – June 1968 The Mighty Thor #153

“–But Dr. Blake Can Die!”
Another Star-Studded Spectacular by: Stan (The Man) Lee & Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

Thor 153

Starting with this issue, the Inhumans backup feature has been dropped, leaving a full 20 pages of Thor. Maybe the change threw Stan for a loop, because this issue is an utter mess, barely held together through a patchwork web of No-Prizes.

So, okay, Loki has stolen Thor’s hammer. Karnilla reveals that he has somehow stolen some of her Norn Power. This combined with Loki’s own sorcery apparently gives Loki enough power to bypass Odin’s enchantment that would otherwise bar him from lifting Mjolnir.

Thor panics, believing himself about to turn back into Blake. It has been some time since he was under the effect of the hammer’s enchantment, and he has apparently forgotten that the sixty second rule only applies to him when he is on Earth.

Thor commands Karnilla to transport him to Loki so that he might face his brother and take back that which is his. Sif demands to accompany him. Karnilla agrees, stating “Thus does Karnilla achieve two ends with but a single spell! I now repay my debt to Thor– And in doing, I send him to a most certain death!”

Thor and Sif are sent straight to Loki, who has returned to Earth for some reason. One could conject that Loki wanted to lure Thor back to Midgard in order to force the sixty second change.   If so, his plan works:  Thor turns into Blake and his hammer turns into his walking stick within Loki’s hands.

Sif attacks Loki. Both Sif and Loki seem to be at their full godly strength, despite having been depowered by Odin in issue #147. It would seem that since the depowering of Sif, Balder and Loki was a punishment for the leaving of Asgard, when they were returned to Asgard by the Wrecker their powers were returned to them.

At any rate, Loki now has the full power of a son of Odin, adopted though he be. Thus valiantly as Sif fights, she is no match for Loki. Thor begs her not to fight, while Loki respects her warrior prowess, although that does not stop him from removing her from the fight by knocking her out cold with a mystic Norn blast.

Thor-as-Blake lunges at Loki. While he is unable to harm the evil god, he grabs his walking stick and manages to turn back into his natural godly self. Even with Loki’s stolen Norn power, he is no match for Thor, who manages to restrain the evil one.

Thor then discovers that Sif has been injured badly enough that she needs to be operated upon by a doctor with both amazing surgical skills and working knowledge of Norn magic. Fortunately, Blake seems to be free to do whatever the hell he wants with complete support of his peers in the medical community and so he is allowed to just show up at the hospital and operate of Sif.

A freed Loki attacks Blake in the middle of the surgery during a delicate juncture but a doctor named Carson blasts Loki with ether, which will knock out an Asgardian the same as a human.  This buys Blake the time he needs.  After the surgery, Blake shoos out the doctors and nurses of the operating room (along with comatose Sif) as Loki wakes up.

The two brothers start fighting yet again, smashing through the wall of the hospital into the streets of New York. Odin watches this battle from his Chamber of Visions, lamenting the brothers’ enmity. Furthermore, he has become aware of a threat to Asgard that he feels must be fought by all who pay him homage, and so he uses an Odin-Bolt to tear the two brothers apart, after which Loki vanishes into the unknown.

Meanwhile, Ulik has stopped his fall by grabbing onto a ledge within the crevice into which he had been falling. After pulling himself up, he finds himself in a mystic canyon filled with shining rocks, confounded by the strangeness of his environs.

First Appearance: Doctor Carson

 

Days of Thunder – May 1968 The Mighty Thor #152

“The Dilemma of Dr. Blake!”
Let Marveldom rejoice! That which awaits us hath been garnished in grandeur by Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Epically Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Legibly Lettered by Sam Rosen

Thor 152

Even with reconstituted godhood, Thor is not a match for the Destroyer. Fortunately, Karnilla withdraws Sif’s essence , and it falls to the ground, lifeless. Thor turns the Destroyer over to the custody of the local constabulary. It is not clear if the Wrecker was arrested. A short time later, Odin comes to Midgard in human raiment and steals the Destroyer back.

Meanwhile, in the Norn Queen’s lair, Balder fights Ulik one-on-one, apparently after each changed clothes between issues. Sif wants to help but resists the urge, implicitly due to it not being honorable to double-team an enemy. As Balder and Ulik fight, Karnilla uses her magic to teleport Thor to the scene.

Thor has prior beef with Ulik and therefore Balder tags out allowing Thor to take the fight to Ulik. Since Thor started fighting the Wrecker in issue #148, there has been no break in the action, but there has sure been a lot of enemy-swapping, as Thor has moved from the Wrecker to the Destroyer to Ulik.

As Ulik and Thor fight, there is some really good characterization on the part of the Troll. He clearly takes pride in his savagery and seems to find Thor’s honor to be obscene from his Trollen vantage. “Honor is an empty vessel… and none but weaklings sip of it!” All of a sudden brutish Ulik is cast in a new light and carries with him a sort of reverse-nobility.

Thor throws Ulik down the bottomless Abyss of Shadows.

While Thor fought Ulik, Loki snuck back into the fray and has seemingly stolen Thor’s hammer! It is unclear how he got around the hammer’s newly restored enchantment, which should bar him from lifting it, but the hammer is gone and so is Loki!

As for the Trolls, it is unclear if they stayed under the command of Karnilla or if they returned to king Geirrodur.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1968 Avengers #51

“In the Clutches of the Collector!”
From the Sanctum Sanctorum of Smilin’ Stan Lee comes this Roy Thomas-John Buscema Two-Man Tour De Force!/ Inked and Embellished by: George Tuska/ Lettered and Relished by: Sam Rosen

Avengers 51

In the six months since Avengers Day, The Black Widow has disappeared, Hercules has returned to Olympus, Captain America has abruptly quit, and Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch have re-joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, although in her defense, the Scarlet Witch appeared to be suffering from a head injury when she re-joined.

Now, the three remaining core Avengers have been abducted by a villain named the Collector who wishes to own and imprison the Avengers for his collection. He has also captured Thor and fed him an Asgardian Obedience Potion, which compels Thor to obey all of the Collector’s commands.

The Collector commands Thor to bring him Iron Man, but Thor, eternally a letter of the law kind of guy, reasons that the easiest way to bring in Iron Man will be to kill him first. The two battle, and it is clear to all parties that Iron Man is simply no match for Thor, and that’s with Thor unaware of the fact that Iron Man has a damaged heart.

This conflict ends with the following bit of purple: “Then, amidst the shattered wreckage… as swirls of dust begin to clear… only one form stirs… that of Thor, the immortal who has become a murderous puppet… while the unmoving, battered figure of Iron Man can only lie in silence… and contemplate his own death–!”

Meanwhile the Avengers proper break free of the Collector and fight his Robotoid, while the Collector flees to a Sidereal Time-World. When the Collector exits our Time-World, Thor’s mind is freed so that he might help his fallen ally. He does so, and also helps the Avengers with the mop-up.

Afterward, Captain America calls the Avengers and asks if his friend The Panther can join. Anyone Cap vouches is good enough for the Avengers, and probably the fact that they are down to three members is also a factor in the vetting of The Panther. This is great news, because The Panther is best superhero of all time.

First Appearance:  The Collector

Days of Thunder – April 1968 The Incredible Hulk #102

“–This World Not His Own!”
Stan Lee Panoramically Presents This Pulse-Pounding Premiere by Gary Friedrich and Marie Severin/ Inked by: George Tuska/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

hulk 102

When last we left the Hulk, back when this magazine had a different name, he was plummeting to death in the form of Bruce Banner down a crevasse.  The title and and creative team of this book has changed, but at the start of this tale, Banner is still falling.

It just so happens that Asgardian exiles The Enchantress and the Executioner are at the bottom of this ravine.   When the Enchantress sees a human falling towards them, she uses her magic to catch him, on the theory that as a human, he may know something about Hercules, for whom she is still smitten.

Banner has no idea who Hercules is, pointing out that there are millions of humans on Earth and he doesn’t know them all. He soon Hulks out again, and starts fighting not only the exiles, but the troll army they have gathered. It is unclear if this army is the tattered remnants of those who fought and lost the Great Troll War, or if this is a different band of trolls.  Either way, they are a formidable-enough force to cause Hulk to run away.

The exiles are not concerned with Hulk at the moment, they are busy preparing to mount a major offensive against Asgard. While the villains prepare for their attack,  Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg have made their way to Oldar the Oracle, who warns them of the battle to come.  Meanwhile, the Hulk wanders around catacombs snaking beneath Asgard.

The trolls attack and unlike previous troll attacks, the Enchantress uses her magic to tip things her way. At least, that’s the way things are going until the Hulk shows up and helps his Asgardian friends murder a ton of trolls while Enchantress and Executioner retreat, the Executioner being much more ready to retreat than the  the Enchantress. Afterward, Hulk predictably angers Odin and is exiled from Asgard.

First Appearance: Oldar the Oracle

Days of Thunder – April 1968 The Mighty Thor #151

“–To Rise Again!”
Powerfully presented in pulse-pounding panoramascope by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen./ Inspired by: Asgard Eternal!

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Thor rushes to attack the Sf-controlled Destroyer. Sif cannot verbally communicate through the Destroyer, which has apparently lost vocal functionality, perhaps through damage, perhaps through the Norn Queen’s meddling. She tries to mime pacifism but Thor does not trust the Destroyer to not destroy. In fact, at a certain point the savage nature of the Destroyer overrides Sif’s will, and it begins to attack Thor, who is, of course, still depowered.

Thor cannot hold his own against the Destroyer and is badly battered. He cries out to his father, begging to be restored on behalf of Earth and Humanity. In Asgard, Ularic, Odin’s Royal Warlock, has replaced the missing Crystal of Eternal View, allowing Odin to watch Thor’s battle on Earth. He looks upon this begging with favor, interpreting it as humility. Deciding that Thor has learned his lesson, he restores Thor’s godhood,  allowing the newly-restored thunder   god to begin his battle in earnest.

Meanwhile, Loki and Karnilla the Norn Queen gloat to captured Balder.  Karnilla attempts to coerce him into her service, but her attempt is interrupted by the arrival of Ulik. In the aftermath of their war against Asgard, the Trolls have seemingly scattered , as we now have separate groups of trolls being led by Karnilla, the Enchantress, Geirrodur, and also presumably Seidring.  Geirrodur has sent Ulik to the Forest of the Norn to reclaim the loyalty of the trolls currently serving Karnilla.

Ulik has been buffed with powerful enchantments by the Troll Wizards of Geirrodur and he is ready to slay the Norn Queen. In the face of such a threat, Balder presses Karnilla into an agreement to free him and Sif in exchange for defeating Ulik. She agrees, and Balder takes on Ulik. Loki seems to have slipped away in the midst of this conflict.

Days of Thunder – March 1968 Tales to Astonish #101: The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk “Where Walk the Immortals”
Panoramically Produced by Stan Lee & Marie Severin/ Inking: Frank Giacoia/ Lettering Artie Simek

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This is the final issue of the comic magazine Tales to Astonish to serve as a double-feature, one story starring Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and the other starring the giant green man-monster known as the Incredible Hulk. It is the Hulk story we turn our attention towards, as he once again becomes a catspaw for scheming Loki.

Loki of course, previously tried to use the Hulk to attack Thor, in what would lead to the formation of the Avengers. This time, his plan is to let the Hulk loose within the halls of  Asgard to distract Odin from the threats Thor is facing on Earth.

Naturally, Hulk first encounters vigilant Heimdall as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Heimdall attacks with his sword, the Sabre of Sorcery. The attack slows but does not stop the Hulk, who defeats Heimdall by slamming his fists on the bridge so hard that not only does the noise jar the glittering guardsman, but the bridge itself quakes, sending Heimdall tumbling.

Hulk next encounters the trio of grim Hogun, dashing Fandral, and voluminous Volstagg. He defeats the three of them, in part by tossing around their horses. During the course of the fight, the Asgardians realize that Hulk is not an aggressor but merely displaced.  Soon after, they manage to calm him down.

The three friends take the Hulk to seek the wisdom of Oldar the Oracle. This involves crossing a bottomless chasm. Hulk passes up the opportunity to share a saddle with Fandral insisting he can leap the chasm with nothing but the power of his legs. Midway across the chasm, Loki turns the Hulk into his mortal guise of Doctor Bruce Banner, which apparently stops his forward momentum.  He plummets into the void.

First Appearance: Sabre of Sorcery

Days of Thunder – March 1968 The Mighty Thor #150

“Even in Death–”
Presenting: A pictorial monument to the towering talents of: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby, creators of wonderment beyond mortal measure! Dazzlingly Delineated by: Vincent Colletta/ Lovingly Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ A living tribute to Marveldom assembled!

thor 150

As Thor lies on the cusp of death, his astral form encounters Hela, Goddess of Death. She beckons him to join her in the shining vales of Valhalla. He demurs, insisting that he must continue to fight the Wrecker.

Meanwhile,  in the Forest of the Norns Sif and Balder get separated and after fighting the Norn Queen’s troll guards, including Barbaric, the Troll Warrior God, they each are captured by the Norn Queen, who we learn is named Karnilla.

Karnilla approaches Sif in the guise of a friend. She shows the warrior goddess her love, lying dead on Midgard. Karnilla tells Sif that the only way to save Thor is to defeat the Wrecker. At this point she reveals that she has come into possession of the Destroyer, last seen in the hands of Odin, and offers to allow Sif to take control of the Destroyer, so that she might defeat the Wrecker.

Sif agrees to the bargain. Her consciousness enters the Destroyer, which the Norn Queen sends to Midgard. Once there, she makes short work of the Wrecker, shattering his crowbar, and blasting him with a force beam. He is quickly down for the count.

As Sif defeats the Wrecker, Thor’s astral form re-enters his body, bringing himself back to life. The Destroyer, which totally could talk the first time Thor encountered it, waves at him, mute. Thor won’t be fooled, he knows the Destroyer lives but to kill.  Never mind that it is a tool wielded by a user, created by his father and as far as he knows, still owned by Odin as well. The still-depowered, mortally-wounded Thor cries “To the death!!” as he charges his imagined foe.

First Appearance: Barbaric

Days of Thunder – February 1968 The Mighty Thor #149

“When Falls a Hero!”
Produced by Stan (The Man) Lee And Jack (King) Kirby (As if you didn’t know!) Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

thor 149

Apparently all this time that Odin has been watching Thor from Earth, it has not been via some sort of godly Odinsight, but rather through a mystic crystal in Odin’s Chamber of Visions. Now, having been returned to Asgard by the Wrecker, Loki steals that crystal.

Balder and Sif head into the Forest of the Norns to find Loki and the crystal. Meanwhile, the Wrecker throws a building on Thor, killing him.

Days of Thunder – January 1968 The Mighty Thor #148

 “Let there Be… Chaos!”
Is there no limit to the thrills so lavishly bestowed upon us by… Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby or to the awesome assistance of Vince Colletta, Inker, and Sam Rosen, Letterer?

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With his bolt, Odin’s has stripped Loki, Sif and Balder of their godly power just as he had previously done to Thor. After Odin chastises them, Loki scampers off. Sif wants to kick Loki’s ass but Thor doesn’t think it would be sporting.

Thor and his friends retreat to Doctor Blake’s office to discuss what to do next. They order some take out. Thor actually pays for his food with Blake’s money. The secret identity thing really isn’t working for Thor.

Meanwhile, Loki rents a seedy room, takes off his coat and helmet and tries to contact his old ally, the Norn Queen. He telepathically petitions her to grant him “power enow to vanquish all who oppose my will!”.  It is at this moment that a crowbar-wielding villain named the Wrecker bursts into Loki’s room.

The Wrecker is a talented criminal who prides himself on his ability to use a crowbar like a scalpel. He had spotted Loki in the window and judged him by his clothes to be a supervillain, and thus to probably have some loot.  As far as he is concerned, that is a compelling reason to knowck out Loki with his crowbar, before putting on Loki’s helmet, because who wouldn’t try on that helmet if it was just sitting there?

This is how the Norn Queen comes to imbue the Wrecker with great Asgardian power.  She mistakes the helmeted figure to be Loki.

When Loki comes to, the Wrecker returns the helmet before using his new power to zap the evil one back to Asgard.

Later, as Thor is trying to explain television to his friends, they catch a news bulletin showing that the Wrecker is rampaging through the city. The three warriors track him down but the villain uses his power to zap Sif and Balder back to Asgard as he did Loki. He wants to fight Thor one-on-one.

First Appearance: The Wrecker

Days of Thunder – December 1967 The Mighty Thor #147

“The Wrath of Odin!”
Another smashing super-spectacular by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek

thor 147

Thor saves Princess Python and returns the Bull to its rightful place before turning himself over to the police. Princess Python, moved by Thor’s act of heroism, tells the police that Thor is an innocent dupe before escaping arrest with the rest of the Circus of Crime.

While Thor is being arrested and placed in lock up, his brother is being granted parole. Odin has decided that the time is right to release Loki from his imprisonment in Limbo.  Loki, now back in his original big horned helmet outfit, wastes no time, immediately heading straight to Earth to bail out his brother.  Er, in a villainous way.

Loki has disguised himself before freeing Thor, but it is not long before Thor sees through his brother’s deception, at which point Loki proceeds to beat the crap out of Thor. With Thor’s godly power removed, Loki is more than a match for him. Loki can, at long last, just wale on his hated brother. Just beat on him and beat on him and beat on him.

Loki has battered his brother into submission and it about to issue the death blow when Sif and Balder arrive to save Thor from Loki, despite Odin’s command that they leave Earth for Asgard.

None of this goes unwitnessed by Odin, who is apoplectic with rage. He can barely choke out his angry words: “What monumental kingly defiance is this??! First Thor– Then Lok– Now– I behold Balder– And fair Sif! Disobedience breeds anarchy– yet, they have chosen to disobey! No matter their motives– my punishment must be swift– and terrible! And by the power of yon bolt I hurl, so shall it be!”