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

So to recap…

The Way it Was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days of Thunder – December 1971 The Mighty Thor #194

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

Thor 194

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days of Thunder – November 1971 The Mighty Thor #193

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

Thor 193

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First appearance: female Asgardian background characters, Kaggor the Tall

 

Stan Lee Wrap-Up

Stan

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

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

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

Days of Thunder – September 1971 The Mighty Thor #192

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

Thor 192

Sif resumes weeping.

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

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 Amazing Adventures #8

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

Amazing Adventures 8

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

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

Days of Thunder – August 1971 The Mighty Thor #191

“A Time of Evil!”
Story by Stan Lee/ Art by John Buscema/Embellishment by Joe Sinnott/ Lettering by Sam Rosen So be it!

Thor 191

Thor, with his aching hammer, really wants to attack Loki, despite the fact that his brother wears the Odin-ring. When his father reminds him that they cannot raise a hand against Loki, Thor calls Odin a coward. For this, Odin magically removes Thor’s mouth.  When Odin immediately calms down and reverses the process, it is clear that he removed the entire interior space of the mouth, not just the exterior lip part. The art makes it super-weird.

Thor Mouth

Odin cannot be bothered with yet another case of Loki stealing his throne, and so he shrugs the whole thing off and heads to the Odinsleep. After he leaves, Thor and Sif immediately attack Loki. Loki, who’s powers are increased by the Odin-Ring, playfully fights back.

Eventually, Loki summons Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg to fight alongside Thor and Sif, just to make things more fun. After singlehandedly defeating all five of his enemies, he commands Karnilla to use her magic to create a man more powerful than any that have come before. She complies, but the form she creates is lifeless.

Loki then uses the Odin-Ring to fill the brute, who he names “Durok, the Demolisher”, to life. Although Durok is granted life, he is not granted speech, nor a soul. Once he animates this being, Loki sends him to Earth so that he might slay everything that lives. Naturally, Thor gives chase.

First Appearance: Durok the Demolisher

Days of Thunder – July 1971 The Mighty Thor #190

“–And so, to Die!”
Stan Lee, Author and John Buscema, Illustrator now exceed their former triumphs, aided and abetted by Joe Sinnott, Embellisher and Sam Rosen, Letterer

Thor 190

As Hela prepares to claim Thor, Balder sleeps fitfully, for he has given his fealty and his heart to one who is an enemy of Asgard. He is awakened by Karnilla, who has come to warn her beloved that Hela has found Thor.

Balder races to Odin with Karnilla at his side. He begs Odin to intervene and Odin finds he cannot stand back and allow his son to die. Odin travels to Earth and slays Hela to protect his son.

Killing Hela has put an end to death.  On Earth, Thor witnesses the dire effects. Amongst these effects: insects begin to multiply rapidly and “The population explosion, without the safety valve of death causes the teeming multitudes to fight for every inch of living space!”  This happens immediately.

Thor tells Odin that this cannot stand, and with tears in his eyes, Odin resurrects Hela. As Hela begins to drain the life from Thor, Odin brings Sif to her beloved’s side where she again weeps openly. Sif petitions the Death Goddess to take her in Thor’s place, a perfect mirror of Sif’s first appearance way back in issue #102.

As before, this selfless act so moves Hela that she decides to spare Thor. Now it is her time to cry as she proclaims that while she has never known love, she now understands what it means.

As Thor, Sif, and Odin return to Asgard, Thor asks his father if this turn of events had been his plan all along, and Odin harshly refuses to answer. “I am the way! I am the light! And none may share my Odinthoughts!”

The short time in which Odin was away from Asgard was long enough for Loki to again gain control of the Odin- Ring and thus the kingdom.  After this turn of events, it becomes unclear if Karnilla told Balder of Thor’s plight out of love or out of a scheme to get Odin out of Asgard. Either way, Heimdall, Hogun, and Fandral have already been exiled while Loki is served by Trolls and the Norns (including Balder).

The heroes are powerless to act against Loki while he wears the ring. Thor cries “My hammer aches for vengeance,” but his hammer is denied release.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1971 The Mighty Thor #189

“The Icy touch of Death!”
Scripted in sparkling splendor, by: Stan Lee/ Drawn in dazzling drama, by: John Buscema/ Embellished with exotic elan, by: Joe Sinnott/ Lettered with a scratchy penpoint by: Sam Rosen

Thor 189

All of Thor’s friends freak out over the notion that Hela is going to come for him. Sif, who has become very emotional since Buscema took over, weeps openly. Odin tells Thor to hide on Earth in the guise of Blake while Odin thinks his Odinthoughts.

Balder returns once again to Karnilla, in order to beg her aid in protecting Thor against Hela. Karnilla cares nothing about Thor, he is a son of Asgard and Balder is the only Asgardian for whom she cares. Balder confesses that he loves her in turn, but that as long as she is Asgard’s foe, she remains his as well.

Karnilla, the Norn Queen, gives Balder a cold-hearted offer. If Balder will swear fealty to her, if he will renounce Odin, she will help Balder save Thor from the threat that is Hela. Balder, a swirling mass of conflicting emotions, agrees to the deal.

Balder at last swears his loyalty to Karnilla, who has loved him all these many months and so she honors their deal by immediately feeding Balder poison. This sends him to the Realm of Death, where he is able to confront Loki, who had been in the process of selling out his brother to Hela.

Not able to defeat Loki on his best day, Balder is no threat at all to the evil prince, for his Odin-Blade has lost its enchantment now that Balder has turned his back on his one-time liege. However, the fight between Balder and Loki bores Hela, and so so she teleports them back to Asgard.

In Asgard, Loki flees while Balder goes to Odin to tell him what has transpired. Odin already knows what Balder has done and he forgives him, for Balder acted out of love for the All-Father’s son.

Hela has learned from Loki that Thor is on Earth, and so she travels there in the coolest mortal garb any Asgardian has ever been depicted as wearing: A long green coat and a giant papakha. She searches for Thor, which of course should be no trouble for an Asgardian, but she is confounded by a series of illusions created by Odin.

Hela 3

 

Finally, she strikes upon a solution: She will just murder a bunch of people until Thor shows himself. Sure enough, that does the trick. Thor comes to her and he has no choice but to yield.

First appearance: Odinthoughts

Days of Thunder – May 1971 The Mighty Thor #188

“The End of Infinity!”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Inking: Jim Mooney/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 188

Thor at last reveals the secret of the comic force that is Infinity. Back when Loki trapped Odin in the Sea of Eternal Night (As shown in issue #176) Hela, goddess of death came to him. It was, in fact, at her hands that Balder withered and aged as he went to save his liege. With Odin separated from Asgard and sleeping the Odinsleep, Hela believed that she would at last be able to claim Odin. Yet even in a weakened state and far away from the Asgardians that are the source of his power, Odin was too strong to die. And yet Hela did not fail completely. She claimed a portion of Odin and that portion, now in her thrall, she named Infinity.

Hela released Infinity and tasked it with the taking of all life. Hela wished to claim the entire universe with Infinity, her greatest servant.

It turns out the analytical mind of Blake was not called for after all.

Thor is shaken but he is not cowed. “Who thinks that Thor would falter? A man may fight, though hope be dim… A god will fight– when hope be gone!” Thor would fight and kill death herself.

thor188 infinity

Once again Loki and Karnilla join their magic together.  They take the combined power of Thor, Balder, Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg as well as the power of Mjolnir itself, channeling it through Loki’s horned helm and straight at Odin. This combined power is enough to free Odin’s will.

Newly awakened, Odin now knows what it is that he faces. Armed with that knowledge, he takes Infinity back into himself. He then returns to the halls of Asgard, reclaims the Scepter of Power and with a touch sheathes the Odin-Sword. He then uses the power within himself to reverse all the death and destruction caused by Infinity.

The threat of Infinity is passed, but all is not well. Hela, enraged by her failure, intends to finally claim the life of Thor!

 

Days of Thunder – April 1971 The Mighty Thor #187

“The World is Lost!”

Thor 187

A Saga to Stagger your Imagination!  By: Stan Lee, Author/ John Buscema, Illustrator/ Joe Sinnott, Embellisher/ Sam Rosen, Letterer

On Asgard, many mighty warriors use an amazing giant vise in an  attempt to put the Odin-Sword back into its scabbard, to no avail.

Thor 187 Vise

Balder and Sif seek out Karnilla. They forge an alliance with her, and later do the same with Loki, as the end of the universe transcends petty politics. They ask Karnilla to use her magic to break the grip that has seized Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg but her vast power is not enough to break the spell. It takes the combined power of Karnilla and Loki to get the job done. Once more themselves, the warriors cannot shed any additional light on Infinity or the World Beyond.

Thor, meanwhile, has to fight his dad. He is no match for Odin, even when brainwashed, and so he retreats to Asgard.  A plan is needed in the face of this dire sequence of events, and so, in the heart of Asgard, Thor turns himself into Doctor Blake, hoping that the doctor’s mind can come up with something that he cannot.

It seems a strange notion that Blake would be smarter than Thor, since they share memories and Blake has no personality of his own, but Blake is an android-building neurosurgeon and Thor likes to solve problems by hitting them with a hammer so maybe it does make sense that Blake would be smarter.

Alone and off-panel, the Vizier shows Blake the truth about Infinity. Shortly afterward Thor emerges from the Chamber Imperial, shaken to his core. He knows Infinity’s secret and with a stricken look on his face, he tells his assembled friends and enemies that he now knows why Infinity must triumph!