Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

“Rebirth!”
Gerry Conway, scripter * John Buscema, artist * V. Colletta, inker # John Costanza, letterer * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 206

Several years ago, Odin banished Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, into the void, discorporating him into outer space. Some time after that, he passed through a comet and absorbed the form of the comet. He was then able to somehow use his force of will to move  his comet form straight toward planet Earth. This eventually allowed him to walk free on the planet once more, but before he could track down Thor for revenge, he got drawn into a fight with  the Hulk. This fight culminated with a mountain falling on him, and seemingly killing him. He has not been seen for the past two years.

Now, the mountain that had trapped the Absorbing Man is struck by a meteorite, freeing the villain. Once freed, Creel is drawn to New York by a voice in his head that gives him headaches and tells him to find and kill Thor. Before he can find his enemy, he stumbles upon Sif and Hildegarde, who have been exploring New York. Their eyes blaze with excitement at the prospect of random battle. It has been days since they have gotten into a good fight.

After donning armor and taking up arms, the warriors rush to challenge Creel. Sif seems to have picked up some new armor on Earth. While they fight Creel, Thor is informed by Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, that Creel is causing a ruckus. Thor is so eager to fight him that he can’t be bothered with a door, smashing through a closed window of Avengers Mansion.

When Thor arrives, Sif and Hildegarde have been knocked about, allowing him to tag in. They fight, and the voice in Creel’s head compels him to retreat to a creepy house in Rutland, Vermont, with the intent of luring Thor into a trap. The house belongs to Tom Fagan. Tom Fagan is the organizer of an annual superhero themed Halloween parade that has been repeatedly featured in the stories of Marvel Comics, as well as those of DC comics, and also he was a real person and the parade a real thing. He owns two dogs, Satan, and Diablo.  At the moment, Loki has entranced him and is occupying his house.

Meanwhile, on Asgard Karnilla and the Vizier continue to hang out. They gossip about Odin, who the Vizier fears has gone mad. Odin has taken the defiance of Thor and his friends very poorly.  He has forbade that they be mentioned by name, while demanding that all his remaining subjects swear fealty to him day and night.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1972 The Mighty Thor #205

“A World Gone Mad!”
Stan Lee Presents: Gerry Conway, scripter & John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 205

Thor fights Mephisto. Mephisto calls upon evil dead people, including Blackbeard, Attilla the Hun, and Adolph Hitler. Thor defeats all comers.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1972 The Mighty Thor #204

“Exiled on Earth!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, penciler/ Jim Mooney, finished art/ Shelly Leferman, letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 204

Thor is super-pissed at Odin for manipulating him like a chesspiece. When Thor expresses his outrage, Odin responds by exiling his son to Earth. In response, all of the assembled Asgardians choose to stand with Thor. And so Sif, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Hildegarde share in Thor’s exile. Tana Nile and Silas Grant aren’t banished, but they are trapped on Earth. Volstagg is missing in action. Heimdall and Kamorr miss the drama, and return home unaware of what has transpired.

Thor takes his displaced companions to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers are headquartered. Thor offers them temporary residency in the Mansion, until something more permanent can be arranged.

Sif and Thor, or rather Sif and Blake, go to check in on Blake’s practice, only to discover that the door has been barred. They meet with the new owner of the building, Karl Sarron. Blake explains to his new landlord that he has paid the rent months in advance, and Sarron tells him that he has no record of any such arrangement. However, if Blake can provide proof of his rent arrangement, it will, of course, be honored.

While Blake deals with his rent dispute, his friends attempt to unwind and to familiarize themselves with their new environs. As they go off in separate groups, one by one, they are captured by unknown dark forces.

After it has claimed their friends, Thor and Sif find themselves swallowed by malevolent darkness. They follow the path that lies before them, and eventually they discover themselves to be in the presence of Mephisto, surrounded by their blank-faced comrades!

First Appearance: Karl Sarron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1972 The Mighty Thor #203

“They Walk Like Gods!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta: inker/ John Costanza: Letterer/ Roy Thomas: editor

Thor 203

While Thor and friends continue to fight Ego-Prime. Heimdal and Kamorr collect two more seemingly random humans: Chi Lo, a Japanese farmer, and Carter Dyam, an Israeli soldier. Also, the man named “Jackson Kimbal” in the previous issue is now being called “Jason Kimbal”. Perhaps, Heimdal got his name wrong initially, and has been corrected off-panel.

Karnilla barges in on Odin, demanding to know what is going on with Balder. The Vizier trails behind her, stopping in horror when he discovers that Odin has been playing “the Game”. It is unclear what the significance of “the Game” is.

On Earth, all of the fighting against Ego-Prime has been ineffectual. He unleashes his power upon the planet, ready to create his Planetary Flesh Mound. However, at the last moment, all of his power is siphoned away until he fades into nothingness. While Thor and his friends were powerless to stop the villain, the power of Ego-Prime has been captured by the three mortals assembled by Heimdal. They stand before our heroes, newly transformed into gods.

Odin reveals himself before Thor and the others, revealing that all of his actions as of late have all been part of a byzantine, seemingly stupid plan designed to culminate with the creation of these three new gods, the start of a new race of gods that will “breathe fresh fire into the furnace of the cosmic all!”

Also, in this issue Ego-Prime calls Thor’s hammer “trice-dammed”. Setting aside the fact that he surely meant “thrice-damned,” this is stronger language than one would expect to be permissible by the Comics Code Authority.

First Appearance: Chi Lo, Carter Dyam

 

Days of Thunder – August 1972 The Mighty Thor #202

“–And None Dare Stand ‘Gainst Ego-Prime!”
Stan Lee Presents: A Gerry Conway, John Buscema Mini-Marvel Masterpiece! Aided and Abetted by: Vinnie Colletta, inker and Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 202

The combined force of Sif, Tana Nile, Hildegarde, Silas Grant, Thor, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg stand together against Ego-Prime as it transforms from a crystalline rock monster into a hundred-foot-tall, purple-bearded humanoid. Ego-Prime, in his new form, reveals his ultimate intent: He wants to use his power of growth and change to cause humanity to multiply so rapidly that they blanket the earth in a swarming pile of flesh. He will then fuse those wriggling mountains of humanity into a single peaceful entity. The combined heroes stand in opposition to this scheme.

Elsewhere on Earth, Heimdall and Kamorr seek and find a young black man named Jackson Kimbal and help him get out of some trouble with some loan sharks.

Meanwhile, Karnilla appears to have reached an uneasy peace with Odin after all of the events of recent days.  She and the Vizir discuss their fears that Odin has sent their friends to their deaths.  Elsewhere, Odin literally plays chess with himself using a chessboard full of pieces sculpted like our cast.

Thor Chess

It has not been made clear how those who were on Blackworld ended up on Earth. Perhaps the most likely explanation would be that it was an act of Odin,  and that somehow moving his pieces on his chessboard mystically moved the flesh-and-blood analogues to another location.

First Appearance: Jackson Kimbal

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Avengers #101

“Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow!”
Stan Lee Presents: Wonderment anew by: Harlan Ellison (story/plot), Roy Thomas (adaptation/script), Rich Buckler (art)/ Dan Adkins (inker) * Jon Costa (letterer)/ (Based on an original story © 1964 by Harlan Ellison and used with permission.)

Avengers 101

Still no gap in The Mighty Thor’s narrative.

A Russian chess grandmaster becomes the poisoning victim of an assassin hiding inside a cutting-edge chess computer named “Nimrod.” He is rushed to the hospital, but the prognosis seems grim. One of the doctors can’t help but wish that they had some way of contacting the mysterious Doctor Donald Blake. “There’s something… uncanny about his diagnoses. Almost as if there were some spark of divine in him.”

The doors swing open dramatically! Standing in the doorway, seeming to radiate light and power is none other than Doctor Blake! He treats the patient and later uses his knowledge of rare toxins to help the Avengers find the assassin.

Doctor Blake has become a mythic super-doctor. Rarely seen, when he emerges, he saves the lives of magicians and gods. Seemingly without any Earthly ties, he is spoken of in hushed tones: “I heard his best friend is Thor from the Avengers.” “I heard he built an atomic-powered android!”

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Mighty Thor #201

“Resurrection!”
Stan Lee editor presents: A Gerry Conway (script) * John Buscema (Layouts) Marvel Masterwork! Jim Mooney (finished art) * Artie Simek (lettering)

thor 201

The third Norn’s name is, indeed, Atropos.

The implication has been there since their introduction, but now that they have been given the names of the Greek Fates, it is all but established that within the Marvel cosmology, the Norse Norn and the Greek Fates are one and the same.

The Norn continue to watch what the various Asgardians are up to, and continue to watch the proceeds non-linearly. One week prior to Pluto’s invasion of Asgard, A longship arrives in Brooklyn, carrying Heimdall, along with a diminutive ally named Kamorr the Small. Apparently between Heimdall’s fight with Thor in issue #193 and Asgard’s departure from the universe, Odin sent Heimdall to Earth on a quest alongside this dwarf. Heimdall weaves an enchantment that gives them the appearance of local garb.

While the battle between The Asgardians and the Underworlders rages on, Karnilla does what she can to stop this fighting, for the sake of her beloved Balder. However, it is not she who saves the day, but rather Hela, who chooses to end the stalemate between herself and Pluto by restoring life to Odin.

With Odin’s life restored, Pluto retreats from Asgard, but not before seemingly sending Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg to the Netherworld. However, Odin redirected Pluto’s action, and sent the warriors to Earth, a land that is very strange to these three.

Upon hearing of the dislocation of his friends, Thor asks his father for leave to retrieve them from Earth. Balder asks Karnilla for permission to accompany his friend to Earth, which she icily grants: “It appears I’ve no hold on thee… if ever I had.” As soon as Balder and Thor leaves, she begins to cry.

Odin begins to hint at a plan that the lettercolumn has been hinting at for some time. Apparently, sending the trio to Earth and Sif to Blackworld, and who knows what other random Odin bullshit, has all been part of of some overly complicated plot on his part, but at this time he can say no more.

On Blackworld, as our heroes retreat from Ego-Prime, Tana Nile reveals how Ego-Prime came to be. It seems that the Colonizers were in dire need of a planet “of the Earth type” for some unspecified reason, but none were available to them.

The Grand Comissioner’s solution was elegant in its simplicity: Tana Nile went to the Black Galaxy where she harvested a small chunk of Ego, the Living Planet.  She dumped this chunk on Blackworld, which at the time was a world of cavepeople. She pumped a bunch of energy into the Ego sample to see what would happen. The hope was that the unique properties of a living bio-verse would terraform the planet. Instead, she accidentally created a monster obsessed with sculpting Blackworld into a mirror image of Earth for some reason.

Now, Blackworld superficially resembles modern day 1972 Earth, but its inhabitants are modified cavepeople, unable to control their violent and destructive urges. And so it comes to pass that the city that Sif and company have found themselves in gets nuked off of the map.

An instant later, Sif, Hildegarde, Tana Nile, Silas Grant, and Ego Prime all materialize on Earth, right before Thor and Balder, who have just caught up with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. No explanation is given how or why.

First Appearance: Kamorr the Small

 

Days of Thunder June 1972 The Avengers #100

“Whatever Gods There Be”
Stan Lee presents, ponders, and presides over a centennial super-spectacular by: Roy Thomas, writer/ Barry Windsor-Smith, artist/ Inked by: Barry Windsor-Smith, Joe Sinnott, and Syd Shores/ Lettered by John Costa

Avengers 100

There has not been a break in the action of The Mighty Thor since issue #183. The Infinity story segued directly into Loki seizing control of Asgard which led directly to the unleasing of the Mangog, which led to Odin’s semi-death, which lead to the current attack by Pluto.

Published concurrent to these events, Thor has had an active role in the pages of The Avengers, where he and his teammates had been swept up into a major intergalactic conflict known as the Kree-Skrull War. All of his appearances within The Avengers for the past year and a half, including his appearance in this issue, presumably take place some time after the current issue of The Mighty Thor.

Other recent events of note within these pages:  Hawkeye has abandoned his Goliath persona, taking up archery again; The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have begun awkwardly courting each other; and it seems that Ares, the Greek god of war is up to something.

In this special centennial issue, every single living member of the Avengers past and present unite to face a dire threat. That lineup consists of Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Black Panther The Vision, The Black Knight, Hercules, and the Swordsman. Rick Jones and Black Widow are excluded, having never formally been offered membership.

It turns out that the Enchantress did not die in her previous encounter with the Scarlet Witch but merely found herself lost in another dimension. Now, the Enchantress and Ares have joined forces and gained control of the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword forged by mutant charlatan Merlin. They have conquered Olympus and plan to start a nuclear holocaust on Earth in order to rip open a passageway to Asgard. Ares desires to conquer Asgard, but the Enchantress has a darker goal: She wishes to unsheathe the Odinsword and end all things, owing to a drastic, suicidal desire to humble Odin.

The Avengers learn of the villains’ plans and confound them. Asgard and Earth are protected, while Olympus is freed. The Enchantress and presumably Ares are turned over to Zeus’ custody.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1972 The Mighty Thor #200

“Beware! If this be… Ragnarok!”
Story & Art by Stan (The Man) Lee and Big John Buscema/ J. Verpoorten, embellishing/ Artie Simek, lettering/ Note to bibliophile: Prologue & Epilogue by Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist

Thor 200

The bulk of this special 200th issue is a retelling of the Ragnarok story originally told in issues #127 and #128. The action is much the same as in those issues, although this telling makes it clear that Balder, Hogun and Volstagg will fight in the final battle. Although Stan Lee scripted both tellings, this is a markedly inferior version, lacking the poetry of the original.

There is also a bookend to this story, featuring the Norns: Klothos, Laecius, and the third one not-yet-named, but probably named “Atropos”.  From the World’s End, the three hags use the Twilight Well as a scrying pool to watch Pluto’s invasion of Asgard. They are concerned that Pluto is about to kill Thor and disrupt his destiny, which is to fight and die at the time of Ragnarok. To ensure that Ragnarok unfolds as it should, Klothos  sends a bolt of comic energy to shatter Pluto’s axe before it strikes the killing blow against Thor.