Days of Thunder – March 1974 The Mighty Thor #221

“Hercules Enraged!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 221

Having neutralized the threat of the Black Stars, Thor and his friends return to Asgard. However, this is a farewell, as Tana Nile has been at long last returned home. Silas Grant also chooses to stay with her, his closest friend.

When Thor, Sif, and Balder return to Asgard, they are rushed to Odin’s chambers. There, the All-Father shows them what he and Hildegarde have seen:   Krista chained in the Underworld of Olympus leered at by Pluto and Hercules, side-by-side.

Thor is enraged by this sight, considering this to be a betrayal on the part of Hercules. Sif tries to tell him that he should give his friend the benefit of the doubt, but Thor refuses to listen. By Odin’s leave, Thor storms off to Olympus, alone. Odin does not want to start a war against Olympus, so he refuses to allow Thor’s friends to accompany him, not even Hildegarde. The period of exile has clearly ended, and all parties have slipped back into their old roles as if nothing had ever transpired.

Thor travels to Olympus, beating up all who cross his path, including Hercules’ friend Krato, before challenging Hercules himself.   Hercules is confused by this hostility, but he has never been one to turn down a fight. They fight for a good long time until Zeus intercedes and provides an alibi for Hercules.  Although Thor extended absolutely no trust to Hercules, he gives his “friend”’s father the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, Ares is back in Zeus’s good graces, mere months after conquering Olympus. Unsurprisingly, he has not reformed: he and an underling named Snatos scheme to start a war, although the specifics are not yet clear.

First Appearance: Krato, Snatos

 

Days of Thunder – March 1974 The Invincible Iron Man #67

“Return of the Freak”
Mike Friedrick, writer * George Tuska, artist * Mike Esposito, inker/ Tom Orzechowski, letterer * George Roussos, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

Iron Man 67

Doctor Donald Blake rushes Tony Stark’s friend, Eddie March into surgery. Despite his best efforts, his patient seems doomed. Stark suggests that Blake use a machine that he had previously built, called an Enervator as a last-ditch effort. The Enervator uses cobalt rays as a healing treatment but also turns people into mindless freaks.

The Enervator combined with Blake’s ministrations is enough to save March but it also turns him into a monster man. Iron Man knocks him unconscious and Blake finishes the operation. March will live, but Thor beat on him so hard he’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

 

Days of Thunder – February 1974 The Invincible Iron Man #66

“Battle Royal!”
Mike Friedrick/ writer * George Tuska/ artist * Mike Esposito/ inker/ Artie Simek, letterer / G. Roussos, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

Iron Man 66

Iron Man’s armored body has seemingly become possessed by a psychic alien, causing the hero to wildly lash out at the people of Detroit. Thor is apparently in the area for some reason. He attacks Iron Man, believing him to be an impostor. He beats the man to near-death. When he rips off Iron Man’s mask, he reveals not Tony Stark, but Eddie March, a friend of Stark’s. Thor turns into Blake and begins administering care.

 

Days of Thunder – February 1974 The Mighty Thor #220

“Behold! the Land of Doom!”

Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Gynis Wein, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 220

Facing a world of people with fingernails larger than his entire body,  Thor immediately attacks the first giant he sees, only to be swatted like an insect, stunning the relatively tiny Thunder God.

The massive-scale planet they are on is Rhun. The people of Rhun measure time in “klarns”.  One klarn is roughly equivalent to ten Earth-years. During this Klarn-Cycle, the planet is ruled by a man named Lord Kragonn. The people of Rhun believe the five planets of the Black Stars to be the only inhabited planets in the universe.

Kragonn has a scheming servant named Dracus, who created the Protector and Avalon’s people many klarns ago. Dracus has discovered Thor and his friends, and he believes that the tiny people  he did not create must have come from one of the other four planets, with whom the people of Rhun have not spoken with in the past two-thousand klarns.

The Rigelian mutants spy on the people of Rhun and learn most of this. As always, language is no barrier, presumably the mutants possess some manner of Universal Translator. Dracus wishes to turn Kragonn against the tiny visitors to spark a war, but Jukka is able to explain to Kragonn who they are and also reveals that the other four races on the other four Black Star worlds have all gone extinct.

Having learned that most of what their civilization believes to be true is a lie, the people of Rhun bid farewell to Thor and his friends, as the Black Star departs, no longer a threat to the larger universe. The fates of Avalon and his people is unclear.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Hildegarde fights her way past Odin’s guards in order to seek his counsel regarding her sister. Odin uses his power to reveal her sister’s location. Upon discovering it, he cries out “good woman– thy sister is doomed!”

First Appearance: Lord Kragon, Dracus

 

Days of Thunder – January 1974 The Mighty Thor #219

“A Galaxy Consumed!”

Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ M. Esposito, Inker/ Gaspar Saladino, letterer (Credited as L. P. Gregory) , Glynis Wein colorist/ Roy Thomas Editor/ Odin All-Father

Thor 219

Sif rallies her friends who are shaken in the face of the Black Stars, and together they travel to the surface of one of the five worlds. As they head toward their destination, Balder wonders why the majority of the Collectors do nothing to fight the Black Stars. Thor explains that they are mortal and that “Honor can mean nothing to such creatures.”

The heroes get sucked into one of the Space-Scoops, where they soon encounter a benign race of 50-foot-tall synthetic creatures, created to be caretakers of the Space-Scoops on behalf of the unseen lords of the Black Stars. These people, led by a man named Avalon, yearn to be free, but cannot live without the nourishment provided directly by the Scoops.

As Avalon and Thor discuss what can be done, they are attacked by the Protector, a being created to be a guard. In the course of defeating the Protector, a path is opened to the surface of one of the Black Stars. They follow it, only to discover an assemblage of people scaled so large that Thor and the Avalon would barely be detectable to their eyes.

Meanwhile, Hildegarde has gone to visit her family. Her parents tell her that Krista has been acting strangely the past three days, ever since she found the mysterious charmstone, and has holed up in her room. When Hildegarde goes to check on Krista, her sister disappears in a flash of light.

First Appearance: Avalon, The Protector