The List – Comics

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What follows is every comic book story or run I’ve read in the past 11 months, ordered from least-favorite to favorite. It does not include ongoing series I am following month-to-month, nor does it include the many 70’s Marvel comics I have been reading for Days of Thunder. As such, it represents a fraction of my total comics consumption.

51. Ichiro
50. Solomon’s Thieves
49. Veil
48. Concrete Park Vol. 1
47. Manifest Destiny #1-4
46. Red Mass for Mars
45. Nola
44. Popeye by Roger Landridge
43. Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #45-49
42. Star Raiders
41. Deadpool by Way
40. Blood Bowl: Killer Contract
39. Tale of Sand by Jim Henson
38. Leave it to Chance
37. Peepo Choo Vol. 1 by Felipe Smith
36. The Silence of Our Friends by Nate Powell
35. T-Minus by Ottaviani and Cannon
34. De: Tales by Moon and Ba
33. The Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison
32. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets by Herge
31. Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun by Herge
30. Any Empire by Nate Powell
29. Superboy by Kesel and Grummet
28. Wonder Woman: Earth One by Morrsion and Paquette
27. Star Wars by Jason Aaron
26. Archer and Armstrong (Reboot) #0-13
25. JLA Earth 2 by Morrison and Quitely
24. Modesty Blaise: Mr. Sun by O’Donnell
23. Action Comics Vol. 2 #1-18
22. Wonder Woman #14-26 by Simone
21. Patsy Walker, Hellcat by Immonen
20. Punisher War Journal by Fraction
19. Darth Vader by Gillen and Larocca
18. Never Learn Anything From History by Kate Beaton
17. Fall of the House of West By Paul Pope and J. T. Petty
16. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Larry Hama
15. Steve Canyon Vol. 3 by Caniff
14. Planetes Vol 1
13. Demon Knights
12. One Piece Vols 1-12
11. New York: The Big City by Will Eisner
10. Punisher by Greg Rucka
9. Casanova Vol 1
8. DC: New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke
7. Krazy Kat Dailies 1935 by Herriman
6. Preacher by Ennis and Dillon
5. Copra Round Four
4. The Don Rosa Library Vol 3-4
3. Usagi Yojimbo Omnibus 6 & 7 by Stan Sakai
2. Tranformers Vs. G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli
1. Peanuts by Charles Schultz 1991-1994

I read some damn fine comics this year. The top 4 are all contenders for best comic of all time. Yes, I honestly think Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe is in the same company as Peanuts, Usgai Yojimbo, and The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and those are 3 of the 5 or 6 greatest comics of all time.

I finally finished Larry Hama’s original run of G.I. Joe comics for Marvel. I came to G.I. Joe late in life. It has come to be my favorite genre. Something about military flavored comic book absurdity really does it for me.

This was the year I got around to reading Morrison’s Doom Patrol. It doesn’t hold up that well, but is still kind of neat. I also discovered that I really like Modesty Blaise and the work of Nate Powell.   And… I started reading One Piece. With over 80 volumes, to date, I’ve got a lot of children’s Japanese pirate comic to consume.

The List – Video Games

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What follows is a list of every video game I’ve played to completion in the past 11 months, ranked from least-favorite to favorite:

13. Batman: Arkham Knight
12. Rebel Galaxy
11. ZombiU
10. The Witness
9. Roundabout
8. Galak-Z
7. The Witcher III: Heart of Stone
6. Uncharted 4
5. Dark Souls III
4. The Last of Us: Left Behind
3. Doom
2. The Banner Saga
1. Tharsis

This list is both deceptive and short, because over 100 hours of my video game playing time was spent playing Xenoblade Chronicles X, but as I have not finished the game, I can not include it on my list.

This is the fewest games I’ve played in a year since the year I got my original XBox. Little more than one a month.  I have such a backlog.

The List – Movies

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What follows is a list of every movie I’ve seen in the past 11 months, ranked from least-favorite to favorite:

90. Batman V Superman
89. Gods of Egypt
88. Tommy and the Cool Mule
87. TekkonKinkreet
86. Iron Man 2
85. Thor: The Dark World
84. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
83. Santa Claus
82. Halo Legends
81. Tron: Legacy
80. Extracted
79. Iron Man 3
78. Divergent Series: Allegiant
77. Bad Boys II
76. Ant Man
75. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
74. Snowpiercer
73. Doctor Strange
72. Halo: The Fall of Reach
71. Deadpool
70. Sixteen Candles
69. The FP
68. Lady and the Tramp
67. The Divergent Series: Insurgent
66. Blackhat
65. Halo: Nightfall
64. Final Fantasy: Kingsglaive
63. 7 Fast 7 Furious
62. SPECTRE
61. Moana
60. X-Men Days of Future Past
59. Rollerball (remake)
58. The Mysterious Mr. Moto
57. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
56. Her
55. The Hateful Eight
54. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
53. The Heat
52. Zootopia
51. My Best Friend’s Wedding
50. Pretty in Pink
49. The Avengers
48. Iron Man
47. 12 Monkeys
46. Royal Tennenbaums
45. Magic Mike
44. Mr. Moto Takes a Chance
43. Magic Mike XL
42. Captain America: Civil War (twice)
41. Collateral
40. Hail, Caesar
39. Think Fast, Mr. Moto
38. Thank You, Mr. Moto
37. Prince of Egypt
36. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
35. Dragon’s Nest
34. The Guardians of the Galaxy
33. Captain America
32. G.I. Joe: Resolute
31. Ed Wood
30. A Monster in Paris
29. Road to El Dorado
28. Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22
27. A Fistful of Dollars
26. For a Few Dollars More
25. The Martian
24. Clue
23. Rushmore
22. Little Shop of Horrors
21. Cowboy Bebop Knockin on Heaven’s Door
20. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
19. The Matrix
18. Avengers: Age of Ultron (twice)
17. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
16. Thor
15. The Pirates
14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
13. The Thomas Crown Affair
12. Bottle Rocket
11. Labyrinth
10. The Bridge on the River Kwai
9. The Matrix Reloaded & Revolution
8. Thief
7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
6. Blood Simple
5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
4. Heat
3. The Muppet Movie
2. Casablanca
1. Miami Vice

So, that’s 93 movies watched in just under 11 months. That averages to 2 movies a week. Of those movies, 20 of them are flat-out great. I would recommend any of the top 20 movies on this list to anyone.

The next 41 are good movies, or at least highly enjoyable to me. The final 29 movies I did not like, which means about 1/3 of the movies I watched this year, I did not like. I watched two movies this year that were worse than Tommy the Cool Mule.
I saw 15 animated, and 75 non-animated films. The best 2016 movie I saw in 2016 was Hail, Ceasar, which is middling Coens.
I watched a lot of Michael Mann this year, and a lot of Michael Mann stayed at the very top of my list. Miami Vice unseated Casablanca and The Muppet Movie, which are both movies I have considered my very favorite in the past. Rushmore, which was also, once upon a time, my very favorite movie is now not even in the top 20 of films I saw this year.
I watched every single film in the Marvel shared movie universe this year, excepting, due to a clerical error, Incredible Hulk. I’m surprised by how much I’ve ended up liking Avengers: Age of Ultron.
I watched four of the Mr. Moto films this year. This is a series of old adventure films where Peter Lorre plays a Japanese detective. They’re not great but as a big fan of adventure and Peter Lorre, I find them delightful, albeit racist.
The Pirates was a surprise treasure. It is a South Korean adventure film where a band of pirates compete against a pack of bandits for a bounty on a whale. It has great action, it’s very funny, and even has a nice romance. Highly recommended.

I love movies!

Days of Thunder – March 1979 The Mighty Thor #281

“This Hammer Lost!”
Mark Gruenwald/Ralph Macchio, Scripters/ Keith Pollard/Pablo Marcos, Artists/ Jim Novak, Letterer/ Ben Sean, Colorist/ Jim Shooter/ Roy Thomas, Editors/ Plotting Assist by Peter Gillis and Mike Catron

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Thor is still having an existential crisis over the nature of the Eternals. He decides that the best way to proceed is to travel back in time to the first visitation of Earth by the Eternals.

He spins his hammer, but instead of traveling to Earth’s past, he ends up stuck in Limbo. What’s more his hammer is missing. He is greeted by the Space Phantom, a minor enemy of the Avengers. Thor has encountered the Space Phantom on two prior occasions, but he does not seem to remember him now. Nonetheless, he warns the Phantom that he considers ever man to be his enemy until proven otherwise.

Limbo is a place beyond time and the Space Phantom’s home. He tells Thor that his people are caught in an endless Time War and that he needs the Thunder God’s help to bring it to an end. In exchange, he will help Thor find his missing hammer.

The Phantom leads Thor to his planet, Phantus, where they are soon attacked by military forces. Thor warns his foes that he isn’t “a God who turns the other cheek” before joining the battle. He crushes a tank with his bare hands, fashioning part of it into a crude hammer. Thor likes hammers.

The Space Phantom takes Thor to a big pit and tells Thor to jump into it. Thor does and finds himself trapped in a nexus between the the timeless and a world where time passes. This is a problem because it means half of him now exists in a realm where it has been 60 seconds since he held his hammer, and half of him doesn’t!

 

Days of Thunder – February 1979 The Mighty Thor #280

“Crisis on Twin Earths!”
A Special Super-Sensation by… Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Wayne Boring, Guest Penciler * Tom Palmer, Inker/Embellisher/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * C. Gafford, Colorist * J. Shooter, Consulting Editor
From a plot by Don and Maggie Thompson

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The Avengers have in the past encountered a group of super powered villains known as the Squadron Supreme and have also encountered a group of nominal heroes from a parallel universe known as te Squadron Supreme.  The two groups are alternate  versions of, er, each other.

Thor has been tracked down by Hyperion, the semi-heroic Hyperion from another universe, not the evil Hyperion native to Thor’s Midgard.  Hyperion is making a movie about the time that he and his superpowered teammates enforced the will of a corporate state until the Avengers came to their universe and overthrew that regime.  Hyperion wants the Avengers to play themselves in this dramatization.

None of the rest of the Avengers are available.  Thor, who of course, has done this sort of thing before, has soured on the notion of being behind the camera after Harris Hobbs recent excursion to Asgard went so poorly. Thor nonetheless agrees to let Hyperion give him a tour of his world.

Thor and Hyperion are followed by the evil Hyperion of Thor’s universe.  Complications ensue and Thor is sent back to his world while the evil Hyperion remains at large.

 

Days of Thunder – February 1979 The Defenders #68

“Valhalla Can Wait!”
Val in Valhalla Part Three
Story by David Kraft & Ed Hannigan/ Pencils by Herb Trimpe/ Inks by Pablo Marcos/ Letters by E. Heinl/ Colors by B. Sharen/ Edited by Al Milgrom/ Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter

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Mortal-Body Valkyrie and Harokin catch up with Hela and her army. Meanwhile the Defenders agree to help Ollerus at the behest of Immortal-Body Valkyrie. Soon the two sides are joined in battle.

While her army fights, Hela visits Odin to take his political temperature. After the recent near-Ragnarok, Odin has no warmth for Hela. He intends to use this conflict as an opportunity to retake Valhalla. “Should Ollerus win– so be it! If not, the legions of Asgard shall drive you back to Niffleheim!”

Meanwhile, the two Valkyries end up fighting in front of the Defenders. Hulk gets confused and throws a big rock at the good guy one. As soon as her counterpart is clobbered, the remaining one reveals her madness. The Defenders realize that this Valkyrie is the personality of Barbara Norriss!

The side fighting for Hela point the Hulk at Ollerus’ shark-finned mountain and he smashes the hell out of it. This turns the tide of battle and Ollerus surrenders. Hela announces that her forces, as well as the vanquished forces of Ollerus are retreating to Niffleheim, that she is ceding the territory of Valhalla to the “most noble”. She leaves Harokin in charge of Valhalla. The mortals that Olerrus had prematurely recruited, such as the Defenders, are returned to Earth. Brunhilde/Valkyrie returns with them, embracing Harokin before she departs. Norriss/Valkyrie stays, banished to Niffleheim as the Fates had prophesied.

 

Days of Thunder – January 1979 The Defenders #67

“Val in Valhalla Part Two”
“We, The Unliving”
“Featuring The Deaths of the Defenders!”

Story by David Kraft & Ed Hannigan/ Pencils by Herb Trimpe/ Inks by Bruce Patterson/ Letters by E. Heinl/ Colors by B. Sharen/ Edited by Al Milgrom/ Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter

defenders-67

The Incredible Hulk dies. Slightly later, Valkyrie’s other teammates in the Defenders, Hellcat and Nighthawk also die. One of the two Valkyrie/Barbara Norriss/Brunhildes arrives in Midgard to escort her teammates to Valhalla.

It turns out that Ollerus has gained the power to make mortals die simply by willing it so. He has used this power to kill the Defenders with the goal of recruiting them into his army. He now intends to kill some humans basically at random toward the same end.

Meanwhile, Valkyrie wakes up in Ollerus’s dungeon, which is inside a giant magic mobile shark-finned mountain.. This Val is certain that she is in the body of Barbara Norriss and holds no love for Ollerus. Who, then, is the other? It is unclear.

She soon manages to escape, and joins up with Harokin on the outside to fight some pterodactyls that they refer to as “dragons.” They then depart to prepare their forces for an assault against Ollerus.

 

Days of Thunder – January 1979 The Mighty Thor #279

“A Hammer in Hades!”
Roy Thomas, Editor * Don Glut, Guest Writer * Alan Kupperberg & Pablo Marcos, Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Thor, back on Midgard, is reminded of Jane Foster, and thinks back to a time in his past. Once, during the time that Jane was hypnotized into not being in love with Blake, she was abducted by Hades. This happened in front of Thor’s eyes, as a weird mystical energy emanating from his walking-stick/hammer drew him to Foster, only to see her pulled down into the earth by strange tentacles.

He follows Jane’s captor into the Netherworld of Olympus. When he catches up with Jane, she is chained above a pool of fire. Pluto wants revenge against Thor’s involvement in thwarting his mutates on Earth. To that end he has sought the help of Loki. Loki does not join them in the Netherworld, but instead sends Ulik the Troll there.

Hades wants the two of them to duel.  The winner will claim the horribly objectified nurse as a prize “to do with as he will…”. The loser shall remain Hades’ eternal prisoner.

The two warriors fight until Ulik realizes that Pluto is using him as a tool of revenge. As much as he hates Thor, Ulik hates being manipulated even more. He turns his aggression toward Hades long enough for Thor to free Jane. Ulik’s assault catches Pluto so off guard, that the Troll almost kills Hades with Enchanted Flames that could consume even the Lord of the Netherworld. Thor intervenes, because he needs Hades to release him and Jane from the Netherworld.

Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport Ulik to Loki’s location. Chagrined, Pluto sends Thor and Jane back to Earth. Jane leaves Thor behind, to eat dinner with her boyfriend.

The events of this story take place after Thor fought Hades in issue #164. The first issue with downtime on Earth following that is issue #167. Furthermore, it takes place during the time that Jane was dating Dr. Kincaid, before she moved on to Dr. North, which means it must have taken place before issue #172. That all places the story squarely in the second half of 1969.

Days of Thunder – December 1978 The Defenders #66

“War of the Dead!”
“Val in Valhalla Part One”
A “Journey Into Mystery” by Dave Kraft, Story/ Ed Hannigan, Art/ Bruce Patterson, Inks/ Elaine Heinl, Letters/ Bob Sharen, Colors/ Bob Hall, Editor/ Jim Shooter, Editor-In-Chief

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Valkryie has been a member of the Defenders for several years now. Their roster currently consists of Valkryie, Nighthawk, Hulk, and Hellcat.

Valkryie has now been summoned to Valhalla by Hela. On her way there, she passes through Asgard, greeting Heimdall as she passes. The warrior known as Valkryie that possesses the body of the mortal woman Barbara Norris has never been to Asgard before, and yet it seems that this is a return. It is most strange.

As she continues to Valhalla, she encounters the Three Fates, which seem to be distinct beings separate from the Norns, despite similarities. The Three Fates, Skuld, Verandi, and Urdur, refer to Valkyrie as being the long-lost leader of the Valkryior.   They then  show Val what her future offers.

Val peers into the Spring of Mimir at the base of Yggdrasil. She sees herself in Valhalla, caught in the middle of a civil war. She sees herself struck down by an unknown foe. She sees a challenger to Hela’s rule, one who threatens to bring a reign of hopelessness upon all he touches. Finally she sees herself banished to Niffleheim, realm of the Thrice-Damned, plunging into unceasing Witch-Fire.

Afterward she resumes her trip, soon arriving  in Valhalla. There, she is greeted not only by Hela, but by her allies Harokin and Tyr.

It seems that Valkyrie is not actually a false persona created by the Enchantress. In truth, she is Brunhilde, the leader of the Valkryior, an army of warriors who fight to protect Valhalla.  It is they alone who decide who may dwell in Valhalla. Apparently, the Enchantress either mistakenly captured Brunhilde when she created the Valkyrie persona, or was previously lying about it.

Hela, ruler of Valhalla, who has just finished leading an army against Asgard, now leads a different army in the underworld. She is facing a challenge to her rule by one named Ollerus the Unmerciful. For this battle, she needs of Brunhilde as a general.

Brunhilde’s memories seem to have fully returned. She speaks  with Svava, one of her Valkryies, about how Valhalla has fallen into desolation under Hela’s rule. They both lament this change, but both acknowledge Hela’s authority.

Ollerus has two lieutenants in Casiolena and Poppo the Cunning. Of course, Casiolena was killed by the Enchantress in issue #4 of the Defenders, which presumably is why she is now an inhabitant of Hel. Poppo, is presumably similarly deceased. Both are sorcerers.  Poppo is also a thief. The three of them plan a trap for Valkryie.

In the Pass of Peril, the army of Hela meets the army of Ollerus. The battle is savage, but eventually Val is lured away to a dungeon. Inside the dungeon, she is shocked to find the immortal body of Brunhilde, who’s appearance is identical to that of the mortal body of Barbara Norriss! Taken aback, Val touches the body and there is a loud crack and a flash of light. When it clears, one Valkyrie is unconscious and the other stands, claiming to be the madwoman Barbara Norriss. She stands alongside Ollerus and his allies.

First Appearance: Ollerus the Unmerciful, Poppo the Cunning, Svava, Skuld, Verandi, Urdur

 

Days of Thunder – December 1978 The Mighty Thor #278

“At Long Last– Ragnarok?!”
Roy Thomas Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Chic Stone, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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The combined forces of Asgard face Hela and her army.  As they fight, Loki enters the fray, without explanation of how he escaped his chains. He soon falls, and afterward, the Midgard Serpent appears.

While the rest of the Asgardians fight for Asgard, Sif convinces Norvell to take her back to Asgard so that he and she might join the fight. They do, although the Midgard Serpent soon claims Norvell’s life. The Odinson reclaims his hammer and uses it to kill the Midard Serpent, which is not supposed to happen.

Having no idea what the hell is going on at this point, Hela calls for a retreat. Her army departs, leaving the Asgardians to marshal their forces and take stock. Norvell is dead, Joey is dead, but now that the danger has passed, there is a flare, and Balder is restored to a state resembling the Odinsleep.

Odin, seemingly back to full strength explains: He knew that Loki and Hela were determined to kick-start Ragnarok and that they had knowledge of Volla’s prophesies. His plan was to confuse them to the point where they could no longer use the prophesies as a road map. Most of the recent battle was an illusion brought forth by Odin, including the presence of Loki and the Midgard serpent, as well as all of the Asgardian fatalities.

Thor, as usual, is angered at the manipulation on the part of his father and prepares to storm off to Midgard. Odin is sick of Thor dividing his time between the two world.  He commands Thor to stay in Asgard. Thor defies his father and gets himself banished again. He begs Sif to come with him, reminding her that Jane Foster is trapped inside her, but Sif does not have it in her to defy her king.

Thor returns to Earth with Hobbs and his dead camera crew towed in a big net. Upon his arrival, he says his goodbye to Hobbs and tells the reporter that he has to deal with the Celestials.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1978 The Mighty Thor #277

“Time of the Trolls!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators/Imaginers * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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In the aftermath of “Red” Norvell’s attack, the trial of Loki concludes with a sentencing phase. Loki is chained to a rock, where a viper will drip mystic venom on his face until Ragnarok, soon as that may be. Sigyn is granted permission to do what she can to ease her husband’s suffering.

Meanwhile, Novell has taken Sif to Alfheim, home of the Ljo’s-Alfar, also known as the Bright Elves. The Bright Elves seem to be a a bunch of diminutive friendly folk. Norvell batters them around as if they were less than nothing.

While Norvell tries to convince Sif to be in love with him, she explains to him how he was able to obtain the power of Thor. Some time ago, Odin became concerned that his son might be on Midgard at a time when Asgard was in danger. So he had a back-up copy of Thor’s essence made and stored in his gloves and belt. Loki gave unwitting Norvell the instructions to unlock Thor and imprint the Thunder God’s essence o’ertop of himself.

Hela’s army attacks Asgard.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1978 The Invaders #33

“A Time of Titans!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Alan Kupperberg & Frank Springer, Illustrators/Innovators * Joe Rosen, Letterer/ G. Roussos, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Thor fights the Invaders. The combined might of the Invaders are not enough to go toe-to-toe with Thor, but they do what they can to keep Stalin safe.

In Germany, Dr. Olsen has a heart attack and dies. Hans, who is actually Doctor Doom operating under an assumed name, secretly transmits the ravings of Hitler to Thor. Hitler is sufficiently hateful and murderous that Thor abandons his mission, but not before accidentally giving lightning powers to Union Jack. Thor heads back to Asgard, but for some reason decides to wipe the memories of the Invaders before he does so.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1978 The Mighty Thor #276

“Mine– This Hammer!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema * Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Glynis Wien, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Odin is weakened from losing a sizeable portion of the Odinforce, but nonetheless decides to put his son, Loki on trial.

Before the trial begins, Loki advises Red Norvell to don Thor’s Belt of Strength in the temple of the Palace of Thor, where he can both find and wear Thor’s Iron Gloves, and finally, to bathe in the fire of Geirrodur.

Norvell does all of this, and then he crashes the trial. He is now bigger, beardier, and dressed in Asgardian raiment. He claims to be the “real Thor”. He is brash and brutish and picks a fight with Thor. As they fight, Norvell grabs Mjolnir and wrests it from Thor’s grasp!!

Red beats Thor to a pulp with Mjolnir and is prepared to kill Thor when Joey attempts to intervene. Red accidentally kills Joey. This gives him only slight pause. He threatens to kill Thor if Sif will not come away with him. When that doesn’t work, he threatens to destroy the Odinshield and thus bring about the end of the world.

Faced with the end of the world Sif yields to this creep. Norvell, still holding Thor’s hammer, grabs Sif and they depart. Yuck.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Avengers #175

“The End… and the Beginning!”
James Shooter, Plotter/Editor-In-Chief * D. Michelinie, Scripter * D. Wenzel, Pencils * P. Marcos, Inker * D. Wohl, Letters * P. Rache, Colors * R. Stern, Editor

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A large assemblage of Avengers, both  former and current, have been caught up in a complicated war of wills between Korvac and a cosmic entity known as “The Collector.” Korvac has killed the Collector, but these Avengers, Thor among their number, remain aboard his spaceship, currently orbiting Earth.

Investigating the environs of their now-deceased foe, the Avengers discover that the Collector owned a time machine, and had been using it to snatch Thor out of the time-stream so that he could assist the Avengers, despite his being preoccupied with Asgardian matters. The reasons for this were complicated and opaque, but after each adventure, Thor would be returned to his own point in the time stream with his memory removed.