Days of Thunder – July 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #118

He who bears the name: Destroyer, possesses the power “To Kill a Thunder God!”
A Story Steeped in Splendor by… Stan Lee/ Artwork Bathed in Beauty by… Jack Kirby/ Inking Dipped in Drama by… Vince Colletta/ Lettering Couched in Cliches by… Artie Simek

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Thor has left the conflict in Viet Nam.  He needs only to return the Norn Stones to his father in order to prove that his brother cheated in their trial and therefore lied about Thor bringing Jane Foster to Asgard. He has stopped to examine the stones in what should still be Asia, but appears to actually be Africa.  It is unclear.  While looking at the rocks, he is ambushed by an unnamed hunter who shoots him with an anesthetic shell.

This hunter is Loki’s catspaw. Watching Thor from Asgard, the evil god is desperate that Thor not return with the stones. He manipulates the hunter to take Thor to The Temple of Darkness, a nearby Asgardian temple that has been hidden for thousands of years.

Once in the temple, the hunter, guided by Loki, triggers some ancient mechanism, and his brain undergoes a mystic transfer into the body of the Destroyer, a large armored humanoid form designed by Odin long ago to be the ultimate weapon. After countless ages of slumber, the hunter’s life force brings the monster to life.

The Destroyer is compelled to kill the first thing that it sees, which in this case is Thor. It is unclear if the The Destroyer is a robot, an armored biological creature, or an empty shell animated by magic. What is clear is that it is more powerful than even Thor. Designed by Odin to be unbeatable, it is bigger and stronger than Thor. It can even lift his hammer, the only other living soul that can do so.

While Thor fights the Destroyer, Loki squirms. He realizes that the Destroyer may well kill Thor and were there to be such an outcome, that he himself would feel the brunt of Odin’s rage. Fearing that he has gotten carried away, he goes to his father’s chambers so that he might warn Odin of the peril that Thor finds himself in.

However, in order to maintain his immortality, Odin must spend one full day out of every year sleeping the Sleep of Life, and that day is today. Odin’s guards refuse to allow Loki to wake his father and they throw him in the Dungeon of No-Escape when Loki tries to push past them.

Meanwhile, the Destroyer has Thor on the ropes. Even as Thor thinks to use the Norn Stones to his advantage, the Destroyer slices Thor’s hammer in two with a force beam issuing from its fingers. The Destroyer uses additional force beams to first melt the floor beneath the thunder god, and then solidify it diamond-hard, trapping Thor. The son of Odin is seemingly defenseless as the Destroyer readies itself to kill him. To be continued!

First Appearance: The Destroyer, unnamed hunter, The Sleep of Life, The Temple of Darkness, The Dungeon of No-Escape

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