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

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