“–And so, to Die!”
Stan Lee, Author and John Buscema, Illustrator now exceed their former triumphs, aided and abetted by Joe Sinnott, Embellisher and Sam Rosen, Letterer
As Hela prepares to claim Thor, Balder sleeps fitfully, for he has given his fealty and his heart to one who is an enemy of Asgard. He is awakened by Karnilla, who has come to warn her beloved that Hela has found Thor.
Balder races to Odin with Karnilla at his side. He begs Odin to intervene and Odin finds he cannot stand back and allow his son to die. Odin travels to Earth and slays Hela to protect his son.
Killing Hela has put an end to death. On Earth, Thor witnesses the dire effects. Amongst these effects: insects begin to multiply rapidly and “The population explosion, without the safety valve of death causes the teeming multitudes to fight for every inch of living space!” This happens immediately.
Thor tells Odin that this cannot stand, and with tears in his eyes, Odin resurrects Hela. As Hela begins to drain the life from Thor, Odin brings Sif to her beloved’s side where she again weeps openly. Sif petitions the Death Goddess to take her in Thor’s place, a perfect mirror of Sif’s first appearance way back in issue #102.
As before, this selfless act so moves Hela that she decides to spare Thor. Now it is her time to cry as she proclaims that while she has never known love, she now understands what it means.
As Thor, Sif, and Odin return to Asgard, Thor asks his father if this turn of events had been his plan all along, and Odin harshly refuses to answer. “I am the way! I am the light! And none may share my Odinthoughts!”
The short time in which Odin was away from Asgard was long enough for Loki to again gain control of the Odin- Ring and thus the kingdom. After this turn of events, it becomes unclear if Karnilla told Balder of Thor’s plight out of love or out of a scheme to get Odin out of Asgard. Either way, Heimdall, Hogun, and Fandral have already been exiled while Loki is served by Trolls and the Norns (including Balder).
The heroes are powerless to act against Loki while he wears the ring. Thor cries “My hammer aches for vengeance,” but his hammer is denied release.