Days of Thunder – December 1971 The Mighty Thor #194

“This Fatal Fury!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 194

While fighting Storm Giants, Thor drops his hammer for 60 seconds, at which point he turns into Blake and slips through one of the giant’s fingers, before grabbing the hammer and reverting. This is a puzzler,  since the sixty second rule was incontrovertibly established in issue #139 as not applying when Thor is not on Earth. It has been hinted at  in more recent issues (specifically in issues #159, #185, and #186) that the Earthbound clause no longer applies, and now it seems there is no wriggling out of it. Thor changed into Blake while on Asgard.

Clearly the enchantment that ties Thor and his Blake persona together has been altered. The most likely scenario seems to be that when Odin stripped Thor of his hammer’s enchantment in issue #145 and later re-enchanted it in issue #151 the re-enchanting was a fresh enchantment, subtly different than the initial one. A second theory would be that after Thor learned the truth of his relationship with Blake that this somehow changed the rules for turning into him.

At any rate, things come to a head. Thor fights some Storm Giants. Sif cries some more. The trio joins the fray. Balder and Karnilla kiss before Balder has to ruin the moment. And Loki’s hand is beginning to hurt.

Finally, Thor and Loki battle one-on-one. The Odin-Ring would seem to put Loki physically on par with his brother, but instead, as they fight, he begins to suffer so much pain that he pulls the ring off of his finger and tosses it away, shrieking “My soul– My soul burns!”

A freshly awakened Odin reclaims the ring, for only he can wear the ring for any length of time. He banishes Loki and all seems well in Asgard. However, the dust has not had time to settle before the Vizier rushes in, panicked.

The Vizier takes Odin to the Cosmic Well, which shows the All-Father the  exact location where he banished Loki, in his haste. Loki is laughing darkly for unknown reasons. Upon seeing where he sent his son, Odin proclaims that “when Loki wakes that buried foe… the foundations of a universe will crumble!… Odin hath damned Asgard – – Hath damned us all!”

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