Days of Thunder – March 1972 The Mighty Thor #197

“The Well at the Edge of the World!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 197

Thor has arrived at the Twilight Well, guarded by Kartag. Thor announces his intent to steal the Well’s waters and so he and Kartag fight, while Satrina restrains his friends. Thor and Kartag’s battle eventually plunges them into the well itself.

Submerged within the Twilight Well, the waters of which hold unknown mystical properties, Thor has a vision, a moment of clarity.   Afterward, Kartag drags Thor’s unconscious form from the well. The battle is over.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde fight some monsters before meeting Silas Grant, a steamboat captain. Something strange is going on in Blackworld. When the Asgardians arrived, it seemed to be a medieval world, but things seem to keep changing, and the inhabitants seem to all be terrified of an unnamed “him” (not be be confused with “Him.”)

At the Twilight Well, Kartag’s masters reveal themselves: Three crones in red robes. They are the Norns, also known as the Fates. They are cosmic beings, and they claim that none have power over them, not even Odin. This quest to visit theTwilight Well was a test and the Asgardians have passed, apparently. The Norns gift our heroes with a sample of water from the Twilight Well and the assistance of noble Kartag.

This obviously raises questions about what relationship, if any, these beings have with Karnilla and the Norn Hag. If Karnilla is the Norn Queen, does that make her the representative of these women?  Surely she is not their leader.  It is not clear.

Thor, Volstagg, Fandral, Hogun, and Karag travel the rainbow bridge back to Asgard only to discover that the bridge has been shattered and that Asgard is gone! Fandral suggest that Asgard might not be destroyed, merely absent, and so Thor tries a bit of magic: He believes the waters of the Twilight Well to have an affinity with the water of the Cosmic Well of Asgard. He pours some the Twilight waters on his hammer and hurls the hammer into the unknown, trusting the water’s affinity to pull the hammer, with his party in tow, to Asgard, if indeed it still exists.

It works! Back on Asgard, they soon find themselves in battle with the Mangog. The Mangog has a surprise in store: He pulls out the near-death body of Odin, to use as a shield and as a trophy!

First Appearance: Silas Grant, The Norn

 

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