“And Ever– The Eternals!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Tom Orzechowski, letterer / Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor
Many of the stories to feature Thor outside of the main magazine have proven difficult to pin down when they happen in relationship to those stories, which tend to leave little room for downtime. This story does not have that problem, explicitly taking place in the middle of The Mighty Thor #275. This issue features the encounter between Thor and Mimir that was alluded to in that issue.
All the recent hubub regarding the end of the world has Thor thinking about how the world began. The Asgardians have legends about such things, but so do the Olympians, as well as the mortals on Earth. What about evolution? It seems that he does not remember that he himself gave life to the first humans on Midgard.
Thor is musing on all of these topics, but they are not what he asks Mimir about. Instead, he wants to know if Ragnarok is going to take out Midgard when it goes, or if only Asgard is to be wiped out. The full scope is not entirely clear.
Mimir tells Thor that he should already know how Earth is to be destroyed, but that he has forgotten. Mimir then cites the events of Thor Annual #5, which goddammit, means I have to square that story with the other Thor storytelling that has already transpired.
At any rate, a thousand years ago, Thor was wandering around, far away from Asgard, when he stumbled upon a prisoner locked away in the middle of nowhere. The prisoner said that its name was Dromedan, Master of Minds and Men, and that if Thor freed it, he would be granted wealth, women, and worlds to conquer. Thor was ensorcelled by the prisoner, and tempted to free it, but he ultimately resisted and left it imprisoned.
Afterward, Thor went to Mexico and tried to get the natives to worship him. This was met with hostility. He soon ran into four colorfully dressed white men calling themselves “Eternals.” These men, Druig, Virako, Ajak, and Valkin, asked to parlay with Thor, away from the “primitives.”
The Eternals explained that eons ago, powerful space gods known as Celestials had visited Midgard and performed breeding experiments on the local ape life to create three different breeds of intelligent life: The Humans, The Eternals, and the Deviants. At some point later, the Celestials wiped out their creations, forcing what people remained to rebuild their civilizations from scratch. Now, the Eternals somehow sense that the Celestials are preparing to return for a third time.
Thor takes all of this at face value, but is shaken. He asks if the first humans on Midgard were named “Aske and Embla”. They do not know. This leaves room for multiple interpretations. Perhaps the Celestials actually only created the Deviants and the Eternals, while Thor created the humans with a branch of Yggrdasill. Perhaps Yggrdasill served as some sort of catalyst for the Celestials.
It is also worth noting that the Eternals perceive Asgard and Olympus as existing in parallel universes to their own.
At any rate, Thor helps his new friends the Eternals subjugate the Aztecs. They scare the humans into worshiping them so that these “primitives” might be “civilized”. After a while, Thor gets bored and takes off for a while, before coming back and helping his buddies give the Mayans the same treatment.
Eventually, Druig turns traitor and releases Dromedan, who is a member of another terrestrial sub-race known as the Mutates. He also enlists the service of Tutinax the Mountain Mover, who is also a Mutate. Druig wants to enslave humans, not just civilize them. And so he and his allies fight Thor and his allies.
Virako dies in the fight. But in the end Thor’s friends win the fight. Afterward, Valkin uses mind powers to erase Thor’s memory of ever encountering the Eternals. It is not clear why, but this encounter was part of what the Eternals refer to as the Third Cataclysm.
Now, a thousand years later, Thor remembers. Mimir informs him that the Celestials now walk the Earth so that they might judge it in fifty years time, and that depending on how they judge it, they may wipe out civilization again. Mimir implies, but does not outright state, that this will be the end of Midgard, not Ragnarok.
After a frustrated and despondent Thor leaves, Mimir takes a moment to delight in the secret knowledge that “The destiny of Thor be e’er entwined with that of his adoptive world– for reasons only Odin and Mimir do know! And Odin, poor soul, be pledged ne’er to tell!”
First Appearance: Virako