Days of Thunder – March 1964: Journey Into Mystery #102 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “Death Comes to Thor”

Written By: Stan Lee/ Illustrated By: Jack Kirby/ Inked By: Paul Reinman/ Lettered by Art Simek

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This month’s installment begins with a note from the editors informing the readers that due to the popularity of the feature, “Tales of Asgard” has won a permanent place among the Marvel roster of fabulous features. Hooray!

This is another Boyhood of Thor story.  Young Thor seeks the three Fates, who tell him that he can win Odin’s enchanted hammer but he will have to meet death first. Thor is not well-versed in misleading fortune wording, and so he believes this means that he must die in order to receive Odin’s hammer, a fate he is determined to face with courage.

Later, Thor is brooding over his fortune while attempting to lift the hammer, when Balder the Innocent staggers in, wounded. He tells Thor that Storm Giants have kidnapped his sister, Sif. That is all Thor needs to hear, and he charges off to save Sif.

The young godling fights his way into the castle of Rugga, a king who desires immortality more than anything. Rugga doesn’t want a fight, and he explains to Thor that he made a deal with Hela, the goddess of death, to  exchange Sif for immortality. It is unclear from the text if this means that she is a living prisoner, or if Rugga killed her. Either way, having completed his deal, Rugga is happy to point Thor toward Hela.

Thor finds Hela in her domain. With her is Sif, a blond damseley sort,  bound at the wrists, with flowers in her hair.  I’m still not clear if she is meant to be dead or not.  She does not speak in this story.

Thor begs Hela to spare innocent Sif. He offers his life in exchange for the girl’s.   This offer impresses Hela, so much that she lets them both go.   Having completed this adventure in naked androcentrism, Thor has finally gained enough worth to lift the magic hammer.

First Appearance: Sif, Rugga, The Fates

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