Tag Archives: Balder

Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

“Rebirth!”
Gerry Conway, scripter * John Buscema, artist * V. Colletta, inker # John Costanza, letterer * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 206

Several years ago, Odin banished Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, into the void, discorporating him into outer space. Some time after that, he passed through a comet and absorbed the form of the comet. He was then able to somehow use his force of will to move  his comet form straight toward planet Earth. This eventually allowed him to walk free on the planet once more, but before he could track down Thor for revenge, he got drawn into a fight with  the Hulk. This fight culminated with a mountain falling on him, and seemingly killing him. He has not been seen for the past two years.

Now, the mountain that had trapped the Absorbing Man is struck by a meteorite, freeing the villain. Once freed, Creel is drawn to New York by a voice in his head that gives him headaches and tells him to find and kill Thor. Before he can find his enemy, he stumbles upon Sif and Hildegarde, who have been exploring New York. Their eyes blaze with excitement at the prospect of random battle. It has been days since they have gotten into a good fight.

After donning armor and taking up arms, the warriors rush to challenge Creel. Sif seems to have picked up some new armor on Earth. While they fight Creel, Thor is informed by Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, that Creel is causing a ruckus. Thor is so eager to fight him that he can’t be bothered with a door, smashing through a closed window of Avengers Mansion.

When Thor arrives, Sif and Hildegarde have been knocked about, allowing him to tag in. They fight, and the voice in Creel’s head compels him to retreat to a creepy house in Rutland, Vermont, with the intent of luring Thor into a trap. The house belongs to Tom Fagan. Tom Fagan is the organizer of an annual superhero themed Halloween parade that has been repeatedly featured in the stories of Marvel Comics, as well as those of DC comics, and also he was a real person and the parade a real thing. He owns two dogs, Satan, and Diablo.  At the moment, Loki has entranced him and is occupying his house.

Meanwhile, on Asgard Karnilla and the Vizier continue to hang out. They gossip about Odin, who the Vizier fears has gone mad. Odin has taken the defiance of Thor and his friends very poorly.  He has forbade that they be mentioned by name, while demanding that all his remaining subjects swear fealty to him day and night.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1972 The Mighty Thor #205

“A World Gone Mad!”
Stan Lee Presents: Gerry Conway, scripter & John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 205

Thor fights Mephisto. Mephisto calls upon evil dead people, including Blackbeard, Attilla the Hun, and Adolph Hitler. Thor defeats all comers.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1972 The Mighty Thor #204

“Exiled on Earth!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, penciler/ Jim Mooney, finished art/ Shelly Leferman, letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 204

Thor is super-pissed at Odin for manipulating him like a chesspiece. When Thor expresses his outrage, Odin responds by exiling his son to Earth. In response, all of the assembled Asgardians choose to stand with Thor. And so Sif, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Hildegarde share in Thor’s exile. Tana Nile and Silas Grant aren’t banished, but they are trapped on Earth. Volstagg is missing in action. Heimdall and Kamorr miss the drama, and return home unaware of what has transpired.

Thor takes his displaced companions to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers are headquartered. Thor offers them temporary residency in the Mansion, until something more permanent can be arranged.

Sif and Thor, or rather Sif and Blake, go to check in on Blake’s practice, only to discover that the door has been barred. They meet with the new owner of the building, Karl Sarron. Blake explains to his new landlord that he has paid the rent months in advance, and Sarron tells him that he has no record of any such arrangement. However, if Blake can provide proof of his rent arrangement, it will, of course, be honored.

While Blake deals with his rent dispute, his friends attempt to unwind and to familiarize themselves with their new environs. As they go off in separate groups, one by one, they are captured by unknown dark forces.

After it has claimed their friends, Thor and Sif find themselves swallowed by malevolent darkness. They follow the path that lies before them, and eventually they discover themselves to be in the presence of Mephisto, surrounded by their blank-faced comrades!

First Appearance: Karl Sarron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1972 The Mighty Thor #203

“They Walk Like Gods!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta: inker/ John Costanza: Letterer/ Roy Thomas: editor

Thor 203

While Thor and friends continue to fight Ego-Prime. Heimdal and Kamorr collect two more seemingly random humans: Chi Lo, a Japanese farmer, and Carter Dyam, an Israeli soldier. Also, the man named “Jackson Kimbal” in the previous issue is now being called “Jason Kimbal”. Perhaps, Heimdal got his name wrong initially, and has been corrected off-panel.

Karnilla barges in on Odin, demanding to know what is going on with Balder. The Vizier trails behind her, stopping in horror when he discovers that Odin has been playing “the Game”. It is unclear what the significance of “the Game” is.

On Earth, all of the fighting against Ego-Prime has been ineffectual. He unleashes his power upon the planet, ready to create his Planetary Flesh Mound. However, at the last moment, all of his power is siphoned away until he fades into nothingness. While Thor and his friends were powerless to stop the villain, the power of Ego-Prime has been captured by the three mortals assembled by Heimdal. They stand before our heroes, newly transformed into gods.

Odin reveals himself before Thor and the others, revealing that all of his actions as of late have all been part of a byzantine, seemingly stupid plan designed to culminate with the creation of these three new gods, the start of a new race of gods that will “breathe fresh fire into the furnace of the cosmic all!”

Also, in this issue Ego-Prime calls Thor’s hammer “trice-dammed”. Setting aside the fact that he surely meant “thrice-damned,” this is stronger language than one would expect to be permissible by the Comics Code Authority.

First Appearance: Chi Lo, Carter Dyam

 

Days of Thunder – August 1972 The Mighty Thor #202

“–And None Dare Stand ‘Gainst Ego-Prime!”
Stan Lee Presents: A Gerry Conway, John Buscema Mini-Marvel Masterpiece! Aided and Abetted by: Vinnie Colletta, inker and Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 202

The combined force of Sif, Tana Nile, Hildegarde, Silas Grant, Thor, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg stand together against Ego-Prime as it transforms from a crystalline rock monster into a hundred-foot-tall, purple-bearded humanoid. Ego-Prime, in his new form, reveals his ultimate intent: He wants to use his power of growth and change to cause humanity to multiply so rapidly that they blanket the earth in a swarming pile of flesh. He will then fuse those wriggling mountains of humanity into a single peaceful entity. The combined heroes stand in opposition to this scheme.

Elsewhere on Earth, Heimdall and Kamorr seek and find a young black man named Jackson Kimbal and help him get out of some trouble with some loan sharks.

Meanwhile, Karnilla appears to have reached an uneasy peace with Odin after all of the events of recent days.  She and the Vizir discuss their fears that Odin has sent their friends to their deaths.  Elsewhere, Odin literally plays chess with himself using a chessboard full of pieces sculpted like our cast.

Thor Chess

It has not been made clear how those who were on Blackworld ended up on Earth. Perhaps the most likely explanation would be that it was an act of Odin,  and that somehow moving his pieces on his chessboard mystically moved the flesh-and-blood analogues to another location.

First Appearance: Jackson Kimbal

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Mighty Thor #201

“Resurrection!”
Stan Lee editor presents: A Gerry Conway (script) * John Buscema (Layouts) Marvel Masterwork! Jim Mooney (finished art) * Artie Simek (lettering)

thor 201

The third Norn’s name is, indeed, Atropos.

The implication has been there since their introduction, but now that they have been given the names of the Greek Fates, it is all but established that within the Marvel cosmology, the Norse Norn and the Greek Fates are one and the same.

The Norn continue to watch what the various Asgardians are up to, and continue to watch the proceeds non-linearly. One week prior to Pluto’s invasion of Asgard, A longship arrives in Brooklyn, carrying Heimdall, along with a diminutive ally named Kamorr the Small. Apparently between Heimdall’s fight with Thor in issue #193 and Asgard’s departure from the universe, Odin sent Heimdall to Earth on a quest alongside this dwarf. Heimdall weaves an enchantment that gives them the appearance of local garb.

While the battle between The Asgardians and the Underworlders rages on, Karnilla does what she can to stop this fighting, for the sake of her beloved Balder. However, it is not she who saves the day, but rather Hela, who chooses to end the stalemate between herself and Pluto by restoring life to Odin.

With Odin’s life restored, Pluto retreats from Asgard, but not before seemingly sending Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg to the Netherworld. However, Odin redirected Pluto’s action, and sent the warriors to Earth, a land that is very strange to these three.

Upon hearing of the dislocation of his friends, Thor asks his father for leave to retrieve them from Earth. Balder asks Karnilla for permission to accompany his friend to Earth, which she icily grants: “It appears I’ve no hold on thee… if ever I had.” As soon as Balder and Thor leaves, she begins to cry.

Odin begins to hint at a plan that the lettercolumn has been hinting at for some time. Apparently, sending the trio to Earth and Sif to Blackworld, and who knows what other random Odin bullshit, has all been part of of some overly complicated plot on his part, but at this time he can say no more.

On Blackworld, as our heroes retreat from Ego-Prime, Tana Nile reveals how Ego-Prime came to be. It seems that the Colonizers were in dire need of a planet “of the Earth type” for some unspecified reason, but none were available to them.

The Grand Comissioner’s solution was elegant in its simplicity: Tana Nile went to the Black Galaxy where she harvested a small chunk of Ego, the Living Planet.  She dumped this chunk on Blackworld, which at the time was a world of cavepeople. She pumped a bunch of energy into the Ego sample to see what would happen. The hope was that the unique properties of a living bio-verse would terraform the planet. Instead, she accidentally created a monster obsessed with sculpting Blackworld into a mirror image of Earth for some reason.

Now, Blackworld superficially resembles modern day 1972 Earth, but its inhabitants are modified cavepeople, unable to control their violent and destructive urges. And so it comes to pass that the city that Sif and company have found themselves in gets nuked off of the map.

An instant later, Sif, Hildegarde, Tana Nile, Silas Grant, and Ego Prime all materialize on Earth, right before Thor and Balder, who have just caught up with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. No explanation is given how or why.

First Appearance: Kamorr the Small

 

Days of Thunder – June 1972 The Mighty Thor #200

“Beware! If this be… Ragnarok!”
Story & Art by Stan (The Man) Lee and Big John Buscema/ J. Verpoorten, embellishing/ Artie Simek, lettering/ Note to bibliophile: Prologue & Epilogue by Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist

Thor 200

The bulk of this special 200th issue is a retelling of the Ragnarok story originally told in issues #127 and #128. The action is much the same as in those issues, although this telling makes it clear that Balder, Hogun and Volstagg will fight in the final battle. Although Stan Lee scripted both tellings, this is a markedly inferior version, lacking the poetry of the original.

There is also a bookend to this story, featuring the Norns: Klothos, Laecius, and the third one not-yet-named, but probably named “Atropos”.  From the World’s End, the three hags use the Twilight Well as a scrying pool to watch Pluto’s invasion of Asgard. They are concerned that Pluto is about to kill Thor and disrupt his destiny, which is to fight and die at the time of Ragnarok. To ensure that Ragnarok unfolds as it should, Klothos  sends a bolt of comic energy to shatter Pluto’s axe before it strikes the killing blow against Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – May 1972 The Mighty Thor #199

“If this be Death..!”

Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, inker/ Sam Rosen, letterer

Thor 199

While Asgard hurtles back toward the universe, Kartag takes his leave, returning to the World’s End. Soon after he departs, Hela arrives. Thor refuses to release Odin to her custody, and before the matter can be settled, Pluto, lord of the Netherworld arrives in a longboat full of what appear to be Mutates. He also wants to claim Odin as a prize. This leads to a battle, with Hela joining the forces of Asgard against Pluto and his minions.

Balder, who has apparently been in Asgard along with Karnilla ever since it left the universe, cannot help but join the fray. He is badly wounded for his troubles, and Karnilla once again uses magic to save Balder. As he rises, he prepares to re-enter the battlefield.

Karnilla forbids him to fight and risk death. When he speaks of the dishonor it would be to stay his hand, she releases him, commanding him never to return to her. Such is the depth of her love of Balder.

On Blackworld, “he” has been revealed to be some sort of crystalline hulk, and so Tana Nile at last fills in Sif and company on the nature of “him.” This powerful fiend, who keeps shifting the nature of Blackworld, is Ego Prime, a small offshoot of Ego, the Living Planet. It is unclear why he is named “Prime” when the Living Planet is the primary Ego. He seems to be shaping Blackworld to resemble present-day 1972 Earth. Why he is doing this, remains to be seen.

On Asgard, Pluto fights Thor one-on-one and he bests the thunder god. He stand over Thor, prepared to kill the Asgardian with a final blow of his Axe!

First Appearance (full): Ego Prime

 

Days of Thunder – April 1972 The Mighty Thor #198

“–and Odin Dies!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer

Thor 198

Thor and Hogun manage to free Odin from the Mangog’s grasp.   Thor then retreats to protect his father’s body.

Volstagg takes the Twilight water to the Vizier.  Lacking clear direction, the Vizier decides to try mixing the water into the Cosmic Well.

The Cosmic Well explodes, causing a geyser of raw power to shoot outward. Weary Odin finds his way to this geyser and is showered by these waters of power. The mystic shower gives him strength  enough to battle the Mangog one last time.

Meanwhile, the Mangog finds the Odinsword and he unsheathes it!

Fortunately, Ragnarok is averted thanks to Asgard’s absence from the Enthropic Universe. Odin with the power of the Twilight Well and the Mangog with the power of the Odinsword fight one final battle. Odin severs the Mangog’s connection to rage that fuels the beast, causing it to dwindle into non-existence. However, Odin dies in the conflict.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde try to uncover the mystery of the unnamed force that is toying with the lives of the people who live there. Suddenly, Tana Nile of the Collectors arrives on the scene, frantically warning the Asgardians to join her within her Force Bubble. As they do, they at last see the off-panel face of “him!”

During Odin’s funeral, a thought occurs to Thor. With Asgard outside of the universe, Hela has been unable to claim his father. Until she does, he is not truly dead. As Asgard makes the journey back into the universe, Thor will use his power to freeze time (as he once did to save Jane Foster so that he might keep Odin from Death. As we know, this is incredibly dangerous.

Also, we learn that Odin’s previously unnamed friend is named “Bulwar”.

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!”

Days of Thunder – November 1971 The Mighty Thor #193

“What Power Unleashed?”
Stan Lee, Overseer Supreme/ Gerry Conway, Scripter Superb/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists Admirable/ Artie Simek, Letterer Legible

Thor 193

Not only is this the first issue with Gerry Conway taking over as scripter, but it is a weird overlength issue, with what was clearly supposed to be the first fourteen pages of the next issue tacked onto the book, perhaps as part of a scheme to hide the fact that the price of the book was going up by a nickle, perhaps because no Thor title shipped with an October date.

At any rate, Balder has caught the attention of the Silver Surfer. Since the last time Thor has encountered this shiny asshole, he has remained stuck on Earth and has completely written off the human race as being basically worthless. For this reason, the Surfer is less than inclined to help Balder, whom he does not remember.

Balder gets carried away in petitioning the Surfer for aide and says of Thor “For whom I would give my life!” Karnilla is super-pissed by that, for Balder’s life is not his to give. She lashes out in anger and mortally wounds Balder (She probably forgot that he is mortal on Earth.). She instantly regrets her actions, but has the Surfer to deal with. She demands respect but the Surfer informs her that he “Bows to no female.”

The Silver Surfer is a dick. Satan likely doesn’t want his soul because his soul is pure, he wants his soul because fuck that guy. At any rate, something in Balder and Karnilla’s melodramatics has convinced the Surfer to aid Thor, whom he also does not remember.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Loki has resumed being super-creepy and has decided to force Sif to be his bride. This is unpleasant in every way imaginable, but does allow Loki to get a good dig in on Thor regarding the fact that he has continued to put off marrying Sif. It is worth pointing out that Thor has at this point been with Sif for longer than he had pined after Jane Foster, whom he was willing to renounce godhood in order to wed.

The Surfer finds Thor and tags in, taking over the stalemated battle with Durok. This frees Thor to return to Asgard. When he returns, he finds Heimdal who must fight Thor at Loki’s command. Thor knocks Heimdal off of the rainbow bridge, causing him to plummet, re-raising questions about the nature of the rainbow bridge.

Thor jumps down after Heimdal and somehow manages to loop back upward onto the bridge, saving his friend.  This suggests that the laws of physics are very strange on and near Bifrost.   He then proceeds onward, fighting his way past Storm Giants. He explicitly kills one named Kaggor the Tall, setting a new bloodthirstier tone for the book.

At last he finds Sif, attended by some random Asgardian women, wearing some stupid skimpy bridal get-up. Their reunion is cut short by Loki, who sends another wave of storm giants against Thor.

Meanwhile, The Surfer and Durok fight until the Surfer decides to pull Durok into the far future of Earth, some point past a time when mankind has wiped itself out. Time travel is apparently a thing that the Silver Surfer can do with nothing more than his board. He deposits Durok in this wasteland future, scoffs at the grisly fate of humanity, and presumably returns to present-day Earth.

First appearance: female Asgardian background characters, Kaggor the Tall

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 The Mighty Thor #192

“Conflagration!”
Story by: Stan Lee/ Illustration by: John Buscema/ Embellishment by: Sam Grainger/ Lettering by: Artie Simek/ Costumes by: Forbush’s Funky Fashion Factory

Thor 192

Sif resumes weeping.

Thor battles Durok on Earth, which is  a rough stalemate with a lot of collateral damage. Thor does what he can to minimize the harm and to hypnotize the bystanders into forgetting anything had ever happened.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Balder begs Karnilla for permission to go to Earth. He promises to not strike a blow in Thor’s defense. Curious, Karnilla agrees. Once they arrive, Balder uses his sword to magically summon the Silver Surfer!

It is here, mid-story, that Stan Lee steps away from scripting duties of Thor.   And so the first era of The Mighty Thor draws to a close.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1971 The Mighty Thor #191

“A Time of Evil!”
Story by Stan Lee/ Art by John Buscema/Embellishment by Joe Sinnott/ Lettering by Sam Rosen So be it!

Thor 191

Thor, with his aching hammer, really wants to attack Loki, despite the fact that his brother wears the Odin-ring. When his father reminds him that they cannot raise a hand against Loki, Thor calls Odin a coward. For this, Odin magically removes Thor’s mouth.  When Odin immediately calms down and reverses the process, it is clear that he removed the entire interior space of the mouth, not just the exterior lip part. The art makes it super-weird.

Thor Mouth

Odin cannot be bothered with yet another case of Loki stealing his throne, and so he shrugs the whole thing off and heads to the Odinsleep. After he leaves, Thor and Sif immediately attack Loki. Loki, who’s powers are increased by the Odin-Ring, playfully fights back.

Eventually, Loki summons Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg to fight alongside Thor and Sif, just to make things more fun. After singlehandedly defeating all five of his enemies, he commands Karnilla to use her magic to create a man more powerful than any that have come before. She complies, but the form she creates is lifeless.

Loki then uses the Odin-Ring to fill the brute, who he names “Durok, the Demolisher”, to life. Although Durok is granted life, he is not granted speech, nor a soul. Once he animates this being, Loki sends him to Earth so that he might slay everything that lives. Naturally, Thor gives chase.

First Appearance: Durok the Demolisher

Days of Thunder – July 1971 The Mighty Thor #190

“–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

Thor 190

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.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1971 The Mighty Thor #189

“The Icy touch of Death!”
Scripted in sparkling splendor, by: Stan Lee/ Drawn in dazzling drama, by: John Buscema/ Embellished with exotic elan, by: Joe Sinnott/ Lettered with a scratchy penpoint by: Sam Rosen

Thor 189

All of Thor’s friends freak out over the notion that Hela is going to come for him. Sif, who has become very emotional since Buscema took over, weeps openly. Odin tells Thor to hide on Earth in the guise of Blake while Odin thinks his Odinthoughts.

Balder returns once again to Karnilla, in order to beg her aid in protecting Thor against Hela. Karnilla cares nothing about Thor, he is a son of Asgard and Balder is the only Asgardian for whom she cares. Balder confesses that he loves her in turn, but that as long as she is Asgard’s foe, she remains his as well.

Karnilla, the Norn Queen, gives Balder a cold-hearted offer. If Balder will swear fealty to her, if he will renounce Odin, she will help Balder save Thor from the threat that is Hela. Balder, a swirling mass of conflicting emotions, agrees to the deal.

Balder at last swears his loyalty to Karnilla, who has loved him all these many months and so she honors their deal by immediately feeding Balder poison. This sends him to the Realm of Death, where he is able to confront Loki, who had been in the process of selling out his brother to Hela.

Not able to defeat Loki on his best day, Balder is no threat at all to the evil prince, for his Odin-Blade has lost its enchantment now that Balder has turned his back on his one-time liege. However, the fight between Balder and Loki bores Hela, and so so she teleports them back to Asgard.

In Asgard, Loki flees while Balder goes to Odin to tell him what has transpired. Odin already knows what Balder has done and he forgives him, for Balder acted out of love for the All-Father’s son.

Hela has learned from Loki that Thor is on Earth, and so she travels there in the coolest mortal garb any Asgardian has ever been depicted as wearing: A long green coat and a giant papakha. She searches for Thor, which of course should be no trouble for an Asgardian, but she is confounded by a series of illusions created by Odin.

Hela 3

 

Finally, she strikes upon a solution: She will just murder a bunch of people until Thor shows himself. Sure enough, that does the trick. Thor comes to her and he has no choice but to yield.

First appearance: Odinthoughts

Days of Thunder – May 1971 The Mighty Thor #188

“The End of Infinity!”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Inking: Jim Mooney/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 188

Thor at last reveals the secret of the comic force that is Infinity. Back when Loki trapped Odin in the Sea of Eternal Night (As shown in issue #176) Hela, goddess of death came to him. It was, in fact, at her hands that Balder withered and aged as he went to save his liege. With Odin separated from Asgard and sleeping the Odinsleep, Hela believed that she would at last be able to claim Odin. Yet even in a weakened state and far away from the Asgardians that are the source of his power, Odin was too strong to die. And yet Hela did not fail completely. She claimed a portion of Odin and that portion, now in her thrall, she named Infinity.

Hela released Infinity and tasked it with the taking of all life. Hela wished to claim the entire universe with Infinity, her greatest servant.

It turns out the analytical mind of Blake was not called for after all.

Thor is shaken but he is not cowed. “Who thinks that Thor would falter? A man may fight, though hope be dim… A god will fight– when hope be gone!” Thor would fight and kill death herself.

thor188 infinity

Once again Loki and Karnilla join their magic together.  They take the combined power of Thor, Balder, Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg as well as the power of Mjolnir itself, channeling it through Loki’s horned helm and straight at Odin. This combined power is enough to free Odin’s will.

Newly awakened, Odin now knows what it is that he faces. Armed with that knowledge, he takes Infinity back into himself. He then returns to the halls of Asgard, reclaims the Scepter of Power and with a touch sheathes the Odin-Sword. He then uses the power within himself to reverse all the death and destruction caused by Infinity.

The threat of Infinity is passed, but all is not well. Hela, enraged by her failure, intends to finally claim the life of Thor!

 

Days of Thunder – December 1970 The Mighty Thor #183

“Trapped in Doomsland”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Embellishment: Joe Sinnott/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 183

As Doctor Doom’s missile hurtles toward Thor, he spins Mjolnir, creating a whirlwind, before throwing it skyward. This sucks the missile upward, away from Thor and from the innocent bystanders below. However, he threw his hammer with such force that he cannot recover it before he reverts to Blake, lost in Latvaria, wanted by Doom, with no walking stick.

The immovable hammer is found by villagers and word makes its way to Doom. He wants the hammer for himself and is confounded by his inability to lift it. Angered by this mysterious thwarting of his will, Doom seals the hammer within an Electrostatic Force to ensure that no-one else takes it.

Blake eventually finds the hammer, sealed by the Electrostatic Force. Unable to touch the hammer, Blake digs around and eventually under the force.  This allows him to grasp the hammer from below and thus become Thor once again.

Thor seeks out Doom, thirsting for battle, but the villain has been waiting for him, and he now threatens to unleash a thousand missiles, vaporizing every major city on Earth if Thor doesn’t relinquish the hammer. Thor agrees, but of course Doom cannot hold the hammer. As the hammer falls to the ground, Thor seizes the moment and destroys the missile control panel.

Doom and Thor battle until Thor is able to retrieve his hammer. At that point, he retreats and destroys all of Doom’s missiles. He has but one last thing to do:  having destroyed the military assets of a sovereign nation, all that remains is to rescue Cosette’s father. But in a cruel twist of fate, it turns out that despite what Cosette had believed, her father was a willing servant of Doom all along.  As he dies resisting Thor, he curses his daughter for interfering.

Thor returns to New York, where he tells Cosette that her father died fighting for what he believed in and that the final words he spoke were of her. Thor may not ever knowingly lie, but that doesn’t mean he is honest.

Days of Thunder – November 1970 The Mighty Thor #182

“The Prisoner– The Power– And– Dr. Doom!”
By: Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Inking: Joe Sinnott/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 182

After two issues of ill-suited Neal Adams fill-in, new artist John Buscema is onboard and the results are… fine. The book’s visuals have gone from the amazing to the merely very good. Buscema gives the book a straight-up sword and sorcery vibe, as opposed to Kirby’s funkier take on the genre. As for the plotting, well, it is fairly bonkers.

In the Marvel comics shared universe, there is one villain that stands above the rest: Doctor Doom. Doctor Doom is the king of a tiny European nation. Doctor Doom is one of the world’s most brilliant minds in the field of super-science. Doctor Doom has invented time travel. Doctor Doom is never seen outside of a suit of armor he wears, conferring super powers upon him. Doctor Doom’s face beneath his mask is horribly mutilated, although it never seen, never depicted on-panel.

Doctor Bake semi-randomly stumbles upon the fact that Doctor Doom will soon have ICBMs at his disposal after meeting Cosette, the daughter of the man who Doom has conscripted to build his missiles.  Rather that just attack Doom head-on, Thor sets a trap.

Blake calls reporter Harris Hobbs, who does not remember that Blake and Thor are one and the same, thanks to Thor’s powers of hypnosis, used in issue #123. Blake gets Hobbs to run a story claiming that famous neurologist Doctor Donald Blake has developed a method of plastic surgery that can repair any amount of facial disfigurement.  Surely Doctor Doom could not resist such a surgery.

While Blake waits for Doom to take his bait, Odin calls upon Thor, telling him it is time to speak of The World Beyond. Thor begs Odin permission to finish his operation against Doom. Odin grants this boon.

Presumably, Blake spends the next few days letting down any number of scarred and malformed hopefuls before Doom eventually kidnaps him and spirits him to his nation of Latvaria. Once they arrive, Doom demands that Blake repair his face and shows the doctor his visage. Blake is so horrified by what he sees that he totally loses his composure, screaming, “Oh no! No! In the name of heaven– I never dreamt it would be like that!! There’s nothing medical science can do! Nothing!!”

A furious Doom locks the doctor up in his dungeon. Blake turns into Thor, busts loose and Doom fires a stalker missile at Thor!

First appearance: Doctor Doom, Cosette

Days of Thunder – October 1970 The Mighty Thor #181

“One God Must Fall!”
Stan Lee, Author/ Neal Adams, Artist, Inking: Joe Sinnott/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 181

In Hell, while Mephisto toys with Thor’s would-be rescuers, Sif strikes at the ice that entraps her beloved with her blade again and again to no avail.  Thor uses Loki’s trickster powers to have the blade fly from her hands, striking a bestial demon who charges Sif and attacks with fire breath. This breath is avoided by Sif but it melts the enchanted ice.

Once freed, Thor uses his recently-buffed mystic power to recede his physical aspect from the universe, until all that is left is his divine essence. What remains is an aura of purity that cripples Mephisto. Pained by looking at Thor’s true aspect, Mephisto sends away all of the Asgardians.

Meanwhile, on Earth Loki-as-Thor addresses the U.N. “All ye who trod the Earth shall be my slaves! Let humanity tremble before the power of Thor!” Before “Thor” can cause serious damage, Balder re-confronts him. They battle, and this time Balder uses Loki’s lack of familiarity with Thor’s strengths to his advantage. Loki tries to zap Balder with Mjolnir, instead of bludgeon him with it. As Loki gets more and more frustrated, Balder goads him until he publicly reveals himself to be Loki and not Thor.

Loki then batters Balder unconscious again, but Thor soon arrives and the two fight again. Loki-as-Thor throws a steam shovel at Thor-as-Loki. Thor waits for Loki to throw Mjolnir at him and then he hits his brother with everything he’s got. He gets badly hurt but sixty seconds pass and Loki fails to retrieve the hammer.   Loki’s body with Thor’s face disappears, replaced with Don Blake’s. Loki’s spirit is suddenly without a host and it rushes to its original face, in turn forcing out Thor’s spirit, which returns to Blake’s body. Thor-as-Blake wastes no time and grabs his stick,  reverting to Thor in short order.

Thor taunts Loki, now in a body he himself had beaten severely. “Do you choose to fight– or yield? ‘Tis all the same to me!”

Loki replies “I do not fight– I do not yield! My hatred shall sustain me!” And then he magically disappears.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1970 The Mighty Thor #180

“When Gods Go Mad!”
Scenario: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Neal Adams/ Joe Sinnott: Inker/Sam Rosen: Letterer

Thor 180
Loki, in the guise of Thor, has begun wreaking havoc in the streets of New York. He is reveling in his new-found strength, smug in his belief that his brother will take the blame for all of his actions. Thor-as-Loki cannot stand by while Loki-as-Thor behaves in this manner, and so he charges at his brother, ready for battle.

As the brother’s fight, Odin checks in on Thor’s progress. Seeing Thor and Loki fight, he angrily teleports the god he believes to be Loki to his chambers. Odin will not let “Loki” speak, so angered is he over Loki’s recent misdeeds. Instead he commits “Loki” to Hades!

Back on Midgard, Balder and Sif battle “Thor” who they are now rightly convinced is truly Loki. However, after Loki acts really creepy to Sif, y’know, in a sex way, Balder uses the power of his Odin-blessed blade to transport Sif back to Asgard away from “Thor.” Soon after, Loki trounces him.

Once she arrives in Asgard, Sif wastes no time in searching for her beloved. While Odin studies the menace of Galactus in his chambers, Sif finds an unnamed vizier of Odin’s, who directs her to the Cosmi-Screen so that she might see Loki’s fate.

Thor has been sent to hell with Loki’s face, where he meets its lord, Mephisto, otherwise known as Satan. Mephisto soon realizes that it is not Loki before him, but rather pure-hearted Thor. Delighted by this twist, Mephisto sends one threat after another to menace him.  Eventually, Thor cries out, “Is this to be the fate of Thor? To do senseless battle – without reason – without end?” When put like that, it is unclear just how being in hell differs from Thor’s day-to-day life.

Sif rounds up Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg, and soon the four of them, aided by the Vizier, use the power of the Odin Helmet to travel to Hades in order to rescue their friend, only to discover that Mephisto has already frozen Thor-as-Loki in a block of ice!

First Appearance: The Vizier, The Odin Helmet

Days of Thunder – August 1970 The Mighty Thor #179

“No More the Thunder God!”
By Stan Lee/ Jack Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 179

While Asgard recovers from the attack of Surtur, Odin sends Thor out to chase down his brother and bring him back to Asgard. Loki is on Earth, and either he is in the company of Toag, whom Loki has taken to mistakenly calling “Igron” or Igron has escaped from Asgard to Earth and borrowed Toag’s super-cool hat while Toag has departed for parts unknown. Either way, Loki repays his servant’s loyalty by teleporting him to the Asgardian troll dungeons just to be a jerk.

Thor lures Loki out, but Loki possesses a Mask of the Living, an enchanted mask that he slaps on his brother’s face. Once the mask’s magics do their work, Thor discovers that he and Loki have exchanged faces. And not only that, but Loki has gained Thor’s strength and his ability to lift Mjolnir. He has also swapped their clothes while Thor was unconscious.

Back on Asgard, Sif and recuperating Balder sense that Thor is in danger.  Thus, they once again travel to Earth without Odin’s permission to help the one they hold so dear.  Unfortunately, they mistake Thor for a villain and attack him.

Thor tries to explain things but Asgardians are an attack-first sort of people. Thor then tries to run away, but this also proves fruitless. Finally he strikes back, however he misjudges the power of Loki’s magic and strikes down still-recuperating Balder. His anguish over causing this harm is what finally compels Sif and Balder to listen to what it is he has to say.

First appearance: Mask of the Living
Last Appearance: Jack Kirby

 

Days of Thunder – June 1970 The Mighty Thor #177

“To End in Flames!”
Grandeur unsurpassed, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering A. Simek

Thor 177

Loki has fled to Earth, bringing his servant Toag with him. Toag seems to have remained perpetually loyal to Loki even as the villain’s loyalties have shifted. As a result of his fealty to Loki, Toag may no longer retain the title of Elder of the Supreme Council. It is not clear. What is clear is that even on Earth they can feel the heat of Surtur as it emanates from Asgard.

On Asgard, Thor marshals the forces of Asgard to fight against Surtur. They strike at the monstrous fire demon, with their weapons, with the power of the storm, with an Asgardian Frost Gun.  They  even hurl a planetoid at him. Nothing stops the demon.

Meanwhile, Sif and Balder storm Loki’s castle. Apparently, Loki has a castle. Within the castle they meet Loki’s ally, Igron the Wizard. They force Igron to send Balder into the Sea of Eternal night, which is within the Dimension of Death. Sif stays behind to guard the portal and to keep an eye on Igron.

Within the Sea of Eternal Night, Balder grows weak, rapidly aging as he desperately hurls himself toward the capsule that contains his king. Naturally, Balder’s immunity to harm does not extend beyond Asgard. He finds Odin, and returns the king to Asgard, before collapsing, withered and near-death.

Balder is not to die today.  Odin, freshly awakened from the Odinsleep, restores Balder’s vitality before joining Thor. Upon seeing Surtur, Odin immediately uses his power to pull the demon into the ground, trapping Surtur deep within its bowels.

First Appearance: Igron the Wizard

 

Days of Thunder – May 1970 The Mighty Thor #176

“Inferno”
A munificent masterwork by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby/ Vince Colletta Inker/ Artie Simek Letter

Vince came back!

Thor 176

Loki wears the Ring Imperial, also known as the Odinring, and none of our heroes will stand against him. None save Balder, who has not sworn fealty to Asgard,  only to Odin, and Sif who has sworn fealty to Asgard, but who tells Loki that she would sooner die than obey a command to become his queen. Rather than force her to make that choice, he forces her to battle a troll warrior, whom she easily defeats.

Balder soon frees his friends, but Loki reveals the depths of his villainy: The evil one has placed his father in a coffin-sized capsule and cast it into the apparent limbo dimension that is the Sea of Eternal Night! When Loki reveals this, Thor and Sif both declare that ring or no ring they shall stand against Loki.

Before things come to blows, fires begin to erupt across Asgard. Without Odin to guard him within his prison, Surtur, the fire demon has escaped and seeks to destroy all things, starting with Asgard. In the face of this threat to the land, Loki predictably flees.

Thor takes charge, and as he prepares the bulk of Asgard’s forces to mount a defense, he sends Sif and Balder into the Sea of Eternal Night to awaken mighty Odin.

First Appearance: The Sea of Eternal Night

Days of Thunder – April 1970 The Mighty Thor #175

“The Fall of Asgard”
Produced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Bill Everett Inker/ Artie Simek Letterer

Thor 175

Balder has finally healed, and now Karnilla releases him and his friends from her forced hospitality. She presents a pose of no longer having feelings for Balder as she bids the Asgardians to leave. Balder sadly asks why there must be enmity between her people an his and she can give him no answer other than “’tis so ordained.”

As the friends arrive in Asgard, they encounter the coalition of the enemies of Odin that has been formed by Loki.  The evil prince is aware that it is again the time of the Odinsleep, and so he again has returned to Asgard so that he might take the Throne in his father’s absence, this time bringing an invading force.

Thor has been too busy fighting criminals on Earth to keep track of his duties to Asgard.  Sif has gone to Earth in order to warn him that his father has fallen into the Odinsleep.  After a brief but passionate embrace, they return to Asgard.

Upon their return, they find a city under siege. They split up and Thor catches up with Volstagg, Hogun and Fandral. Together they fight Loki’s forces in a grand melee.

It is Sif who finds Loki. However, Loki is still a prince of the realm and Odin’s guards feel they have no choice but to follow his command.  The guards reluctantly seize Sif, even as the prince brazenly steals the Ring Imperial from his slumbering father’s hand. With that ring in his possession, his word is law and all are his subjects. Thor and his the trio have no choice but to bow before Loki in submission.

First Appearance: The Ring Imperial

Days of Thunder – January 1970 The Mighty Thor #172

“The Immortal and the Mind-Slave!”
Written & Drawn by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby/ Bill Everett Embellisher/ Art Simek Letterer

Thor 172

Thor notices a man waiting inside Doctor Blake’s office, forcing him to become Blake once again. This man turns out to be Doctor Jim North, who Blake describes as the Doctor that Jane went to work for after leaving his employ. We all know that Jane went to work for a Doctor named Kincaid, but perhaps she works at a practice with more than one physician. This doesn’t quite square the fact that she was romantically linked with Kincaid and now she is linked with North but her love life is her business.

At any rate, North has come to Blake because it is known that Blake is the only mortal who can contact Thor.  It turns out Jane has been once again kidnapped in order to force her employer whom she is dating into a compromised position. This is third employer that this has happened with in these pages.

This time Kronin Krask, a ruthless militant billionaire is using Jane to blackmail North into finishing work on a mind-transplant machine. This is not a surgical device, but a device performing some matter of psychic swap. Krask wishes to use it to avoid dying in is his old crappy mortal body.

Per Blake’s instructions, North does as Krask commands. Jane quite sensibly tells North that he shouldn’t cooperate, as obviously Krask will have them both killed afterward.  Unbeknownst to her, North has an Asgardian ace-in-the-hole.

Meanwhile Thor, allows himself to be captured by Krask’s men and ends up on the other side of the Mind Transfer device. Krask has gambled that Jane’s previous association with Thor would lead to his arrival and capture this night.  Meanwhile, Thor assumed that this was Krask’s plan and walked willingly into the trap because he could not resist the opportunity to fight someone directly upon the mental plane.

Indeed, that is what happens.  Thor and Krask’s minds transform into visible Electro-Waves, battling for supremacy. Ultimately, Thor’s ego consumes Krask’s, causing the villain’s body to fall to the floor, dead.

With Krask dead and Thor ambulatory, the remaining henchmen flee, leaving Jane and North free from danger. Thor departs, without any warmth or recognition passing between him and the woman with whom he was once betrothed.

First Appearance: Kronin Krask, Doctor Jim North, The Mind Transfer Device

Days of Thunder – November 1969 The Mighty Thor #170

“The Thunder God and the Thermal Man!”
A New Action Spectacular, by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Embellishment by: Bill Everett/ Lettering by Artie Simek

Thor 170

Thor returns to Earth and finds that New York City has been evacuated. He joins Balder, Fandrall, Volstagg, and Hogun who have met the Thermal Man and found him to be more than a match.  The Thermal Man is your basic mindless rampaging humanoid, growing stronger with every passing moment.  Balder seems to be pretty shaken by it, exclaiming, “The only power which exceeds our own is the power of the Atom!”

The Asgardians seem powerless in the face of the Thermal Man, but the Chinese have supplied the Americans with a special missile designed to defeat the Thermal Man.  They do this  after realizing that the monster may grow too powerful to be stopped and eventually turn its attention back to Asia. The Americans fire the missile at the monster, felling it.

In the aftermath of battle, Thor finds a gravely injured serviceman and becomes Blake so that he might save the man’s life. After he leaves with his patient, the monster awakens and knocks out all four remaining Asgardians.

From afar, Karnilla despairingly watches these events alongside Loki. She loves Balder and cannot allow him to be killed by the monster and so she uses her magic to transport Balder and his compatriots to her side. Loki is so disgusted by this that he calls an end to their alliance.

After Blake saves the soldier, Thor returns to the Thermal Man and uses his power of the storm to create a massive tidal wave, flooding part of New York and pulling the Thermal Man out to sea. From there, Thor guides it northward where it shall lie frozen until the end of time.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1969 The Mighty Thor #169

“The Awesome Answer!”
Written and Illustrate by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Inking: George Klein/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 169

A weary Galactus tells Thor his story.

Galactus was once a man. An unnamed inhabitant of the world Taa, during a time when the universe was young, this man alone was immune to a creeping plague that was traveling from world to world.

Eventually this plague came to Taa and killed billions. At the very end, the last few survivors of the plague, this man included, piloted a ship straight into their sun, the largest sun in all the universe. It was a defiant fuck-you blaze of glory for a doomed people.

All the other inhabitants of the ship perished. However, somehow this one man survived and through this crucible was forever changed.

In the stories of the Marvel Universe, there is a being known as the Watcher who has meddled in the affairs of Earth several times.  Despite allegedly being bound by an oath of non-interference, the Watcher has frequently helped shape the events on Earth.  For instance, it was only through his aid that Earth survived the coming of Galactus.  Eons ago, the Watcher found and rescued the man who was to be Galactus after the doomed attempt to fly into the sun.

After all he had been through, some unknown mechanism changed this man into something far different from what he had been.  The Watcher alone wast there to witness this transformation from man into comic force.  The Watcher knew that he was seeing the birth of something terrible.  He could have killed this man before he was reborn, but he stayed his hand.  The die was cast.

This cosmic force, no longer a man, created a ship and raiment and tools for his task. When he was finished,he sealed himself in his incubator cube, which drifted in space for untold centuries until finally he emerged as Galactus.

This story told by Galactus serves as prologue to the events revealed in issue #162.  In that issue it was stated that the war-torn planet that released Galactus was “the planet that gave him birth.”  Maybe his departure from the Incuba-Cell was the  “birth” of Galactus, but maybe the Incuba-Cell fell into orbit around Taa after he sealed himself within.  Untold thousands of years after the plague, civilization began anew.  The new people of Taa would look up to the heavens and wonder what secrets lay with the strange cube in the sky.  Finally the day would come when the Incuba-Cell was cracked open and Taa would die a second death.

Upon the completion of Galactus’ tale, Odin projects himself before Thor. He has heard what he needs to hear, and Thor’s task is complete.  His penance for his Warrior’s Madness paid.

Odin pronounces “Galactus’ time is not yet come!”, before abruptly transporting Thor to Earth, to join his friends in battle against the Thermal Man.

Days of Thunder – September 1969 The Mighty Thor #168

Galactus Found!
All hail this most momentous masterwork, proudly produced by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Embellished by: George Klein/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

THor 168

Thor departs in the Odinship, into the unknown of outer space and is immediately lonely. “Already my heart doth hunger for the sight of Sif– for the glories of Asgard– and the mysteries of Earth!” This homesickness is cut short by the near-immediate capture of the Odinship.

Galactus, knowing that Thor sought him out, has brought the thunder god direct to him, wishing to parlay. With the help of a Visi-Cloud of mist, Galactus prepares to tell Thor his story.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Balder has been joined by Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg who had the same idea a Balder re: protecting the Earth. Much like Thor, they do not believe in paying for things, helping themselves to a newspaper before retreating to Doctor Blake’s apartment, to try to get a handle on this strange world so dear to their friend.

Meanwhile the Chinese army has developed a giant atomic-powered android named “the Thermal Man.” Newly completed, the Thermal Man is rocketed to the United States, sent to destroy all that it finds. It begins attacking the city, but before long it has caught the attention of the four Asgardians who had been slowly wrecking Doctor Blake’s apartment.

First Appearance: a Visi-Cloud

Days of Thunder – August 1969 The Mighty Thor #167

“This World Renounced!”

By Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Vincent J. Colletta, Embellishment/ Artie Simek, Lettering

Thor 167

With Thor being sentenced to search for Galactus, Balder decides to return to Earth to protect it on behalf of Thor. This is observed by Karnilla, who is using her sorcery screen to spy on the object of her heart. Loki is visiting her,  watching the proceedings with interest, when Haag brings the queen a sculpture of Balder, fashioned out of mystic Enchanti-Clay. Loki sees an angle, and grabs the sculpture. Whatever fate befalls the sculpture, befalls Balder, and so Loki clouts the doll on the head, which badly injures Balder on Midgard.

Before Thor heads out on his quest to seek Galactus, he petitions Odin for the chance to set his affairs in order on Earth. This request is granted and Thor returns to Earth, where he soon finds his friend, now badly injured thanks to Loki.   Naturally, he transforms into the foremost expert of Asgardian medicine on Earth, Doctor Donald Blake. Immediately, Loki attacks Blake, grabbing his walking stick. No sleight of hand this time.

Loki is lording over Blake’s powerlessness, when the image of Odin appears before him, compelling Loki to return the cane. Loki refuses; he has rightfully won the cane in battle by the rules of the Code Imperial. Odin counters by saying whoever holds Mjolnir must search for Galactus. That is enough to get Loki to return the stick and depart.

Blake performs a brilliant life-saving surgery on Balder before departing to begin his quest. As he leaves, his doctor colleagues comment on Blake.  He is brilliant but he is strange and so rarely to be found.

This is Vince Colletta’s last issue of Thor. For the past 50 odd issues, Vince the Prince has delineated the art of King Kirby. He’s not remembered as one of the great Kirby inkers, nor should he be, (Such is the power of Kirby that “Kirby Inkers” is a specific topic of discussion and debate) but Kirby’s Thor is in a very real way Colletta’s Thor. His “scratchy” style on Kirby’s pencils helped give Thor a different look than Kirby’s other Marvel output.

First Appearance: Enchanti-Clay


Days of Thunder – July 1969 The Mighty Thor #166

“A God Berserk!”
Brought to you in all its glittering glory by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Valiant Vinnie Colletta, Embellisher/ Slammin’ Sammy Rosen, Letterer

Thor 166

Thor becomes enraged at the prospect of Sif being captured and potentially raped by Him; he swears to destroy his foe. Balder tries to calm Thor down, “Ne’er before didst thou crave battle, noble prince! Only in defense have I known thee to wield thy hammer!” Clearly, Balder willfully misunderstands his friend nature.

Thor is caught in the grip of Warrior’s Madness and cannot be soothed. He does manage to follow Him using Mjolnir. He then beats on Him repeatedly until He creates a defensive cocoon and flies off into space. Sif has been freed but Thor is guilty of giving in to Warrior’s Madness. It is the law of mulitple-genocide-perpetrator Odin that no warrior is to fight an opponent without giving them an opportunity to yeild. As punishment for his bout of Warrior’s Madness, Thor is to be launched in a rocket beyond the universe and beyond the end of time in order to seek out Galactus.

First Appearance: Warrior’s Madness