Tag Archives: Doctor Donald Blake

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 – 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 – July 1970 The Mighty Thor #178

“Death is a Stranger”
Story – Stan Lee/ Drawing – John Buscema/ Inking – Vince Colletta/ Lettering – Artie Simek

Thor 178

Thor is unwillingly teleported to another planet by the Abomination, a communist gamma-irradiated monster from planet Earth who has been abducted by The Stranger, an immensely powerful alien being who likes to collect people from different worlds and who has tried to destroy the Earth a couple of times.

The Abomination has gained a degree of freedom on the Stranger’s prison planet after a coven of witches tried and failed to get him to kill the Silver Surfer before returning him to same planet but not, apparently, within his cell.

Thor helps the Abomination free the other prisoners before realizing that they were imprisoned because they are the scum of the universe. Thor turns into Don Blake in an attempt to spy on revolting prisoners, who intend to pillage the cosmos, however he cannot help but scold them, forgetting that he is in the body of a frail human. Discovered, the Abomination tosses Blake aside, and in the scuffle, he loses his walking stick.

It is at this time that Sif arrives to save her love. She had enlisted the help of Torger, Odin’s mystic sage, who sent her to Thor with a mystic guiding spell. She soon finds and returns Blake’s cane.

Once again in  godly form, Thor blinks when faced with the power of the Stranger.  He uses Mjolnir’s ability to create time warps, sending him back to when he first arrived on the prison planet, at which point he tosses the Abomination back in his cell.

Thor returns home, embracing Sif in a three-panel liplock.

After 77 consecutive issues of Kirby-illustrated lead features, this was the first issue of Thor not illustrated and co-plotted by Jolly Jack. Although this is simply a case of him taking a month off to illustrate what was to be the final issue of the Silver Surfer, it is still the first glimpse of a post-Kirby Thor.  It feels off, but not not terrible.

 

Days of Thunder – March 1970 The Mighty Thor #174

“The Carnage of the Crypto-Man”
Script and Art by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Thor 174

A young micro-electric engineer by the name of Jasper Whyte has decided to prove to the world that he is the single greatest micro-electric engineer on the planet. To that end, he suckerpunches Thor with a Hypno-Stun Ray before using a second device to sap half of Thor’s strength. He then transfers the stolen power to an android of his construction that he calls his Crypto-Man.

The Crypto-Man is a mindless automaton who hollowly repeats “I…have…power!” and variations such as “I…possess…power!” This tic makes it stand out from the other mindless automatons, making it slightly creepy, moderately hilarious, and solidly weird. Whyte send the Crypto-Man on a rampage through New York as a test run before beginning mass production.

Thor regains consciousness and discovers that his strength has been sapped. Lacking any clues as to his predicament, he returns to Blake’s office, where he discovers that he has a visitor.

The visitor is Whyte’s mother, who is concerned that her son has been missing for several months.  She thought, as a scientist, Blake might have heard something. Presumably, she remembers that Blake once created a super-strong android capable of solving the world’s hardest math problem.

After Mrs. White leaves, Blake makes some phone inquiries but the police are too busy dealing with the Crypto-Man to help. Naturally, upon hearing that there is a super-strong monster causing havoc in the city, Blake heads out as Thor to find it.

Thor and the Crypto-Man fight for a while before Whyte makes himself known to Thor so that he may gloat. Whyte explains to tThor that he has decided to send the Crypto-Man into the new atomic power complex in order to hold the city ransom.

Thor says thee nay! He reminds Whyte that he has a mother and that she lives in the city he threatens. This really gets through to Whyte who got a little bit carried away with his new-found villainy.   However, the Crypto-Man has already entered the complex.

Afraid that his creation might accidentally nuke his mother, Whyte blows up his creation, apologizing to it as they both burn up. With the Crypto-Man destroyed, Thor’s strength returns. Later, Blake tells Mrs. Whyte that her son died a hero.

First Appearance: The Crypto-Man, Jasper Whyte

Days of Thunder – February 1970 The Mighty Thor #173

“Ulik Unleashed!”
Produced by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Inking: Bill Everett/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 173

Loki has gathered an assemblage of malcontents, trying to turn folk against Thor and build himself a power base. Ulik the Troll likes Loki’s message of “kill Thor” but is not one for politics. He just wants to kill Thor. Loki agrees to teleport the Troll to Thor’s whereabouts on Earth.

Thor has gone undercover, posing as a member of the Circus of Crime who has, in turn been posing as Thor.  It’s a real mind-twist. It is not entirely clear why Thor is engaging in this subterfuge, but is in the midst of this operation that Ulik appears. Thor fights Ulik for a brief while before using his hammer to teleport the villain back where he came.

The power to teleport enemies away is a power that Mjolnir has never been known to have, however it is, of course, established that Loki and the hammer share some strange link. Perhaps the hammer detected Loki’s magic as the cause of Ulik’s appearance, and could then use that as-of-yet unexplained link to reverse the spell, sending Ulik back.

With Ulik out of the picture, Thor makes short work of the circus criminals. After their previous encounter, Princess Python feels betrayed. She genuinely likes Thor and cannot imagine why he wouldn’t want to be a real member of the Circus of Crime. Thor merely scolds and lectures her as the police arrest her.

The police on scene seem to be unaware that Thor is out on bail, pending trial for the acts he committed last time his path crossed with the Circus of Crime. Actually, as it has been over two years since that happened, Thor is most likely guilty of bail-jumping.

Days of Thunder – December 1969 The Mighty Thor #171

“The Wrath of the Wrecker!”
Produced and Presented by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Titans of Thrills! Delineated by Bill Everett, Earl of Embellishment/ Lettered by Sam Rosen, Lord of Legibility/ Refereed by Irving Forbush, Caliph of Confusion

Thor 171

Beloved civil rights leader Pedro Luis Lopez has been shot in New York! Upon hearing the news, Thor rushes to the hospital where the fallen leader has been taken. As Doctor Blake, he offers his services as surgeon. They are readily accepted, although one of his fellow surgeons tries to pry loose some information about Blake’s frequent long, unexplained absences. Blake gives no explanation and gets to work.

As they operate, someone tells Blake “You’ve got to save him! If he dies… the city will be torn by riots!” Blake smugly lies “I would fight to save him even if his passing would be unnoticed by a single man! He is a human being… and as such, his life is sacred!”

Meanwhile, we learn that after his fight with Thor, the Wrecker was indeed captured by the police. He has been kept under sedation ever since, out of concern for the fact that he has strength to rival Thor.   This is almost certainly a violation of his constitutional rights.

Now however,  the criminal has built up a tolerance to the drugs and is awake! He breaks free and finds a crowbar that he believes to be his before heading into New York to search for Thor, who he mistakenly believes defeated him. (You may recall it was Sif controlling the Destroyer who defeated him back in issue #150. She also destroyed the crowbar he was wielding at the time.)

The Wrecker causes enough ruckus on the streets of New York that there are rumblings in the operating theater where Blake is performing. Blake abandons the surgery so that Thor can investigate the disturbance.

Thor finds the Wrecker and they fight.  After the course of the battle takes them into a subway, Thor uses the electricity of the subway’s third rail to give his Uru hammer extra power, with which he is able to drain the powers of the Wrecker, leaving him nothing more than an ordinary mortal.

Blake returns to finish the surgery, saving the life of Lopez. His inquisitive friend doesn’t understand Blake’s behavior and tells him so. “By abandoning your patient, you might have lost him! How can you be so cold… so unfeeling? What kind of man are you?” Blake, who of course has no answer, is becoming a shadowy doctor or mystery.

First Appearance: Pedro Luis Lopez

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 – December 1968 The Mighty Thor #159

“Who is the Real Don Blake? The Answer at Last!”
A Stan Lee Jack Kirby Production/ Inking: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 159

After Doctor Blake performs some surgery, he astrally projects himself as Thor toward Asgard. Thor has not done this before, but this is an ability that we have seen, in different ways, performed by Odin and Loki. Once Thor gets Odin’s attention, it is Odin and Doctor Blake who have a conversation.

Odin decides to finally tell the truth to Blake.  Some time ago, a young Thor had become arrogant and reckless, breaking treaties and starting petty barroom brawls with the like of Gondolff, champion arm-wrestler. Odin decided that Thor needed to be taught humility. And so it came to pass that Thor was transformed into a infirm mortal with no memory of his true nature.

Donald Blake’s life began on the first day of medical school. He believed himself to be a young, lame medical student.  He believed himself to be human.  He was set on a path dedicated to the healing of others, and given a weak, unassuming form. Such was the nature of the spell on Blake that he never thought about his life prior to medical school, never wondered about his lack of a family or any of the other things that make a human life.

Eventually, Odin left the mighty Uru hammer Mjolnir in a cave for Blake to find, and gradually, he earned the right to become Thor again.  Now he knows the truth, and presumably has no real need to become Doctor Blake.  Although it seems he has grown attached to the Blake shell, false as it may be.

First Appearance: Gondolff

 

Days of Thunder – November 1968 The Mighty Thor #158

“The Way it Was!”
Pandemoniously Produced by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Vince Colletta, Embellisher/ Sam Rosen, Letterer/ I. Forbush, Heraldry

Thor 158

The bulk of this issue is a reprint of Thor’s origin as told in Journey Into Mystery #83. The origin is framed in a sequence that certainly shows how much Jack Kirby’s art has evolved in a six-year span.

In the framing sequence, Thor returns to Earth and turns into Doctor Blake, who is continuing to rely on his peers to pick up the slack for his total lack of commitment to his mortal guise.

He is lost in thought,  finally pondering the bizarre nature of his dual identity. “If I am truly Thor… then who is the real Donald Blake? And if I am Don Blake… where was Thor before I took his identity?… Is Dr. Blake merely a myth… a casual creation of All-Wise Odin?… Or… am I what I seemed to be… a normal, average human…?? A star-kissed Earthman who had accidentally stumbled upon the greatest discovery of all time! But if that’s the answer… then what happened to the original son of Odin?? Why? Why… was his hammer left abandoned in that cave?? I’ve got to know! I’ve got to know!!”


Days of Thunder – July1968 The Mighty Thor #154

“…To Wake the Mangog!”
Produced by: Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby/ Vince Colletta Inker/ Artie Simek Letterer

Thor 154

While Thor is visiting Sif while she recuperates, he is visited by Hela, who believes that she has a claim to Thor after his fight with the Wrecker. Thor’s old frenemy, Harokin pops in to speak on Hela’s behalf, asking him to come lead the army of the undead in Valhalla. Thor is tempted, but declines, stating “The son of Odin fights for purpose– never pleasure!” This is a much bigger lie than anything Loki has ever said in this book. Having made her pitch, Hela departs.

Meanwhile, Ulik has discovered the long-lost Odin-Cave, also known as the Cave of Ages. This legendary site is filled with Enchanti-Stones, the seeds of Odin’s peerless power. It is also the prison of Mangog,the last member of an alien race so powerful that they once nearly destroyed Asgard. It says a lot about Ulik that rather than collect the stones, he frees the alien.

The Mangog, once freed has no interest in an alliance with Ulik and no notion of gratitude for his freedom. The Mangog is the enemy of all who live, with the sole goal of destroying Odin. Ulik escapes from the Mangog as soon as he is able.

Thor, unaware of the threat to Asgard is wandering around New York looking for Loki. He stops a team of thugs calling themselves Muggers Incorporated and exchanges strong words with a pack of hippies. The friendly counterculture youth take Thor’s long hair as a sign of kinship, a notion Thor rejects hard.

“’Tis not by dropping out– but by plunging in– into the maelstrom of life itself– that thou shalt find wisdom! There be causes to espouse!! There be battles to be won! There be glory and grandeur all about thee– if thou wilt but see! Aye, there be time enow for thee to disavow thy heritage– yea, thou mayest drop out fore’er once Hela herself hath come for thee! But, so long as life endures– thou must live it to the full! Else, thou be unworthy of the title– man!” Thor does not like hippies.

Loki, forbidden from fighting his brother, returns to Asgard to see what trouble he can cause, only to discover that there is already trouble aplenty. When Ulik freed the Mangog, he set off the Eternity Alarm, and so the forces of Asgard are preparing for the conflict that is surely at hand. Toag, Elder of the Supreme Council fills Loki in  on all of this and of one other detail: Odin now rests in his Odinsleep (otherwise known as the Sleep of Life, last seen in issue #118). With Odin unavailable and Thor busy pestering hippies, Loki takes the throne!

First Appearance: The Mangog, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, The Enchanti-Stones, The Cave of Ages

The Mangog, comics, Days of Thunder, Thor, Doctor Donald Blake, Sif, Odin, Loki, Karnilla the Norn Queen, Balder, Ulik, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, Hela, Harokin

Days of Thunder – June 1968 The Mighty Thor #153

“–But Dr. Blake Can Die!”
Another Star-Studded Spectacular by: Stan (The Man) Lee & Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

Thor 153

Starting with this issue, the Inhumans backup feature has been dropped, leaving a full 20 pages of Thor. Maybe the change threw Stan for a loop, because this issue is an utter mess, barely held together through a patchwork web of No-Prizes.

So, okay, Loki has stolen Thor’s hammer. Karnilla reveals that he has somehow stolen some of her Norn Power. This combined with Loki’s own sorcery apparently gives Loki enough power to bypass Odin’s enchantment that would otherwise bar him from lifting Mjolnir.

Thor panics, believing himself about to turn back into Blake. It has been some time since he was under the effect of the hammer’s enchantment, and he has apparently forgotten that the sixty second rule only applies to him when he is on Earth.

Thor commands Karnilla to transport him to Loki so that he might face his brother and take back that which is his. Sif demands to accompany him. Karnilla agrees, stating “Thus does Karnilla achieve two ends with but a single spell! I now repay my debt to Thor– And in doing, I send him to a most certain death!”

Thor and Sif are sent straight to Loki, who has returned to Earth for some reason. One could conject that Loki wanted to lure Thor back to Midgard in order to force the sixty second change.   If so, his plan works:  Thor turns into Blake and his hammer turns into his walking stick within Loki’s hands.

Sif attacks Loki. Both Sif and Loki seem to be at their full godly strength, despite having been depowered by Odin in issue #147. It would seem that since the depowering of Sif, Balder and Loki was a punishment for the leaving of Asgard, when they were returned to Asgard by the Wrecker their powers were returned to them.

At any rate, Loki now has the full power of a son of Odin, adopted though he be. Thus valiantly as Sif fights, she is no match for Loki. Thor begs her not to fight, while Loki respects her warrior prowess, although that does not stop him from removing her from the fight by knocking her out cold with a mystic Norn blast.

Thor-as-Blake lunges at Loki. While he is unable to harm the evil god, he grabs his walking stick and manages to turn back into his natural godly self. Even with Loki’s stolen Norn power, he is no match for Thor, who manages to restrain the evil one.

Thor then discovers that Sif has been injured badly enough that she needs to be operated upon by a doctor with both amazing surgical skills and working knowledge of Norn magic. Fortunately, Blake seems to be free to do whatever the hell he wants with complete support of his peers in the medical community and so he is allowed to just show up at the hospital and operate of Sif.

A freed Loki attacks Blake in the middle of the surgery during a delicate juncture but a doctor named Carson blasts Loki with ether, which will knock out an Asgardian the same as a human.  This buys Blake the time he needs.  After the surgery, Blake shoos out the doctors and nurses of the operating room (along with comatose Sif) as Loki wakes up.

The two brothers start fighting yet again, smashing through the wall of the hospital into the streets of New York. Odin watches this battle from his Chamber of Visions, lamenting the brothers’ enmity. Furthermore, he has become aware of a threat to Asgard that he feels must be fought by all who pay him homage, and so he uses an Odin-Bolt to tear the two brothers apart, after which Loki vanishes into the unknown.

Meanwhile, Ulik has stopped his fall by grabbing onto a ledge within the crevice into which he had been falling. After pulling himself up, he finds himself in a mystic canyon filled with shining rocks, confounded by the strangeness of his environs.

First Appearance: Doctor Carson

 

Days of Thunder – August 1967 The Mighty Thor #143

The Mighty Thor! “–And, Soon Shall Come: The Enchanters!”
Produced in Living Color by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Bill Everett/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ True Believers All!

thor 143

Thor had returned to Earth to sort out his life as Doctor Donald Blake, and yet, when this issue begins, we find Thor sitting alone in a soda shop. It seems as though Blake is a man with no friends that Thor does not like being.  One wonders what the point of Blake is.

Once again, Thor makes a point of not paying for his goods and services before returning to Blake’s practice where he does some doctoring.

Meanwhile in Ringsfjord, Sif and Balder encounter the Enchanters, three gigantic men named Magnir, Forsung, and Brona. Each is clad in crazy Kirby armor, with a strange face on the chest: The Living Talisman.

Sif again has to explain to Balder that she is actually a real warrior, not a woman playing dress up, “I say thee nay, my lord! Though I be woman born, my blade is true… my arm is swift!” How long is she going to have to justify her existence?

The Enchanters declare their intent to humble Odin.  They then  attack Sif and Balder with crafted warriors and with the ground itself. Eventually the heroes retreat using Sif’s power to bypass time and space, which is apparently a thing all goddesses have.

Balder and Sif travel to Midgard to find Thor. They are unable to find him by detecting his aura because he is in Blake form. Instead, they ask a passing police officer if he knows where Thor is and the officer tells them that Doctor Blake might know. They visit Blake and he reveals himself to them as Thor. Meanwhile, two of the Enchanters have followed the Asgardians to Earth.

Also, Balder is falling in love with Sif. Uh oh!

First Appearance: Magnir, Forsung, Brona, The Living Talisman

Days of Thunder – June 1967 The Mighty Thor #141

The Mighty Thor! “The Wrath of Replicus”
A Dazzling Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Drama-In-Depth! Inked by: V. Colletta/ Lettered by: Art Simek

Thor 141

Slugger Sykes is a mob boss who has met a scientist named Chuda who will rent him a powerful android for crimes. This android, called Replicus, is set unto a crime spree, robbing banks and stealing the crown jewels.

Sykes is pleased with the results of this arrangement until he discovers that Chuda’s plan is to sell Replicuses to mob bosses all over the land, sowing fear and chaos. Sykes may be a criminal but when he discovers that Chuda is actually a foreign spy, he turns on Chuda. Although Sykes has pegged Chuda as a Red, he is actually from space and he pulls out the space weapons. In the ensuing fight, Chuda’s entire lair, including all those in it, is destroyed, leaving Replicus inert.

Thor was in this issue too. He fought Replicus for a while and Doctor Blake gave Sykes’ mother a house call.

First Appearance: Slugger Sykes, Chuda, Replicus

Days of Thunder – May 1967 The Mighty Thor #140

The Mighty Thor! “The Growing Man!”
Conceived and created by the noblest collaborative combo in comicdom: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Inking by: Vince Colletta/ Lettering by: Sam Rosen

thor 140

Fresh from his victory in the Great Troll War, the Warlord of Asgard is ready to return to Earth. Sif wants to accompany him but Thor gives her the brush off. He claims that his heroing on Earth is man’s work. Even after Sif shoots that down as a load of bull, he still insists on going by himself.

Thor has started to think about all that has gone on recently and he is a confused god. He really likes Sif but he remembers that he until very recently felt that way about Jane. He wonders if Odin altered his brain to make him move on from Jane to Sif or if Sif is really that awesome. It is very confusing to him. One thing is for sure, Doctor Donald Blake’s life has gone to shit. Thor decides that what is called for is to rebuild what he has let fall apart.

He returns to Earth and once again transforms into Doctor Blake. Apparently, he has physician friends and apparently they filled in during his absence. He tries to get his files in order, discussing his return with Olsen the janitor.

Meanwhile, archaeologists have discovered a living man who was the size of a doll when first found, but who has steadily grown larger and larger whenever he is touched by another person. He wakes and goes on a rampage, soon becoming the size of a small mountain.

This Growing Man is alarmed for he does not know his purpose. He seeks his master so that he can be told what his purpose is. This is a poignant and philosophical and undeveloped notion.

It turns out that the Growing Man is  a Stimuloid created by Kang the Conquerer and was hidden in Kang’s past to serve as a sleeper agent for attacking his enemies in the future. Unfortunately he was awoken too soon.  Kang has thus returned to the primitive 20th century so that he might re-shrink his weapon.

Thor tracks down the Stimuloid and oddly is able to recognize him as being one of Kang’s creations from the far future, which is odd since none of Thor’s past on-page interactions with Kang have involved Stimuloids. There are any number of ways Thor could have picked up this knowledge but it is still strange.

Thor fights Kang and the Stimuloid until they retreat to Kang’s time machine. Before they can escape, Thor throws Mjolnir (here spelled “Mjolnar”) so hard that it spins around the time machine at a speed greater than light, trapping the time machine in a Universal Infinity Vortex, causing a cataclysmic displacement trapping Kang and his Stimuloid beyond all time and place.

First Appearance: Stimuloids, The Universal Infinity Vortex, Olsen the Janitor

Days of Thunder – March 1967: The Mighty Thor #138

The Mighty Thor! “The Flames of Battle!”
Garnished With Grandeur by Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Inked by Vince (The Prince) Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie (The Smartie) Simek

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Thor has returned to Earth so that he might find the Lady Sif. Of course, all Immortals can detect each other due to their auras of free flowing electrons (last illustrated in issue #108), but once Thor is in the rough vicinity, he turns himself into Doctor Blake so as to travel in a less conspicuous fashion. Even in his human form, he can still detect Sif.

But as he approaches, The Trolls, who are hiding beneath the streets of New York, use their Molecular Disperser to pull Doctor Blake through the sidewalk into the ground, quickly separating him from his cane. However, Blake wastes no time in tricking a Troll into tapping it on the ground, initiating his Thor transformation.

Here, it is strongly implied that Blake needed to touch the cane as it hit the ground for the transformation to work, but of course no such contact was necessary in issue #105. Possibly this is enough of a corner case that Blake forgot the rules of transformation, especially plausible given how little he transforms these days. Or perhaps, once upon a time the transformation could be triggered by anyone but now that the wielder of the hammer has become truly more Thor than Blake, the switch can only be brought about by Thor/Blake’s own hand.

As Thor grabs his hammer he cries “To me, my enchanted mallet!! To thine avenging master, eternal Mjolnir!” This is the first time in these pages that Thor has referred to his hammer by name.

Meanwhile on Asgard, the Trolls are doing well in their war efforts, owed in no small part to the counsel of a mysterious advisor named Orikal. Orikal is a giant strange visitor from another universe held captive in volcanic flame by Geirrodur king of the trolls. Orikal posesses the Infinite Eye, which allows it to see all things in this world.  They pose such a threat that Odin fears for the fate of Asgard.

Thor beats on Ulik with Mjolnir. Thor is winning the fight but during a lull in the combat he sets down his hammer while he attempts to free Sif. This gives Ulik enough time to use a strange artifact called the Orb of Orikal.  The Orb ensnares Mjolnir, trapping it in within.

The strange sorcery of Orikal overrides the Uru magics of the hammer allowing Ulik and his troll bretheren to retreat via dimensional tunnel with Thor’s enchanted mallet. This leaves Thor on Earth with mere seconds before he will revert to Blake.

First appearance: Orikal, the Orb of Orikal, the name “Mjolnir”

Days of Thunder – January 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #124

The Mighty Thor! “The Grandeur and the Glory!”
Story by: Stan (the Man) Lee/ Pencilling by: Jack (King) Kirby/ Delineation by: Vince (The Prince) Colletta/ Lettering by: Artie (Sugar Lips) Simek

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In New York, after consoling a random child who’s father has been wounded in Viet Nam, and being told off by a beat cop for giving a public demonstration without a license, Thor goes to see Jane in the hospital.

Doctor Donald Blake greets his love but she is barely holding it together. She has been thinking about things and she is sick of Blake’s bullshit. “You’ve told me you love me… but I know you’re keeping some terrible secret you’ve never allowed me to share! You desert me for days – weeks at a time! I never know where you are – what you’re doing! I only know that you’re gone! Get out – Out – Do you hear me – ??”

This dam-burst of emotion is more than Blake can bear. Despite his father’s command, Blake reveals his secret to Jane, transforming into Thor. As he says, “the deed is done! There is no turning back!” Jane is shocked, but it all makes sense.

Shortly thereafter, Blake is chased out Jane’s room by a nurse but he promises to return the next day. Jane makes it very clear that it is very important to her that he be responsible and show up.

Meanwhile, Odin is ready to burst with parental rage, the worst kind of rage. He saw what Thor did in direct defiance of his edict.  There must be a reckoning!

While this secret identity drama has been unspooling in New York, The Demon’s army has been running rampant across Asia. News of his exploits keeps being reported in America, which dismays Blake greatly. Visions of death cloud his mind, and even though he has just promised Jane to not let being Thor get in the way of their relationship, he decides that he must single-handedly end this foreign war that as far as he knows he has zero involvement in. He imagines that he can do this and be back within the day. He best hope so.

Also, Zeus is sick of Hercules starting dumb fights in Olympus, so he sends his son to Earth.

First Appearance: Atlas

Days of Thunder – November 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #122

The Mighty Thor! “Where Mortals Fear to Tread!”

Written with compassion by: Stan Lee/ Drawn with comprehension by: Jack Kirby/ Inked with competence: by Vince Colletta/ Lettered for compensation by: Artie Simek

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Thor quickly recovers from the Absorbing Man’s attack last issue and resumes their fight. This time Thor decides to try something new: fighting skillfully. This does the trick and soon he has Creel on the ropes. However, before the fight can be decisively won, Loki uses an Attractor Beam belonging to Ularic to beam Creel straight to him in Asgard.

Despite the fact that Loki gave Creel his absorbing powers (issue #114) this is their first meeting.   Loki establishes that he is more powerful than Creel and promises to share his dominion of the universe in return for his service. Creel agrees to Loki’s terms and begins to terrorize Asgard, absorbing the spikiness of maces, and the pointiness of spears.

No warrior in Creel’s path can stop his progress as he fights his way into Odin’s throne room. Shocked at the intrusion, Odin shoots a cosmic bolt at the villain, not realizing Creel’s nature. Creel absorbs the cosmic power and prepares to redirect it at the Asgardian king.

Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster spots Thor outside the apartment building in which she is being held.  She starts a gas explosion to shatter her bulletproof glass window, which breaks the glass and gets Thor’s attention, but knocks her unconscious in the process.

Thor finds her on the floor, and transforms to Blake, reasoning that she may need medical attention (which suggests that in his Thor form, our hero does not have access to Blake’s medical knowledge. Curious.). At the moment of transformation, there is a camera flash! Camera in hand, the hooded man reveals himself at last. It is Harris Hobbs, that reporter guy!

Hobbs deduced there was a connection between Blake and Thor and kidnapped Jane Foster in order to prove it. Before discussing this further with Hobbs, Blake takes Jane to a hospital, arranging to meet Hobbs later that afternoon. Don and Jane share a tender moment of reunion before Thor must take off to confront the reporter.

Thor and Hobbs meet at a lonely, prearranged spot. Hobbs seems to want to use the photo as leverage for blackmail. He taunts Thor, telling the god that he knows that Thor has sworn never to harm a human.

That pisses Thor off something fierce, and he creates a wind vortex sucking the two of them into the time of the dinosaurs. Thor threatens to drop Hobbs off in front of a Tyrannosaurus and go home, as that would technically not break his pledge as it would only indirectly be murder. Before Hobbs can respond, Thor takes him millions of years into the future, as a long-abandoned Earth is about to collide with another dying planet, which sucks for the new intelligent life that has evolved on the planet.

Hobbs begs Thor to return him to present day. Thor does return him and proceeds to make a deal with Hobbs. Hobbs will destroy the picture, and in exchange Thor will take Hobbs to see Asgard. This is pretty magnanimous. Thor seems to have forgotten that this guy kidnapped Jane Foster and also that it is forbidden for Aesir to bring mortals to Asgard.

First Appearance: The New Earth Race

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #120

The Mighty Thor! “With My Hammer in Hand…!”
Written in the Fire of Inspiration by… Stan Lee/ Drawn in the Flame of Dedication by… Jack Kirby/ Inked in the Heat of Devotion by… Vince Colletta/ Lettered in the Other Room by… Artie Simek

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Thor has come to the great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh so that he might mend his mighty Uru hammer.  Which he does.
After successfully repairing it, he stops in a a forest, where he counts the Norn Stones one last time before returning to Asgard. Little does he realize he has dropped one of the stones.

In Asgard, Thor clears his name and then proceeds to plead his brother’s case, claiming that Loki cannot help but to be evil. This appears to be selfless and noble on the part of Thor but later he fumes that he cannot exact revenge on Loki while he is already being punished by Odin.

Little does Thor realize that Loki has already freed himself, trapping the warlock Ularic in a Suspended Animation Mist and sticking him in a time vault. Loki then seizes control of Ularic’s enchantments, adding their power to his own.

Thor gets permission from Odin to return to Earth, and at long last he does just that, only to discover that in the months that he has been away, Jane has gone missing, the doctor across the hall has stolen all Doctor Blake’s patients, and the landlord is threatening to evict the doctor if he isn’t promptly paid the back rent.

Naturally, it is Foster’s disappearance that alarms Thor and he heads to the headquarters of the Avengers to seek their aid in finding the missing nurse. However, what he discovers is that the team that he knew has disbanded, replaced by a pack of obnoxious young upstarts. Thor is too irritated by this to ask the new team for help.

Back on Asgard, Loki uses macro-meson particles to re-solidify the Absorbing Man and his ball-and-chain, sending the criminal straight toward Thor. Meanwhile, Jane Foster appears to be in the clutches of an unseen villain, who tells her to forget all about Doctor Blake.

First Appearance:  The great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh

Days of Thunder – June 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #117

The Mighty Thor “Into the Blaze of Battle”

Regally Written by: Stan Lee/ Dazzlingly Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Invincibly Inked by: Vince Colletta/ Lonesomely Lettered by: Artie Simek

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Loki has won the trial but he did it by secretly using the Norn Stones.   He hides the stones on Earth, and  taunts Thor with his victory. Thor punches him in the head.

In the great hall of Valhalla, (the ceremonial chamber of Odin), Thor makes the case that Loki is a big fat cheater.  He asks that Odin allow him to travel to Earth to find the stones.  Odin agrees to give Thor twenty four hours to find the stones and prove his innocence.  Odin loves time limits.

Meanwhile, Balder has been fighting the Enchantress and the Executioner to protect Jane Foster.  Thor arrives to help Balder before beginning his search for the Norn Stones.  The villains flee as soon as Thor arrives. Balder casts a spell of forgetfulness on Jane just to make things easier. Thor makes it clear that he considers Balder a dear friend.

Thor then uses the Uru metal in his hammer to find the enchanted stones, discovering that Loki has hidden them somewhere in Viet Nam. This gives Thor an opportunity to fight some communists while he searches for the stones.

While Thor searches for the Norn Stones on Earth,  the Norn Queen visits Loki on Asgard, demanding the return of her stones. Loki promises to return them soon.

Thor gets caught in the middle of some Vietnamese family melodrama but the cool part is when the communists use Doctor Blake’s cane to bind his arms and he has to throw himself at the ground at an angle so that the cane strikes the ground before he does. Then he fights more Commies and finds the Norn Stones.

Days of Thunder – March 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #114

The Mighty Thor “The Stronger I am, The Sooner I Die!”
Written at White Heat by: Stan Lee/ Drawn with Purple Passion by: Jack Kirby/ Inked with Golden Serenity by: Chic Stone/ Lettered on a Blue Monday by: Sam Rosen

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Loki is wearing new clothes this issue! Up until this point Loki and Thor have worn the same garb with each appearance, while Odin has been dressed wildly differently each time we see him. But now Loki has traded his stupid helmet for a spectacularly stupid helmet! After using his four-dimensional molecule screen to watch Thor defeat another minor criminal, Loki gives a jailed convict named Crusher Creel the ability to absorb the strength of any substance that comes into contact with either him or his prison ball-and-chain.

Soon after escaping from prison, Creel finds Thor and the two of them fight. Creel becomes as strong as Thor, his ball-and-chain as strong as Thor’s hammer. They battle for hours. Meanwhile an affable reporter named Hobbs follows the action and tries in vain to help Thor. Thor and Creel battle some more.

The battle ends when Thor finds himself teleported away from the fight. Balder has brought Thor to the rainbow bridge in order to tell him that Loki has kidnapped Jane Foster again. Thor charges off on a horse to battle Loki in his Asgardian stronghold.

To Be Continued.

First Appearance: Hobbs, Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man

Days of Thunder – February 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #113

“A World Gone Mad!” Starring: The Mighty Thor
A Tale Told With Gusto By: Stan Lee/ A Drama Drawn With Grandeur By: Jack Kirby/ An Idyll Inked With Gallantry By: Chic Stone/ A Legend Lettered With Glee By: Artie Simek

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This issue starts with Thor and Odin leading a flying longship full of Asgardian warriors against the Demon Men of Jotunheim. Unfortunately this battle takes place in a mere two giant panels, a mere prologue for another, less interesting story.

After the battle, Odin again asks Thor to return to life on Asgard and again Thor turns him down. As Thor walks down the Rainbow Bridge back to Earth, he reflects upon his choice. He feels that his loyalty to Jane is interfering with his responsibilities as a prince, and so he decides to renounce his godly life for Jane.

Back in the office, Blake tells Jane that he is Thor. This is in direct violation of the command issued by Odin, who, as he so often does, is watching the proceedings from his throne on Asgard. He deems it unthinkable! Unforgivable! Disgusted, he takes away all of Thor’s power, declaring that he washes his hands of Thor.

Jane, meanwhile, does not believe Doctor Blake and when he stamps his cane to show her that he speaks true, nothing happens. Odin has left him a mortal, just as he was before he found a magic hammerstick in a cave all those months ago.

It is at that moment that the Grey Gargoyle attacks the office, not out of revenge but because he still wants Thor’s hammer. Powerless, Blake feebly runs from the villain with Nurse Foster at his side. Eventually Blake’s leg gives out and he crumples to the ground.

The Grey Gargoyle threatens to give him “the special touch” which he suggests will permanently turn the doctor to stone. He has never mentioned or demonstrated such an ability before; he could be bluffing. We may never know, because an Asgardian named Honir the Hunter shows up, returning to Blake his Thor powers for a mere thirty seconds.

Thirty seconds is plenty of time for Thor to dispatch a loser like the Grey Gargoyle. He runs an electrical current through his hammer, zapping the villain with enough force to melt him into a grey stone blob.

Honir returns to Asgard reporting to Odin that his mission was a success: Thor is safe. Odin realizes that he cares too much to leave his son defenseless and returns the power that he has taken.

As the power surges back into Blake’s cane, the doctor decides that not even for Jane can he give up the intoxicating power that comes with being Thor. And so he tells Jane that he is done claiming to be Thor. She hugs Blake, assuring him that she prefers the company of “a foolish but wonderful man named Don Blake” over the company of Thor.

First Appearance: The Demon Men of Jotunheim, Honir the Hunter

Days of Thunder – November 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #110

The Mighty Thor! “Every Hand Against Him!”
Spectacularly written by: Stan Lee/ Magnificently drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Powerfully Inked by: Chic Stone/ Eventually lettered by: Art Simek

Loki has somehow freed himself from Asgardian imprisonment and is now loose on Earth. Having nothing better to do, he posts bail for those losers Mister Hyde and The Cobra so he can magically double the strength of their powers and turn them against his brother. Even with these two jokers’ powers doubled, and Thor’s powers ostensibly still halved, this does not seem like a fight they can win.

Loki tells the criminals that the key to defeating Thor is to kidnap Nurse Jane Foster. The logic of this plan confounds Mister Hyde and Cobra, despite the fact they have both separately kidnapped Jane before. Apparently, Loki can’t just tell them that Blake is Thor due to an unbreakable edict from Odin.

Meanwhile Don and Jane continue to be all touchy-flirty. It’s nice in a nauseating sort of way, but as they close up shop for the day, the Cobra grabs Jane out of a window.  When Thor confronts Cobra and Hyde, they tell him to meet them in 24 hours.

Back on Asgard, Loki is once again showing Odin that Thor will stay his hand to protect Jane Foster. Odin appears before Thor to once again yell at his willful son. This time he is so mad that he banishes Thor from Asgard. Either he forgot that Thor has already been banished from Asgard since Journey Into Mystery #101, or maybe when he told Thor to come back to Asgard with him in Journey #104, that unbanished him, despite Thor refusing to return.

This banishment so angers Thor that it gives him the clarity to see that Loki told those other villains to kidnap his sort-of girlfriend. Enraged, he flies straight to Asgard, despite having just been either banished or double-banished.

Heimdall tries to stop Thor but unlike last time he tried to block Thor’s entrance to Asgard (#101 again), this time Thor pulls out some super hammer whirlwind that he dubs “The Winds of a Thousand Worlds” which momentarily stuns Heimdall. Thor fights his way through a bunch more warriors before finding Loki. Loki plays it cool, denying all involvement but lets his brother know that Jane is in a lowly estate in Jersey.

That’s when Odin barges in ready to beat the insolence out of Thor. Thor tries to explain that he did what he did to defend an innocent. Odin is wiling to suspend his judgment as he casts Thor back to Earth using his mere will.

Thor enters the house that Hyde and The Cobra share. The Cobra throws a tear gas grenade at Thor, which apparently was a good choice because Thor is apparently completely vulnerable to tear gas. As he thrashes about he accidentally sets off an explosion, doing a great deal of damage to the house. Thor and the villains are unharmed but Jane got hit by a great deal of falling rubble and has been terribly injured!
Thor’s beloved is near death, and he cries to Asgard begging to deaf ears that she be saved. Desperate, Thor spins his hammer to create a time warp, which seems to be a variation of his power to create space warps. He envelops the house, making the fabric of time stand still, suspending Jane between life and death, even as Hyde and Cobra approach to continue the fight.

To be continued

First Appearance: The Winds of a Thousand Worlds, Time Warp

Days of Thunder – October 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #109

The Mighty Thor! “When Magneto Strikes!”
Written by: Stan Lee, the monarch of the Marvel Age, at the peak of his power! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, the prince of pageantry, at the height of his titanic talent Inked by: Chic Stone, the dean of line design, at the peak of his prowess! Lettered by S. Rosen, the sultan of spelling, at the little table in his studio!

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One of the concepts established in the larger Marvel Comics shared universe is that of the “mutant.” In the fictional world in which Thor stories take place, there is a genetic offshoot of humanity who develop random superpowers at the onset of puberty. These people are referred to a “mutants” or “homo superior”. Merlin is a mutant. Sandu, Master of the Supernatural was probably one also.

The larger cultural issues of a world with mutants are primarily explored in the pages of a comic magazine entitled X-Men. The titular team in this book consists of  a group of teenagers indoctrinated into becoming paramilitary mutant rights radicals by the charismatic leader of their private school, a secret mutant with mind altering powers.

The X-Men’s greatest enemy is a man by the name of Magneto. He is a powerful mutant with the the power to control and alter magnetic fields, and the leader of a team quizzically named the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto believes that mutants should use their natural powers to overthrow the human race.

In this issue Magneto causes a ruckus in New York looking for the X-Men and Thor comes to investigate, even though that means Don has to break a dinner date with Jane. Magneto mistakes Thor for a mutant and tries to recruit the Norseman to his cause, offering to share wealth, art, and treasure with Thor. Thor hears him out, but is unimpressed, considering such beauty to be mere irrelevancies. When Magneto gets to the conquer-the-human-race part of the pitch, Thor condemns the mutant as a villain, and the two of them fight.

The two have a protracted fight, ending undecisively when the (off-panel) X-Men arrive to fight Magneto. The villain retreats in fear and Thor leaves, having accomplished nothing of import.

After the battle, Blake seeks out Nurse Foster, asking her forgiveness, which she grants. The two flirt and banter and it is delightful. At one point, Jane calls Blake a “silly goop.” For the first time in 26 issues, these two are actually shown to act like a young couple in love with each other. This brief exchange is the warmest and most human the book has been to date.

Days of Thunder –September 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #108

The Mighty Thor! “At The Mercy of Loki, Prince of Evil”
Written by Stan Lee, The Idol of Millions! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, The Toast of the Town! Inked by Chic Stone, The Man of the Hour! Lettered by Art Simek, The Peoples Choice!

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Oh man, so much happens in this issue! It starts with Thor hitting the New York sidewalk with his hammer so hard and so precisely that a truck about to hit a child flies into the air, sailing safely over the child. Of course, this stunt does tons of property damage, but Thor tells a nearby cop that he will reimburse the city, not with his own money but with Tony Stark-provided Avengers money.  Then he flies off, assuming everything is cool.

Later, Thor finds Doctor Strange badly injured after barely winning a fight with some enemy of his named Mordo. Thor calls the hospital and fifteen minutes later, operates on Strange  as Doctor Blake, musing that it is only Thor’s unearthly knowledge that gives Blake the ability to save Doctor Strange through surgery.

It is at this crucial moment that Odin summons Thor to help him battle some unspecified enemy. Blake ignores the Allfather and completes the life-saving operation. Afterward, Strange makes it clear to Blake that his magic services are at the lame doctor’s disposal, should he ever need them.

Upon returning to his office, Blake meets an older man with a walking stick, complaining of leg pain. The man falls to the floor, knocking Blake’s stick out of his hand. Obviously this is a bit of sleight of hand, but well executed. After returning the wrong stick to Blake, the stranger stands up straight and tosses Blake’s cane out the window without even looking. It’s a total badass move.

The stranger is a disguised Loki, who had escaped Asgard while Odin was out fighting whoever it was he tried to get Thor to help him fight. Loki knocks out Jane with some “slumber mist”, punches Blake in the face, and runs away with the sleeping nurse in his arms.

Blake runs down the stairs to find his cane but it is slow painful going because running is not something Blake can actually do. By the time he reaches street level, the cane has vanished. In desperation, Blake telepathically reaches out to Odin but apparently Odin can only be reached by mental link while he is within the halls of Asgard and thus he does not hear Blake’s plea.

When Odin fails to bail out Blake, he immediately visits Doctor Strange to cash in that favor he is owed. Blake asks the sorcerer to help him find his walking stick and Strange uses his magic to do just that.

A vagrant has found the walking stick and is using it as a fishing pole. In a scene that surpasses the Peanut Gambit to become the all-time greatest Thor moment, Doctor Blake starts a fight with a hobo, trying to steal his fishing pole.

He would have lost that fight too, because he is a disabled weakling. but Doctor Strange pretends to be a ghost and scares away the pack of vagrants that Doctor Blake attacked. Once more in possession of his walking stick, Doctor Blake becomes Thor once again.

It is around this time that Odin returns to Asgard victorious. He puts on his Robe of Conquest and mentally contacts Thor. His success has lifted his spirits and he decides to cut that knucklehead son of his a break. However, Thor is pissed off that Odin failed to respond earlier, and he gives his all-powerful, wrathful father the kiss-off. Then the Avengers cameo and he tells them to take a hike also.

Thor is looking for Loki by himself.  All the gods of Asgard emit an aura of free-flowing electrons from their person, which can be detected by another immortal.   Oddly, In this case, it isn’t Thor himself that can detect Loki’s aura, it is his hammer that does the detecting.

It is an odd detail. Combine it with Loki’s special bond with the hammer and with the sixty second rule, and it seems like the real divinity lies not within the person of Thor, but in the hammer. There are interesting connotations at work here, poorly fleshed out and conjecture-heavy as they may be.

At any rate, Loki tries to block the electron-based detection, but Thor eventually finds him. They fight. Thor wins. Loki releases Jane from Limbo, where she had been held. Loki gets ready to fight some more, when an unnamed Asgardian appears through magic mist, grabbing Loki with an arm enchanted by Odin, dragging him back to Asgard. Thor and Odin make up, but even as they do, Thor is tending to Jane’s well-being to the frustration of his father.

First Appearance: slumber mist, The Uru Hammer’s ability to detect the aura of free-flowing electrons emitted by Asgardians

Days of Thunder – August 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #107

The Mighty Thor “When The Grey Gargoyle Strikes!”

Written By: Stan Lee, who needs the money/ Drawn By: Jack Kirby, who enjoys the practice/ Inked By: Chick Stone, who loves the publicity/ Lettered By: Art Simek, whoever he is!

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Jane is mad at Don and that makes Thor sad, but when Jane runs into Thor he pretends that he is mad at Don, rather than telling her that he was totally cool with the doctor’s actions last issue. This turns out to be a good instinct, as he scares the hell out of Jane. She begs Thor to forgive Blake, telling him that she is in love with him.

She loves him! Overjoyed, Thor sails through the air, shouting his good news to random New Yorkers.

Meanwhile, we have the curious case of the Grey Gargoyle. A French chemist named Paul Duval accidentally imbues his right hand with the ability to turn anything it touches into stone for one hour’s time. If he touches a person, they are turned to living stone, and are petrified but otherwise fine after the hour is up. If he touches the rest of his body, he becomes encased in living stone but mobile. It is unclear how he is able to glove his hand.

Operating as “The Grey Gargoyle”, Duval has been performing supervillainy in Paris for months but he is unsatisfied.  Duval is a bit of a fatalist. He gazes at his piles of money and jewels and sighs. “These are meaningless! Sooner or later the police will track them down and seize them!”

Finally he finds a glimmer of hope when he learns that Thor is an immortal. He decides that if immortality exists, it is the only thing that can matter. Thus, he decides to steal Thor’s hammer, which he deduces to be the source of Thor’s immortality.

Thor and Duval meet and they tussle. The Gargoyle tries and fails to pick up the hammer. Thor gets turned to stone, but fleshifies when he reverts to Blake.

Unable to revert to Thor during the one-hour window of petrification, Blake limps into action himself. He makes some phone calls and using his connections to both Tony Stark and to a local TV station, he is able to rig a motorcycle to broadcast holograms of Thor, which he uses to distract the Grey Gargoyle.

Once he gains the villain’s attention, he lures him into a vehicular chase, culminating with the two of them crashing into the Hudson River. Blake swims to shore, while the Grey Gargoyle sinks like the stone that he is. As a bonus, Don’s act of heroism has put him back in Jane’s good graces.

First Appearance: The Grey Gargoyle

Days of Thunder – July 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #106

The Mighty Thor “The Thunder God Strkes Back!”
Written Fairly Well By: Stan Lee/ Drawn Not Too Badly By: Jack Kirby/ Inked Kinda Nice By: Chic Stone/ Lettered Pretty Fair By Art Simek

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When last we left our hero, Thor had lost his hammer to an atomic-powered hydraulic hoist. This issue starts with him running into the crowd to hide his transformation. As the villains hold hostage the attendants of the Metal Machinery Show, Blake makes a deal with the villains: He will again show them how to summon Thor, but first they must retrieve his walking stick, which has become stuck in the same machine that Thor’s hammer is stuck in.

No sooner do the villains return the stick to Blake than he hobbles back into the anonymity of the crowd. This is unexpected and interesting.   Doctor Blake happily broke his word, while Thor would rather conquer the entire planet than break his.  The number of people contained in the Thor/Blake duality remains murky.

Thor fights the villains, capturing the Cobra, while Hyde slinks away pulling the exact same switch-identities trick that Thor pulled.

A short while later Hyde sucker punches Thor, knocking his hammer from his grasp. Thor makes to grab the hammer before the sixty second window closes, but changes his mind. He decides that if he can’t kick the crap out of this loser half-powered and barehanded, then he doesn’t deserve to be Thor. His confidence is not misplaced.

Later, back a the office. Jane Foster is furious! The news has reported the deal that Blake made with the villains and she is furious. Seriously, Kirby doesn’t depict her as comic-melodrama misunderstanding mad, he draws her as truly enraged. With a “To think that I once thought I loved you!!” and a stifled sob, she storms off.

Days of Thunder – June 1964 Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #105

The Mighty Thor! “The Cobra and Mr. Hyde!”

Written By: Happy Stan Lee, Drawn By: Healthy Jack Kirby, Inked By: Husky Chic Stone, Lettered By: Hasty Art Simek

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Jane Foster has had it with waiting for Don to make a move. She lets him know that she is going out dancing with some guy named Paul. Spurred by competition, Blake once again considers renouncing his Thor aspect to live a mortal life with Jane. He decides to lock up his walking stick for a day, as a test case.

Jane Foster, out on her date and wearing an ugly hat, decides that Paul sucks. She would rather do dull office work with Dr. Blake than be out with anyone else.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hyde and The Cobra, Thor’s two lamest enemies, decide to team up to find Thor. Hyde has invented a Time Reversal Ray, a machine that shows where a person targeted with it has been. They use this machine to learn that there is some connection between Thor and Doctor Donald Blake, which of course, Hyde already knew. Ah well.

They attack a caneless Blake at the office.  Naturally, Blake has to find a way to access his cane so that he can turn into Thor to defend Jane.   This involves tricking Hyde into ripping open the case that holds Don’s cane and striking it on the ground himself.  Thus do we learn what happens when someone other than Doctor Donald Blake strikes the walking stick on the ground: It turns into the Uru hammer, and falls to the floor in the hands of the unworthy. At the same time, Doctor Blake turns into Thor. This is an eyebrow-raising thing. What if somebody as worthy as Blake had used the stick? Would they have become Thor or is Thor somehow imprinted upon Blake now?

At any rate, Thor and Cobra and Hyde fight a whole bunch, taking the fight to a “Heavy Machinery Show”. It is at the show that the Cobra theorizes that the lifting restriction only applies to humans. He discovers that machines, even human controlled-machines, are capable of lifting Thor’s hammer. He grabs Thor’s hammer with an atomic-powered hydraulic hoist, depositing it within its storage compartment, out of Thor’s grasp.  To be continued.

First Appearance: Paul

Days of Thunder – May 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #104

The Mighty Thor “Giants Walk the Earth!”
This is a tale so powerful in concept, so dramatic in scope, that only the inspired talent of Stan Lee could have written it… Only the gifted hand of Jack Kirby could have Illustrated it!! Inked by: Chic Stone Lettered by S. Rosen Possibly one of the ten all-time epics you will never ever forget!!

jim 104

Odin is cosmically pissed off. Thor continues to love the mortal Jane Foster in defiance of his father.   Odin tells Loki that the only emotion that he cannot control… is love. Presumably he means that he cannot control it in Asgardians, because of course he can control it in mortals, such as he did with Ruby in Journey Into Mystery #89.

At Loki’s urging, Odin travels to Earth so that he may assert his authority. While he is gone, he grants Loki some of his power, so that the trickster god can rule Asgard in Odin’s absence. It seems Loki’s crimes have now been forgiven by his father.

While Odin sets out to discipline his heroic son, the villainous one uses his newly acquired power to free Surtur, the Fire Demon and Skagg, the Storm Giant from their prisons. Surtur’s story we know, Skagg seems to be some poor giant bastard who met the exact same fate as Ymir, the Ice Giant. The trickster intends for these creatures to kill Odin so that Loki can keep the throne of Asgard forever.

Loki’s machinations do not go unobserved. Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, sees and hears the villain’s deeds, and dispatches Balder the Brave to Earth so that he may warn Odin. Balder teams up with Thor and they fill in Odin about the danger before Odin can say his piece about Foster.

Odin uses his power to transport the entire human race to a dimension “beyond the ken of the moral mind,” so that the battle that is to come can happen without mortal interference or awareness. This appears to be more of a mental trick than a physical one, but as described, the feat defies comprehension. Presumably this is all linked to the previously established fact (JiM #92) that time stands still when Odin appears on Earth.

With the humans out of the way, the three gods cut loose, battling their two foes Tales-Of-Asgard style. Skagg is re-encircled, while Surtur is thrown into space by Thor, becoming trapped in the magnetic field of an asteroid in another galaxy.

With their foes defeated, Thor is told by his father to return to Asgard with him, as reward for his deeds in this battle, and presumably also to put some distance between him and that acursed mortal woman. Thor refuses, for Earth is his home and the home of the woman that he loves. Odin leaves to punish Loki, frustratedly declaiming “We have settled nothing!”

First Appearance: Skagg the Storm Giant